Claire Danes in "Homeland" and Zooey Deschanel in "New… (Kent Smith / Showtime; Greg…)
Ambitious and largely dark cable shows dominated the TV drama category, while offbeat, quirky newcomers outnumbered the usual suspects for TV comedy in nominations for the 69th Golden Globe Awards, which were announced Thursday morning in Los Angeles.
Showtime's thriller "Homeland," which was shut out in the SAG Awards nominations earlier this week, landed three nods from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., including noms for dramatic series, and acting leads Damian Lewis and Claire Danes.
"This morning was a lot better than yesterday," said show co-creator Alex Gansa. "For a first-year show, this is huge. The idea that it might give more exposure and get people to watch while the season is still happening — or catch up on it — is great."
The critically acclaimed series, centered on a returning American POW who might be an Islamic terrorist, has set freshman series ratings records for the premium cable channel. The first season finale is slated to air Sunday night.
Rounding out the drama nominations were HBO's prohibition mobster saga "Boardwalk Empire" and fantasy "Game of Thrones;" and newcomers "American Horror Story," FX's highly rated but coolly reviewed psychological fright series; and "Boss," Starz's tale of political corruption. Notably absent this year were Globes staple "Dexter" (Showtime) and AMC's "Breaking Bad," which is frequently referred to by critics as one of the best shows on television.
HBO enjoyed the most kudos of any network overall, thanks largely to "Boardwalk," "Mildred Pierce" and "Cinema Verite," which combined for more than half of its 18 total nominations.
Meanwhile, in comedy, one of the big surprises was HBO's freshman series "Enlightened," about a woman rebuilding herself after a nervous breakdown. The show, created by Mike White, scored two nominations — one for comedy and another for its lead, Laura Dern, who also serves as an executive producer. The nominations may help its chances for renewal, given the series' disappointing ratings.
The other nominees for comedy or musical series were Showtime's "Episodes," ABC's "Modern Family" and Fox's "Glee" and "New Girl."
"The fact that people like it and it's getting these nominations, it's like … like, cake and ice cream," "New Girl" star Zooey Deschanel, who plays unlucky-in-love Jess, for which she received a lead actress in a comedy nod. "I've been working a really long time as an actress — I know how special and rare it is to get recognized like this."
Other bold choices came in the lead dramatic actress category, with nominations for Madeleine Stowe, who stars in ABC's campy soap "Revenge," and Callie Thorne, formerly of FX's "Rescue Me," who appears in USA's "Necessary Roughness."
And breaking through after five seasons on CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" was Johnny Galecki, who earned a spot in the lead actor in a comedy category over his costar (and two-time reigning Emmy champ) Jim Parsons. Another notable omission in the same category was perhaps Steve Carell, whose final season on "The Office" was eligible for this year's nominations — it was his last shot for recognition as the buffoonish boss on the popular NBC series
The Golden Globes ceremony, which will be hosted by Ricky Gervais, will air on NBC on Jan. 15.