Naming names

THR's TV critic predicts the outcome of the small-screen categories.

Drama Series
The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has surely surprised us before, as it did in 2005, when the series prize went to FX's "Nip/Tuck" rather than HBO's "The Sopranos" or Fox's "24," which were favored. This time, "Sopranos" didn't even make the list, but 2006 Emmy champ (and 2004 Golden Globes victor) "24" did. Look for "24" to get the nod again in a close race against ABC's "Lost" -- though HBO's "Big Love" has first-year long shot appeal in its favor.

Actress (Drama)
It's hard to imagine anyone but Edie Falco taking this home for "Sopranos." It would be her third statuette (she also won in 2000 and 2003), and her work in the early episodes of Season 5 was a thing of artistic beauty. But the Globes love to flaunt their individualism, so don't discount the much-praised Kyra Sedgwick for TNT's "The Closer," either.

Actor (Drama)
There could be an upset here: Michael C. Hall as the enigmatic do-gooder serial killer in Showtime's freshman series "Dexter" over 2006's winner, Hugh Laurie, the star of Fox's "House." Hall has the buzz and the freshness factor in his favor. Kiefer Sutherland, a winner in 2002 for "24" and a 2006 Emmy champ, has an outside shot but doesn't figure to be the man of the hour this time around.

Comedy Series
ABC's "Desperate Housewives" has won here two years running, but there's no way the show will make it three in a row. NBC's "The Office" has to be considered a slight favorite (the original British version of the series earned the statuette in 2004) but could get knocked off by either Showtime's "Weeds" or the ABC freshman "Ugly Betty" -- since the HFPA already has shown a preference for ABC hours. Figure it will be "Office," but barely.

Actress (Comedy)
"Weeds" star Mary-Louise Parker already beat out four "Desperate Housewives" leads in 2006, so what's to stop her from knocking off only two this time? Nothing except maybe Julia Louis-Dreyfus for CBS' "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (she already won for "Seinfeld" in '94). However, America Ferrera ("Ugly Betty") has the fresh-faced heat to pull off an upset -- and will.

Actor (Comedy)
A year ago, Steve Carell earned from the HFPA what the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences denied him in 2006: a trophy for "Office," following in the footsteps of Ricky Gervais, who nabbed a Globe for the series' British edition in 2004. Can Carell make it two in a row? Yes. His chief competition: Alec Baldwin for the NBC rookie "30 Rock" -- but expect Baldwin to fall short.

Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Given its British pedigree and the extraordinary momentum enjoyed by its star, it's difficult to imagine anything standing in the way of the HBO mini "Elizabeth I" from snatching the top honor. The only thing that might beat it is another Helen Mirren project: PBS' "Prime Suspect: The Final Act." Nevertheless, "Elizabeth" should carry the night.

Actress (Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television)
Here we have Helen Mirren vs. Helen Mirren -- for "Elizabeth I" and "Prime Suspect." Ordinarily, this could mean trouble in terms of coming out a winner, but not this time. Mirren will win for "Elizabeth" without a problem, giving her two Globes for her portrayal of two Queen Elizabeths (she's also a shoo-in as lead film actress for Miramax's "The Queen").

Actor (Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television)
This is a category with seven (count 'em, seven) nominees. And talk about a wide range. We've got everyone from Ben Kingsley (for the HBO docudrama "Mrs. Harris") to Matthew Perry (TNT's "The Ron Clark Story"). It's a tough one to gauge, but Bill Nighy, who starred in the BBC America drama "Gideon's Daughter" (and was a nominee last year for HBO's "The Girl in the Cafe"), should take the night, though there's an outside shot that Robert Duvall could win for his work in AMC's original mini, the Western "Broken Trail."


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