Broadcast TV's BFF: The Globes
Despite the fact that the Golden Globes still treat television as if it were a distant cousin visiting with mumps, one of the appealing things about waiting for its nominations is that no sane person could ever predict them.
The Globes voters often operate in inspired territory (see: HBO's Enlightened for best comedy), but they also can head into the WTF? zone (Madeleine Stowe for best actress in a drama for ABC's Revenge). Every year it's like that, but every year it's impossible to look away. And, for extra-credit audaciousness, the Globes makes an effort to reward broadcast television, while the Emmys (for the most part, correctly) turns its gaze to cable.
There's always chatter in the industry that the reason good work on the broadcast side loses out to cable series is not because the acting is better but because they have fewer content restrictions. It's a dubious claim, but the Globes could do a lot worse than give credit to these broadcast shows and actors:
In the comedy category, it was nice to see the Globes go for New Girl last year. That's still a good pick, but why not expand on that?
Ben and Kate (Fox): Love this show. Sadly underwatched and underappreciated. Let's get Nat Faxon a nomination, pronto. And Lucy Punch, too.
Don't Trust the B-- in Apt. 23 (ABC): If the Globes really want to make a statement, this show gets nominated, but more importantly, so does James Van Der Beek and Krysten Ritter. Do that.
Raising Hope (Fox): What's the holdup on awards for this (Globes and Emmys)? Rectify. And let's see a nomination and a victory for Garret Dillahunt and Martha Plimpton, who do amazing work in this criminally underappreciated series. You know what? Shannon Woodward and Lucas Neff deserve attention, too.
The Mindy Project (Fox): Prediction -- this gets nominated for sure. And so does Mindy Kaling. Now, the trick will be getting a nom for Chris Messina.
There are fewer dramas I'd push, but Dennis Quaid and the cast of CBS' Vegas are Globes bait, and let's focus in on Connie Britton from ABC's Nashville before you run out of allotted ballot space for broadcast.
Elementary (CBS): Of all the freshman dramas on broadcast, this is the one that continues to hold my interest. It's a series that's entertaining and smart and features compelling performances from stars Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, who also would make fine nominees in the acting category. The show is vastly underrated.
Of course, this list already supposes that you've put 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation on the list and included a bunch of those castmembers. The guess here is that you've already decided on Matthew Perry for NBC's Go On -- fine enough -- but please pump the brakes a bit when considering such fluff as ABC's Scandal or Fox's Glee, etc. Don't ruin the goodwill you'd be generating with these other picks. Better to steer toward the pleasantly surprising, including NBC's Parenthood or CBS' Person of Interest.
By the way, in no way does this indicate my preference for said shows over the ones I'd like to see nominated on the cable side, such as Girls and Veep from HBO. Homeland is a slam-dunk for Showtime, but don't rule out House of Lies, particularly Don Cheadle. The Walking Dead on AMC also seems a good bet, and it might be nice this year for the Globes to acknowledge it watches FX.
Surprise us. Just don't shock us -- into giggles and derision.