By handing out five nominations to HBO's "In Treatment" -- the most for any series -- the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. demonstrated Thursday that it wants to live up to its reputation as a tastemaker.
But, apparently, only to a point. Omitted from this year's TV nominations were powerhouse series such as "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives," which rebounded with critical acclaim from the writers strike, and "Two and a Half Men," the No. 1-rated comedy. None of the actors from those shows were acknowledged either.
Perhaps even more glaring were the snubs of three high-profile shows that went off the air: "The Wire," "The Shield" and "Boston Legal." Ironically, it was the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. that put "The Shield" and basic cable network FX on the map when it bestowed awards to the groundbreaking drama and lead actor Michael Chiklis in its first season. The organization never recognized HBO's "The Wire," a critical darling, and only gave nods to the actors of "Boston Legal," not the series.
Two new acclaimed basic cable series, AMC's "Breaking Bad" and FX's "Sons of Anarchy," also were shut out.
Critical favorites aside, popularity with viewers also did not seem to be a factor. Among the drama nominations, "House" was the only broadcast show to be recognized. "Grey's Anatomy," which has won twice, was ignored, as were the CW's hit sophomore show "Gossip Girl" and CBS' new hit "The Mentalist."
On the comedy front, NBC fared well, with nods for "The Office" and "30 Rock," but no other broadcast shows were included, even ABC's "Ugly Betty," which has won in the past. CBS' sophomore comedy "The Big Bang Theory," which has soared in the ratings this fall, also was left out.
But HBO managed to garner Globes traction with its new hit "True Blood," which received two nods -- best drama and best actress for Anna Paquin. The vampire show will compete with "In Treatment," which received nominations for best drama and, in acting categories, for Gabriel Byrne, Blair Underwood, Dianne Wiest and Melissa George.
"Every day we felt we were doing a drama and a service, telling everyone how it is to be in therapy," George said Thursday. "We just really enjoyed it and it wasn't about nominations or awards or anything. It was about doing what we love every day and it was a great lesson for me personally."
Fernandez is a Times staff writer.