Golden Globes 2013

There are no safe bets when it comes to Golden Globe nominations for series. The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has a knack for nominating freshman series. But it also tends to surprise industryites by nominating under-the-radar (and under-performing) TV series. Last year, Showtime’s “Episodes” and HBO’s “Enlightened” fell into that category.

“Episodes” is once again nommed for TV (comedy or musical) this year, up against two newcomers, HBO’s “Girls” and NBC’s “Smash.”

On the drama side, HFPA’s snub of AMC’s “Mad Men” is a shocker, although the group has finally acknowledged AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”

Last year’s drama winner, Showtime’s “Homeland,” is once again nommed, along with the second season of PBS’ “Downton Abbey” and HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Interestingly, there were no network series nominated for best drama this year.

In the comedy or musical category, in addition to “Smash” and “Episodes,” “Girls” competes against “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory.”

“They’re all such different shows,” says “Girls” executive producer Jenni Konner. “I don’t really understand what the criteria is, but I feel honored to be included with those shows and I’ll be honored to lose to ‘Modern Family.’”

Marc Shaiman, “Smash” executive producer, composer and co-lyricist, finds it odd to group such an eclectic bunch of shows together. “It’s like apples an oranges. How do you compare our show to ‘Girls’?” he asks.

Shaiman was disappointed that FX’s “Louie” wasn’t among the nominees for comedy or musical series. “It’s my favorite show. To me, it’s like Woody Allen is making a TV show every week. Also, ’30 Rock’ wasn’t nominated this year and that’s an amazing show.”

Konner is also a fan of “Louie,” as well as “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation,” none of which were nommed in the comedy or musical category (although Golden Globe hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are nommed for lead actress in a comedy series for their work in “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation,” respectively).

“I’m such a fan of ‘Louie,’ I plan to accidentally bump into Louis C.K. at the Golden Globe Awards,” says Konner, who heard the news about the noms via a text message from “Girls” creator Lena Dunham.

Konner sees it as a good thing that the HFPA groups such a diverse array of shows in the same category.

“I don’t mind being in a category with shows that are really different from ours. I think it’s more interesting when the choices aren’t so obvious. There’s something exciting about it.”

Meanwhile, when people ask Shaiman and “Smash” executive producer and co-lyricist Scott Wittman if they are surprised that “Smash” was nominated for a Golden Globe, they aren’t sure how to respond.

“You wonder if that’s a way of saying there’s no way we thought you would be nominated,” says Shaiman. “We were nominated for an Emmy (for music composition for a series and original music and lyrics) and we didn’t win. We were surprised about that!”

According to Wittman, who doesn’t watch any TV apart from old movies on TCM, Robert Osborne “should win everything. I’m floored by his knowledge. He should get a lifetime achievement award.”

Shaiman finds it ironic that he is competing at all. “The reason I got into theater was because I didn’t want to go to phys ed, because I’m not competitive,” says Shaiman, who has won a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy and has been nommed for multiple Academy Awards. “Scott and I have both been nominated for a lot of awards so we have some perspective,” he adds. “We’ve won some and we’ve lost some. Of course, it doesn’t suck to win.”

GOLDEN GLOBES 2012
Stepping stone to awards glory | Globes honor returning TV series but makes room for the new
And the nominees are…
Best Picture – Comedy/Musical | Best Picture – Drama | Actor | Actress | Animated
Cecile B. Demille Award: Jodie Foster

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more