afleet of freshman winners from the cable realm dominated the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards, which would have shut out the Big Four entirely were it not for ABC’s “Modern Family” winning the best comedy category.
The victors hailed mainly from HBO and Showtime, the latter having the only series to be recognized more than once on the night: “Homeland” scored for best drama series and its star, Claire Danes, picked up best actress in a drama.
But Showtime’s third win may have been the night’s biggest upset: Matt LeBlanc took home best comedy actor honors for the relatively unheralded series “Episodes.”
In his acceptance speech, the former “Friends” star acknowledged the show’s executive producers, Jeffrey Klarik and David Crane, for writing a fictional version of his actual self for the series.
“They write a Matt LeBlanc that is way more fun and interesting than the real thing,” joked LeBlanc. “I wish I was him.”
HBO saw a pair of favorites take home expected wins in their respective categories: Kate Winslet continued her sweep of all awards shows by taking movie/miniseries actress kudos in “Mildred Pierce” while Peter Dinklage was handed best supporting actor for rookie drama “Game of Thrones.” Both actors won similar honors at the Emmy Awards last year.
HBO also got a rookie win for Laura Dern, star of “Enlightened,” who knocked off last year’s winner, Laura Linney of Showtime’s “The Big C.”
Dern also was one of many winners in new projects who had gotten Globes love earlier in their career: She picked up her third career statuette from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. after previous wins for “Recount” and “Afterburn.”
Danes also scored on her third win in three career nominations, one just last year for the HBO miniseries “Temple Grandin” and one for her breakout role on ABC’s “My So-Called Life” more than a decade ago.
HBO and Showtime got some new company in the winners circle among premium cablers: Starz scored its first-ever Golden Globes win with Kelsey Grammer for lead actor in drama series “Boss.”
Grammer was hardly a lock given stiff competition on the drama side that included last year’s winner, “Boardwalk Empire” lead Steve Buscemi.
In his acceptance speech, Grammer gave Starz topper Chris Albrecht credit for having the “insight and balls and money actually to produce all eight episodes without ordering a pilot. It made all the difference.”
The win was Grammer’s third ever, the previous two coming for his NBC sitcom “Frasier,” for which he was last recognized in 2002.
Most of the evening reduced NBC to serving as a commercial for winners from pay TV. To add insult to injury, none of the non-broadcast winners came from the myriad cable channels owned by NBCUniversal.
Besides “Modern Family,” the only non-cable win came in the movie/miniseries category from PBS for “Downton Abbey.”
The remaining TV Globes went to Idris Elba of BBC America’s “Luther” for lead actor in the movie/miniseries category and Jessica Lange, who won for best supporting actress in another rookie series, FX’s “American Horror Story.”
Like Danes, Grammer and Dern, Lange is a multiple Globes winner historically. She’s scored five film and TV wins over her storied career, including “Tootsie,” “King Kong” and “A Streetcar Named Desire.”