It’s no wonder the Golden Globes have a reputation for being more fun than the rather stately affairs that usually bring out Hollywood’s A-list. After all, broadcasting live from the Beverly Hilton on Jan. 17 and keeping the Champagne flowing is bound to loosen things up. But the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.'s biggest night is also known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to honoring first-season TV shows -- partly because of being the first TV-related ceremony of the calendar year and partly because of its envelope-pushing attitude.
FOR THE RECORD:
Golden Globes: An article in last week’s Envelope about some TV shows’ chances of receiving a Golden Globe nomination said the ratings for AMC’s “Mad Men” this season had fallen from last year. The drama’s ratings for Season 3 outperformed those of Season 2. The article also said HBO’s “In Treatment” was not eligible for the award this year due to its air dates; the series does qualify. —
This season offers a ballroom full of potentials that could strike the fancy of the HFPA’s 83 voting members -- among them “Modern Family,” “FlashForward” and “The Good Wife.”
For “Good Wife” executive producers Robert and Michelle King, the idea of receiving a nomination is exciting. “What it does with a first-year show is it drives more viewers to it, beyond the honor, which would be amazing,” Robert King says.
Attracting more viewers is also top of mind for “White Collar” executive producer Jeff Eastin, whose cable dramedy has been well-received by viewers in its first few episodes. But Eastin has his award expectations in check.
“I gained a huge amount of respect [this year] for anybody who can even keep a show on for a season,” Eastin says. “Honestly, a lot of what really made the show popular has got to be the casting. The chemistry between [Matthew Bomer and Tim DeKay] is what really jumps off the screen.”
Along with audience favorites “V,” “Vampire Diaries” and “FlashForward,” “Good Wife” and “White Collar” are among the new dramas that could make it into the nominations when they’re announced Dec. 15.
However, with only one of last year’s dramas ineligible for a nomination -- HBO’s “In Treatment” didn’t air any new episodes in this calendar year -- the competition is tight. The 2009 winner, " Mad Men,” slipped a bit in ratings this season, though it’s still considered a lock for a nomination, while “Dexter,” “House” and “True Blood” could see a second consecutive year of nominations. And Emmy favorite “Breaking Bad” shouldn’t be ruled out as a possibility.
On the comedy side, ABC’s “Modern Family” seems to have put a spring in the steps of critics. Although executive producers Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd are modest about the show’s success, Levitan is happy for the recognition. “One of the reasons that it might be striking a chord is because there’s a sense of optimism,” Levitan says. “We don’t try to dodge emotion.”
Lloyd, who went to many an Emmy ceremony during his years on “Frasier,” says that seeing the show nominated as a whole would be a thrill. “There are lots of individual awards that come and go, and they’re wonderful, but they can have the effect of making people feel just a bit left out. Because [the Globe] recognizes everybody who works on the show, that’s one that you can really rally behind.”
NBC’s “Community” also has a brand of optimism that’s connecting with viewers, although creator Dan Harmon hasn’t had much time to consider what a Golden Globe nomination might do for the show’s future.
“I’m just going to assume that winning stuff is better than losing,” Harmon says, then adds, “The job in TV is for nobody to be saying, ‘It’s a guilty pleasure’ or ‘It’s really good, considering . . . ' I want it to be good all around.”
In addition to “Community” and “Modern Family,” other first-season shows that might shake up the category include “Glee” and “The United States of Tara.”
While last year’s comedy winner, " 30 Rock,” will certainly turn up, one other Globes favorite, " Curb Your Enthusiasm,” will likely edge out one of last year’s noms, which included " Californication,” " Entourage,” “The Office” and “Weeds.”
Still, everyone is hopeful.
“I’ve got a very dusty tuxedo at home,” Levitan says. “I would love to get a chance to break it out.”