Freshman TV shows have drawn notice

Times Staff Writer

Known for its predilection for noticing freshman shows, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. recognized only three new TV series in its Golden Globe nominations: "Heroes," "Ugly Betty" and "Big Love."

In the past, the group of international journalists has nominated series such as "Party of Five," "24," "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" just months after they had premiered, putting NBC's superheroes, ABC's beautiful-on-the-inside heroine and HBO's endearing polygamists in good company. "Heroes" and "Big Love" were recognized for best drama and "Ugly Betty" for best comedy or musical. Also, the season's biggest breakout actors were nominated: America Ferrera, the star of "Ugly Betty," for best actress in a comedy or musical, and Masi Oka, the charming teleporter on "Heroes," for best supporting actor in a series, miniseries or movie. Bill Paxton, the weary husband of three on "Big Love," was nominated for best actor in a drama.

"Betty is a character whose willpower, optimism and strength is unfailing," an emotional Ferrera said Thursday. "It's refreshing, and it's also very inspiring. For me, it's an honor to be able to play her because I have to be in those shoes 12 to 15 hours a day, and it forces me to be optimistic. So when I'm in situations that seem unwinnable, I ask myself, What would Betty do?"


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