Suburban sex. Political sex. Screwed-up families. Paranormal freak-outs. And a bunch of high schoolers who seem to always burst into song.
These are just a few of the new TV shows that are making a run for this year’s gold. The performance of these newbies will be closely watched since the Globes is the first awards show to give them a shot at being honored. But it will be tough to break through the competish. Last year’s Golden Globe faves are still going strong. They include such smallscreen behemoths as “30 Rock,” “Mad Men” and “In Treatment.” That said, the new crop is young, ambitious and, most important, awards-worthy.
“COUGAR TOWN,” ABC
Classic Precursor: Goes for the “Sex and the City” slot.”
Why It Has a Shot: Network television is inching its way into the racy, edgy world of cable with the sex-obsessed sitcom “Cougar Town.” Co-creators Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel of “Scrubs” fame may be able to deliver a winner and score golden with Courteney Cox and “Cougar.”
If Not the Big Ones: Look for co-stars Christa Miller (“Scrubs”) and Busy Philipps (“Dawson’s Creek”) to possibly break through.
An Upbeat Opinion: John Griffiths, Us Magazine: “This racy confection can get a bit spastic, but it’s ultimately a brazenly funny and perceptive look at a woman in midlife crisis. And a nod here to the perfectly cast Cox, who brings both heart and screwball smarts.”
Classic Precursor: Could be the next “Lost.”
Why It Has a Shot: Joseph Fiennes scores in his first network TV series, playing FBI agent Mark Benford. With their 2005 series, “Threshold,” co-creators David Goyer and Brannon Braga are no newcomers to the sci-fi universe. Goyer is also known for his writing achievements with “Batman Begins”and thriller “Dark City.”
If Not the Big Ones: One or two of the co-star noms may be in the offing for such award-winning veterans as Alex Kingston (“ER”) and Courtney B. Vance (“Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” “State of Mind.”)
An Upbeat Opinion: Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly: “The show combines sci-fi conspiracy suspense with excellent primetime soap opera drama. And I like the fact that, post-blackout, people don’t Google each other, they say, ‘I Mosaic’d you.’ A good sense of humor humanizes this grand puzzle.”
Classic Precursor: Tries to tap some of that “High School Musical” lucre.
Why It Has a Shot: The comedy, from Emmy-nommed Ryan Murphy (“Nip/Tuck”), also stars Jane Lynch (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin”) and Jessalyn Gilsig (“Nip/Tuck”). The Globes voters know these people.
If Not the Big Ones: Composer James S. Levine, known for his scores for “The Closer,” “Nip/Tuck” and “What About Joan,” could turn his good favor with the BMI Cable Awards into Globes gold.
An Upbeat Opinion: Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly: “This comedy from creator Ryan Murphy (‘Nip/Tuck’) is so good — so funny, so bulging with vibrant characters — that it blasts past any defense you might put up against it. ‘Glee’ will not stop until it wins you over utterly.”
“THE GOOD WIFE,” CBS
Classic Precursor: Show recalls “Law and Order.”
Why It Has a Shot: This may be Julianna Margulies’ winning year with the Globes. She is a longtime Golden Globe fave. For her perf as Nurse Carol Hathaway in the hit series “ER,” she was nommed for best actress four times. This story of politics and sex, ripped from the headlines by creators Michelle and Robert King, is in the winning tradition of the Dick Wolf franchise. The formula should pay off for CBS with its compelling take on the Eliot Spitzer, aka Client No. 9, mess.
If Not the Big Ones: Co-star Christine Baranski, who plays the tough-talking boss, has been twice nommed by the Globes, for “Cybill.” And Chris Noth (Peter Florrick) has a shot at getting his second one. In 2000, he got his first, for playing Big in “Sex and the City.”
An Upbeat Opinion: Alessandra Stanley, New York Times: “The opening scene, which times the pace and soundtrack to the pounding heartbeat of Alicia’s shock and her sense of surreal detachment, is as vivid a depiction of personal crisis as any on television. But after this cleverly written series deconstructs the exact moment when everything falls apart, it imaginatively explores how one scorned spouse struggles to get past a life-shattering scandal.”
“MODERN FAMILY,” ABC
Classic Precursor: Owes something to “The Simpsons.”
Why It Has a Shot: ABC’s comedy delivers a fresh look at the complicated, antinuclear American families of today and offers another juicy role to Ed O’Neill of “Married With Children,” which, in its heyday, received multiple noms from the Globes.
If Not the Big One: Could get best writing with the formidable team of award-winning scribes-producers Christopher Lloyd (“Frasier”) and Steven Levitan (“Don’t Shoot Me”).
An Upbeat Opinion: Brian Lowry, Variety: “Easily the new season’s best comedy pilot, ‘Modern Family’ deftly serves up laughs on multiple levels — from understated one-liners to grand sight gags. Flitting among three storylines, it’s smart, nimble and, best of all, funny, while actually making a point about the evolving nature of what constitutes ‘family.’”
Classic Precursor: “V” is take two of the popular 1983 cult sci-fi miniseries “V.” Lizard-like aliens once again try to control mere earthlings.2
Why It Has a Shot: Elizabeth Mitchell of “Lost” stars as the tough FBI agent fighting off the bad guys. Mitchell, with one win and two noms for supporting actress, could have a shot at a Globe for her acclaimed perf in “V.”
If Not the Big Ones: Award-winning producer Kenneth Johnson of the “Alien Nation” franchise is nicely positioned for a Globe win. So, too, is Alan Tudyk (“3:10 to Yuma”) for his role as Mitchell’s fed partner, Dale.
An Upbeat Opinion: Matt Roush, TV Guide: “A rip-roaring twist on the alien-invasion scenario, this is a reinvention of the popular 1980s miniseries-turned-series. ‘V’ nicely exploits the unease in a world of next-door terrorist cells and mob-mentality zealotry. ‘V’ may not initially dig as deep as ‘FlashForward,’ but there’s a juicy urgency to all of the interpersonal and intergalactic melodrama, with plenty of action and surprising reveals.”
“THE VAMPIRE DIARIES,” CW
Classic Precursor: Could be the next “Dark Shadows,” the popular 1960s gothic soap about a New England mansion stuffed to the rafters with vampires and witches. “Diaries” is the teen take on weird happenings in a small town.
Why It Has a Shot: Writer-producer Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek,” “Scream 3,”) returns to his winning formula with “Diaries.” Based on the book by L.J. Smith, the series, full of witty dialogue and familiar supernatural references, is classic Williamson.
If Not the Big Ones: Ian Somerhalder, the sexy vampire, could easily have a shot. The “Lost” actor picked up a SAG Award in 2006 for his ensemble work on that TV series.
An Upbeat Opinion: Gina Bellafante, New York Times: “The show deploys the visual aesthetics of the ‘Twilight’ movie, the heavy fog and brodding cinematography, dispensing with much of the moroseness. There’s an engrossing moodiness to Mr. Williamson’s latest venture, but one he conveys without annulling the pact he long ago made with himself never to let his cheekiness go undetected.”
“WHITE COLLAR,” USA
Classic Precursor: Mirrors the popular 1960s series “It Takes a Thief.” The two shows give auds great-looking guys with rap sheets.
Why It Has a Shot: Partners-in-crime Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) have great chemistry, and play off one another nicely. Their crook/criminal team effort has won them some nice reviews, making them good contenders for the gold.
If Not the Big Ones: Three-time daytime Emmy nominee producer Jeff King (“Strange Days at Blake Holsey High”) could score a Globe win for the much-talked-about “Collar.”
An Upbeat Opinion: Brian Lowry, Variety: “Neatly in tune with the breezy charms of ‘Burn Notice,’ ‘White Collar’ recyles the outlines of ‘It Takes a Thief,’ as a high-tech criminal/con artist grudgingly teams with the FBI investigator who puts him away … the series gets nice chemistry initially out of Matt Bomer and ‘Carnival’s’ Tim DeKay. USA’s run of good fortune might run dry, but with ‘White Collar,’ the channel looks dressed for success.”