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Beholding beauty

Newcomer 'Ugly Betty' and star America Ferrera help make it a big night for ABC.

January 16, 2007|Martin Miller and Maria Elena Fernandez | Times Staff Writers

ON a chilly winter evening, the television portion of the Golden Globes turned "Ugly" and "Grey."

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. celebrated "Ugly Betty" in the best comedy series category, and "Grey's Anatomy" won best dramatic series. It was a double victory for ABC and Touchstone, the studio that produces both shows.

America Ferrera took the top honor as the best comedic television actress, for her portrayal of the lowly assistant in New York City's cruel fashion magazine world in "Ugly Betty." The somewhat surprise picks for the freshman series continued a long-standing foreign press penchant for recognizing talented newcomers, at least before the Emmys catch on.

Despite "Ugly Betty's" ratings success, the show's creator, Silvio Horta, could not get his mother and sister into the ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. They watched the show in the viewing room.

Critical darling "30 Rock" also collected a Golden Globe in barely more than half a season on the air for Alec Baldwin's performance as a self-obsessed network executive. The NBC comedy show's name was helped little by former "Home Improvement" star Tim Allen, the presenter who initially called the show "Third Rock."

In the ballroom, Baldwin's victory drew wild applause from three television tables -- "30 Rock," "24" and "Heroes."

For the second year in a row, Hugh Laurie won for Fox's "House," in which the British actor plays a misanthropic doctor. "I'm speechless," Laurie said. "I'm literally without a speech."

The Hollywood Foreign Press once again seems to be as enchanted with cable productions as it is with network television.

Film-turned-television actress Kyra Sedgwick won a Golden Globe for TNT's "The Closer" for television's best actress in a drama, beating out Evangeline Lilly of "Lost" and Ellen Pompeo of "Grey's Anatomy." She also bested "The Sopranos' " Edie Falco, who hasn't won a Golden Globe in that category since 2003, despite her critically acclaimed portrayal of a mafia wife.

Showtime was shut out despite six nominations. But HBO's "Elizabeth I" won best miniseries or motion picture made for television: The production's Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons also won for actress and supporting actor, respectively.

Emily Blunt, who was nominated in the supporting actress categories for both television and film ("The Devil Wears Prada"), kicked off an unlikely mini-sweep for BBC America's "Gideon's Daughter." Bill Nighy, who played her father in writer-director Stephen Poliakoff's moody television movie, set in the early days of Tony Blair's Britain, later won for actor in a miniseries or motion picture made for television.


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