New TV shows can capitalize on a certain out-of-the-gate kudos freshness. But they must contend, of course, with many celebrated returning shows for the Globes honor.
Classic precursor: There’s HBO’s own groundbreaking “Sex and the City,” which also focused on the urban romantic/sexual lives of a quartet of females, albeit a more professionally established group than Lena Dunham’s foundering characters.
If not the big one: Creator-star Lena Dunham was this year’s hottest new triple-threat creative force, and her neurotically funny, unselfconscious, oft-naked lead performance has already become somewhat iconic in comedy circles.
Classic precursor: British comedy fans will know that the seeds to this show lie in creator Armando Iannucci’s lauded BBC political satire “The Thick of It,” but with a solid dose of woman-in-charge workplace comedy a la “Murphy Brown” to boot.
If not the big one: Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ crack sense of comic timing is only part of the reason her turn as a publicity-hungry vice president in near-constant damage control mode has been justly lauded so far.
Classic precursor: It’s like a high-concept “Twilight Zone” episode extended to series length. And its twisty notions of good and evil in a mysterious universe, it’s a direct descendant of “Lost.”
If not the big one: Giancarlo Esposito is coming off a hot kingpin role in “Breaking Bad,” and in “Revolution” serves up another nuanced twist on the guy you love to hate. There’s also swashbuckling Billy Burke, who straddles the show’s good and bad worlds, to consider.
“The Mindy Project” (FOX)
Classic precursor: As a look at a professional woman navigating an up-and-down personal life, it goes all the way back to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” But as a portrait of someone whose foibles and eccentricities make for much of the humor, look to “30 Rock” and “The Adventures of Old Christine.”
If not the big one: Star-creator Mindy Kaling has been one of the fall season’s critical darlings, and her winning lead turn — equal parts endearing and prickly — could land her an acting nomination.
“Go On” (NBC)
Classic precursor: Though its emphasis was on the life of the doctor, not the patients, “The Bob Newhart Show” memorably dealt with the comic eccentricities involved in seeking professional help. More recent shows like “Community” have examined the humor in an ensemble that’s always together.
If not the big one: Matthew Perry’s wise-ass ways are by this point something like a national treasure, and with “Go On” he’s found perhaps his most comfortably amusing and talent-tailored post-“Friends” character.
Classic precursor: There are elements of nighttime soap a la “Dallas” and “Knot’s Landing,” but its use of music as an emotional bridge and a source of aspiration and communication for its characters are reminiscent of what “Glee” has wrought.
If not the big one: It’s hard right now to find a television actress more beloved — by critics and the industry than Connie Britton, and here she creates instant warmth and likeability with her loyalty addled, readily jealous superstar country singer.