By Allison J. Waldman
Special to TelevisionWeek
NBC Universal can count on at least one major victory at the 64th Annual Golden Globes. In the category of best actor in a comedy, every nominee comes from a series produced by the Peacock Network. Four of the five nominees, in fact, come from NBC’s Thursday night “must see” comedy block: Alec Baldwin in “30 Rock,” Zach Braff in “Scrubs,” Steve Carell in “The Office” and “My Name Is Earl’s” Jason Lee. The final nominee is Tony Shalhoub in USA’s “Monk,” another NBCU product.
In best actress in a comedy, ABC is well represented with three nominations, including one for newcomer America Ferrera of “Ugly Betty.” Two of the actresses from “Desperate Housewives,” Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross, are repeat nominees in this category, as is last year’s winner Mary-Louise Parker for “Weeds.” Rounding out the nominations is Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who recently won the best actress Emmy for her CBS sitcom “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”
“It’s interesting that they’re all NBC properties, even `Monk.’ I’m surprised someone from `Entourage’ wasn’t nominated, or one of the guys from `Two and a Half Men,”‘ said Joel Keller, assistant editor of TV Squad, speaking about the best actor nominees. “Every male star from every Thursday NBC comedy has been nominated, which I thought was interesting because there are not any other male leads on any other comedies on any other networks that are worthy of nominations. No other day of the week, no other network.”
“I actually thought this was a really strong category,” said TV Guide columnist Michael Ausiello. “Everybody who should have been in this category was in this category. My feeling is that Jason Lee should win. I think he’s the most talented and brings the most to his show. I thought he should have won last year. But I really think Alec Baldwin is going to win because the Golden Globes love to go with what’s new and hip. `30 Rock’ is a freshman show and Baldwin steals the show. Tina Fey is the star, but it’s Alec’s show and it wouldn’t be nearly as funny without him.”
Mr. Ausiello isn’t alone in predicting a win for Mr. Baldwin. “My guess would be Alec Baldwin because it’s just such a big performance and it elevates the whole show,” said Hal Boedeker, TV critic for the Orlando Sentinel. “On some other level, I’d be glad if Jason Lee won for `My Name Is Earl.’ He’s just terrific.”
Steve Carell, star of “The Office,” won the Golden Globe in this category last year. “Even though the Globes aren’t that notorious for repeat winners, I have a feeling Steve Carell is going to win again,” said Mr. Keller. “He’s just getting so much buzz lately that he seems like he’d be the logical winner.”
“Steve Carell should win hands-down. He’s hysterical, the funniest guy on television. But I’m a little concerned about Alec Baldwin. He’s such a big movie star and that may influence the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” said Kathie Skerry, Web master at GiveMeMyRemote.com.
Despite being a previous Golden Globe winner, as well as a three-time Emmy winner, for his lead role in “Monk,” some TV insiders were scratching their heads about Tony Shalhoub’s nomination and his chances of winning again. “To be honest with you, I’m not sure why he keeps winning,” said Ms. Skerry.
“It mystifies me,” said Mr. Ausiello. “I’m not a particularly big fan of `Monk,’ and when he won the Emmy-again-there were a lot of groans in the pressroom. The feeling is `Been there, done that.”‘
In the best actress category, the “Desperate Housewives” actresses, Ms. Huffman and Ms. Cross, received their third nominations in a row, although neither has won the Golden Globe for the show. “But why take up two spots when maybe somebody else could have been nominated, like one of the women from `How I Met Your Mother’? Why nominate two people from the same show when they may cancel each other out?” Mr. Keller said.
“Weeds” star Mary Louise Parker may have benefited from that canceling-out effect in 2006. When she took home that year’s Golden Globe she was up against all four “Desperate Housewives.”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, this year’s Emmy winner, is a strong nominee. “They like traditional choices like Julia,” Ms. Skerry said. “And I think they’d like to see the end of the `Seinfeld’ curse. Still, I predict America Ferrera will win because she’s a new and fresh face and she’s great in that role.”
Being a fresh face may be key to Ms. Ferrera’s chances of winning the best actress award for”Ugly Betty.”. “Among actresses, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association likes to honor the breakout female stars like Jennifer Garner [`Alias’] and Keri Russell [`Felicity’], and America Ferrera is the breakout star of the season,” said Mr. Ausiello. “The Golden Globes would look really out of touch if they didn’t honor her. She’s the only sure thing in the TV category to me.”
Mr. Boedeker agrees. “I will come right out and tell you that I think America Ferrera will win,” he said. “The Golden Globes are very good about recognizing young star talent.”