Television: Globe nominations prove glass may be half-full

Golden Globes Countdown

For TV networks that saw many of their new shows crash and burn this fall, this year’s Golden Globes nominations proved the glass may be half-full after all.

That’s not to say there weren’t disappointments and shockers, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. passed around enough kudos that nearly everyone had reason to celebrate — unless, of course, you’re a procedural.

As in years past, HBO led the charge with 14 noms. Nine of those were from its well-critiqued telepics: three for “Elizabeth I” (including an actress nod for Helen Mirren, who’d better have more than one party dress as kudos season rolls along full-speed ahead), three for “Mrs. Harris” and three for recent film “Tsunami, the Aftermath.”

Showtime had plenty of reason to hold its head high as well. Viacom-owned cabler had six noms, including a comedy series nod for “Weeds” and one for Michael C. Hall as lead actor, drama, for his perf as the complex serial killer on “Dexter.”

“We’re always hoping to do better than last year, and this was a record for us,” says Showtime programming topper Robert Greenblatt. “We had an extraordinary year by any measure, but you can’t ever get too cocky about this stuff. It’s all about great shows.”

Hall, who was once nominated for his turn as mortician David Fisher on “Six Feet Under,” is fine with the fact that death has played an instrumental part in his career.

“I can’t seem to get away from it,” he quips. “But now I’m on the supply side.”

For the broadcasters, ABC scored 11 noms. Tops for the Alphabet were repeat nominee “Grey’s Anatomy” with four, and, for the first time, the actual lead of the show heard her name called. After castmates Sandra Oh and Patrick Dempsey made the cut last year, Ellen Pompeo joins Dempsey for this go-around.

And Katherine Heigl, whose character became the focal point of the season-ending storyline involving a dying heart patient, found herself acknowledged as well.

“It took me 10 minutes to wrap my brain around it,” Heigl recalls after her mom phoned to tell her the good news. “I still feel like somebody didn’t get it right.”

Defending drama champ “Lost” returns to the fold, hoping for back-to-back wins. HFPA member Jenny Cooney Carrillo, who also sits on the TV committee, says the island-castaways skein is deserving of a chance to repeat.

“That show has reinvented itself,” explains Cooney Carrillo. “It’s basically a new cast and location, and they’ve taken the three biggest characters and shaken it all up.”

In keeping with Golden Globe tradition, new series were well represented. ABC’s “Ugly Betty” and NBC’s “Heroes” were nominated for best comedy and drama, respectively, and their breakout stars, America Ferrera and Masi Oka, also were tabbed.

The Peacock had a solid showing with nine noms, yet its highest-profile freshman, Aaron Sorkin’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” mostly faded into the sunset. Sarah Paulson, for supporting actress, was the only thesp from the show to receive a nomination.

“There just must be too much of an insider feel to ‘Studio 60,’ ” suggests Cooney Carrillo. “Also, the hard part for that show is that actors all cancel themselves out. Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford do, and then there are about 12 other great candidates for the actor in a drama category.”

On the two other NBC rookie shows that are loved by critics — and not so much by viewers, based on Nielsen ratings — “30 Rock” funnyman Alec Baldwin found himself among select company with a nom, while pigskin drama “Friday Night Lights” was shut out.

“People like the show, but, in the end, football is tough to get past with international writers,” Cooney Carrillo explains.

Fox and CBS didn’t fare particularly well. Fox had three noms (two for “24” and one for “House”), while “The New Adventures of Old Christine” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the lone highlight for the Eye.