“Grey’s Anatomy” and “Ugly Betty” helped ABC secure the most Golden Globe nominations among broadcast television networks, while HBO’s movies and miniseries again propelled it to the top of the pile in total nods. HBO reeled in 14 nominations and ABC produced 12 contenders, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Thursday morning. Among series, ABC’s “Grey’s” and Showtime’s “Weeds” garnered the most nominations, with four apiece. For best drama series, the nominees were Fox’s “24,” HBO’s “Big Love,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” NBC’s “Heroes” and ABC’s “Lost.” Nominees for best comedy series were ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” HBO’s “Entourage,” Showtime’s “Weeds,” “Ugly Betty” and NBC’s “The Office.” Nominations in acting categories went to “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera, Masi Oka from “Heroes,” “30 Rock’s” Alec Baldwin, “Dexter” star Michael C. Hall and Sarah Paulson from “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” For best actor in a drama, the nominees included Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s”), Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”), Hugh Laurie (Fox’s “House”), Bill Paxton (“Big Love”) and Kiefer Sutherland (“24”). The five best actress contenders are Kyra Sedgwick (TNT’s “The Closer”), Patricia Arquette (NBC’s “Medium”), Edie Falco (HBO’s “The Sopranos”), Evangeline Lilly (“Lost”) and Ellen Pompeo (“Grey’s”). NBC took four of the five nominations for best actor in a comedy: “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin, “Scrubs” lead Zach Braff, Steve Carell of “The Office” and “My Name Is Earl” star Jason Lee. Tony Shalhoub of USA’s “Monk” fills out the list. The best actress in a comedy nominees included America Ferrera for “Betty,” Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman for “Housewives,” Mary-Louise Parker (“Weeds”) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“New Adventures of Old Christine”). A complete list of TV nominees can be found at TVWeek.com. The 64th Annual Golden Globes will be handed out Jan. 15 in Beverly Hills.
Fox, NBCU Urge Court to Probe FCC’s Motives
Broadcasters, making their final pleadings before a court hears their challenge of two indecency cases this week, are urging an appellate court to scrutinize the Federal Communications Commission’s motives and impact as well as its actual action. In papers filed last week in New York with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel is due to hear their appeal Wednesday, Fox Television Stations and NBC Universal refuted the FCC’s contention that the court should limit its scrutiny. The FCC found singer Cher’s and actor Nicole Richie’s use of profanity on the 2002 and 2003 “Billboard Music Awards” telecasts violated broadcast indecency standards but didn’t fine Fox, saying it wanted to make the indecency line clearer to broadcasters. Fox and the other networks want the court to look more broadly at whether the guidelines the FCC is imposing for isolated and fleeting expletives are arbitrary and unconstitutional. The networks are seeking to use the “Billboard Music Awards” cases to challenge the FCC’s tightened indecency policy, arguing that technologies like the v-chip, available to most households, outdate the legal foundation for taking action. They also argue that the FCC’s standards are vague and are causing “a chilling effect” on content.
NFL Net Rejects Time Warner’s Proposal
The NFL Network late Thursday rejected proposals from Time Warner Cable to enable subscribers in the New York metropolitan area to see Rutgers University play Kansas State in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 28. TWC is among the cable operators that have not signed a carriage agreement with the NFL Network, which this fall is televising live regular-season NFL games for the first time. The squabble has turned ugly, with nasty ads and lawsuits being fielded. The NFL Network offered TWC a free license to show its programming for a week on an expanded basic channel. TWC responded by saying it could run the game on expanded basic or put the full week’s programming on a digital basic tier reaching about 75 percent of subscribers. NFL Network CEO Steve Bornstein, in a letter to TWC released by the cable operator Friday, said “neither of the options you specified in your letter satisfies both of our goals for the freeview.” He said he wanted his staff to work with the cable operator to find available space on a basic channel or to ensure no customer would have to buy equipment or pay for an upgrade to see the game on digital. A TWC spokesman called Mr. Bornstein’s response self-serving.