The Globes hold a key position in the awards race for TV series, since they’re first out of the gate to recognize new fall shows. The field of potential first-time winners is up against competish from returning shows: “Mad Men,” “The Good Wife” and “True Blood” in drama, and “30 Rock,” “Glee” and “Modern Family” in comedy.“The Big C” (Showtime)
Classic Precursor: Showtime’s own “The United States of Tara,” in finding humor from a suburban housewife/mom with an illness.
Shot at a Globe Nod: There’s gutsiness in its tackling such a taboo subject, and the overall appeal of its top drawer cast can’t be denied. But cancer as a basis for a comedy has the potential to rub people the wrong way.
If Not the Big One: Laura Linney is beloved, so a nomination for her could be a way of acknowledging the show overall.
An Upbeat Opinion: “The Big C works because most of the writing is strong and believable, and so is Ms. Linney …” — Alessandra Stanley, New York Times
“Blue Bloods” (CBS)
Classic Precursor: “NYPD Blue” (cop saga) meets “The Sopranos” (generational family saga).
Shot at a Globe Nod: It feels more complex than a typical police drama, more character-driven than crime-of-the-week-driven. But until its darker storylines assert themselves, it might still be seen as too procedural-heavy.
If Not the Big One: Tom Selleck is television royalty, and Donnie Wahlberg makes for a thoroughly believable cop.
An Upbeat Opinion: “Well cast and crisply executed” — Brian Lowry, Variety
“Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
Classic Precursor: “Rome” and “Deadwood” for the period peek into powerful men, and “The Sopranos” for all things mob.
Shot at a Globe Nod: Easily the season’s hottest new show, it’s bolstered HBO’s reputation as a place for sumptuous, violent and well-acted drama. Then again, drama is a tough field, and certain holdovers (“Mad Men,” “True Blood”) have had stellar seasons.
If Not the Big One: The cast is littered with possibilities, from Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt to Kelly MacDonald and Michael Shannon.
An Upbeat Opinion: “A show to be admired and honored” — Robert Bianco, USA Today
“Hot in Cleveland” (TV Land)
Classic Precursor: A younger “The Golden Girls” (with an older, even hipper Bette White)
Shot at a Globe Nod: A breakout sitcom hit for original series newbie TV Land, it reminded many why three cameras, crack one-liners, and funny ladies have worked for so long. Why it might not: The Globes, however, like originality when recognizing a new show, and there’s little that’s edgy about this throwback.
If Not the Big One: “Hot Everywhere” could be Bette White’s mantra these days, so a supporting nom seems a given.
An Upbeat Opinion: “The sitcom is funny and fresh, and the actors appear to be having the time of their lives.” — Jonathan Storm, Philadelphia Inquirer
Classic Precursor: For appealing good guys who are funny and laconic, there’s “The Rockford Files” through “Burn Notice.”
Shot at a Globe Nod: It’s the first show to get Elmore Leonard right in its combination of Western tropes and crimesolving wit. On the downside: Its pleasures are often understated rather than in-your-face.
If Not the Big One: Timothy Olyphant’s currently the coolest customer on television, redefining small screen heroism.
An Upbeat Opinion: “?’Justified’ as a whole really delivers.” — Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle
“Raising Hope” (Fox)
Classic Precursor: “My Name is Earl,” creator Greg Garcia’s last sweet and sour look at happy-go-lucky white trash.
Shot at a Globe Nod: Generally considered the best of the fall sitcoms, it portrays child-rearing with plenty of heart, comic edge and performance verve. But its love of crassness could be a turn-off.
If Not the Big One: Martha Plimpton and Cloris Leachman are a potently funny mother/grandmother combo.
An Upbeat Opinion: “A very funny sitcom that leavens its satire with sympathy” — Alessandra Stanley, New York Times