LOS ANGELES — “Desperate Housewives” topped the list of Golden Globe television nominees for the second year in a row Tuesday, but as usual, voters trained their spotlight on a handful of hot-shot rookies including NBC’s “My Name is Earl,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” Fox’s “Prison Break,” UPN’s “Everybody Hates Chris” and Showtime’s “Weeds.”
“Housewives” led the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s TV pack with a total of five bids, including a nomination for best musical or comedy series. After being left out of last year’s Globes and Emmy derbys, Eva Longoria finally joined the nominees circle alongside her “Housewives” co-stars Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Emmy-winner Felicity Huffman, who was also cited on the film side for her work as a preoperative transsexual in “Transamerica.”
Joining “Housewives” in the race for musical or comedy series glory were HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Entourage,” NBC’s “Earl,” Showtime’s “Weeds” and the Chris Rock-produced “Chris,” which marks the first Globes series nomination for UPN in its 11-year history. Among networks, HBO led the pack, as always, with a total of 17 nominations, followed by ABC (16), NBC (5) and CBS, Fox and Showtime with four apiece.
On the drama side, the nominations went to freshman series with the exception of ABC’s sophomore hit “Lost,” which lost out the top prize in the 2005 race to FX’s “Nip/Tuck,” which didn’t make the cut this year. ABC’s “Commander in Chief” and “Grey’s Anatomy” earned their first Globe nominations, along with “Prison Break” and HBO’s epic period saga “Rome.”
HBO’s “Empire Falls” was the second-most nominated TV program with four bids, including best miniseries or movie and longform acting mentions for stars Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Ed Harris. Vying with “Falls” for best movie/miniseries honors are TNT’s “Into the West,” HBO’s Emmy-winning “Warm Springs” and “Lackawanna Blues,” Showtime’s “Sleeper Cell” and BBC America’s “Viva Blackpool.”
In the top acting categories, “24” star Kiefer Sutherland was back in contention for lead drama actor after being out of the running in the 2005 competition. The rest of the field was dominated by newcomers: “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Patrick Dempsey, “Lost’s” Matthew Fox,” Hugh Laurie of Fox’s “House” and “Prison Break’s” Wentworth Miller.
There were no repeat nominees from last year on the list of lead drama actress contenders. “Medium” star Patricia Arquette, who earned an upset win at the Emmys in September, earned a nomination alongside Glenn Close for FX’s “The Shield,” Geena Davis for “Commander in Chief,” Kyra Sedgwick for TNT’s “The Closer” and Polly Walker for HBO’s “Rome.”
On the lighter side, Zach Braff of NBC’s “Scrubs,” Larry David of HBO’s “Curb,” and Charlie Sheen of CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” earned return visits to the lead comedy actor nominees circle. Newcomers in the category this year were Steve Carell of NBC’s “The Office” and Jason Lee of “Earl.”
‘Housewives’ dominate lead actress category
Suburban housewives dominated the list of lead funny ladies, with “Housewives” Cross, Hatcher, Huffman and Longoria leaving room for only one other nominee, Mary-Louise Parker for her role as the pot-dealing widow in “Weeds.”
The longform acting nominees field drew its share of high-wattage nominees. Kenneth Branagh earned a mention for lead actor in movie/miniseries field for his Emmy-nominated turn as Franklin D. Roosevelt in HBO’s “Warm Springs.” Jonathan Rhys Meyers swiveled his way to a nom for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in CBS’ biopic “Elvis.” Rounding out the category were Bill Nighy for HBO’s “The Girl in the Cafe,” Harris for “Empire Falls” and Donald Sutherland, who found himself a double nominee with a bid for Lifetime’s miniseries “Human Trafficking” and supporting actor for “Commander in Chief.”
On the distaff side in longform, S. Epatha Merkerson earned another shot at a trophy for her Emmy-winning work in “Lackawanna Blues.” Halle Berry of ABC’s “Oprah Winfrey Presents: Their Eyes Were Watching God” was also a contender alongside Cynthia Nixon of “Warm Springs,” “Human Trafficking’s” Mira Sorvino and Kelly MacDonald of “Girl in the Cafe.”
In the Globes’ catch-all supporting acting categories that encompass series and longform, the supporting actor field made room for “Lost’s” Naveen Andrews, Randy Quaid of “Elvis” and Jeremy Piven of HBO’s “Entourage” in addition to Newman for “Empire Falls” and Sutherland for “Commander in Chief.”
Camryn Manheim earned a berth in the supporting actress field for “Elvis,” as did Woodward for “Empire Falls.” Rounding out the category were Candice Bergen of ABC’s “Boston Legal,” Sandra Oh of “Grey’s Anatomy” and Elizabeth Perkins of “Weeds.”
Copyright 2012 The Hollywood Reporter