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THR's TV guru weighs in on the small-screen Globes contenders

Will ABC's "Modern Family" win the Golden Globe for best comedy series after only a few months on the air?

It's possible. The ABC comedy hit has everything that the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. holds dear -- quirkiness, critical praise and it's brand new, giving the HFPA the opportunity to be the first awards group to recognize the series.

The comedy category could prove particularly competitive this year, with HBO's former Globe winner "Curb Your Enthusiasm" having what some have considered its best season yet. Also, the HFPA could do what Emmy won't -- give a statue to CBS' "The Big Bang Theory."

All this assumes that a TV awards organization can break its dependency on honoring NBC's "30 Rock," however, which in recent years hasn't seemed possible.

This goes double for the drama category. Although the HFPA has traditionally shown a willingness to award new programs, last year's drama winner (AMC's "Mad Men") followed Emmy's lead, just like in the comedy slot. With the third season of "Mad Men" concluding on a strong note, the drama is again the show to beat.

Of the usual nominees, longtime bridesmaid "House" (Fox) could be a strong contender, same with last year's runner-up "Dexter" (Showtime), which is having a powerful season. It's tough to see any of the freshman broadcast dramas breaking through -- though on cable, FX's sophomore series "Sons of Anarchy" has creatively stepped up to the plate this season.

On the acting side, "Dexter" co-star Jennifer Carpenter and "Anarchy" matriarch Katey Sagal are having stand-out seasons. Sofia Vergara, who plays the hot-tempered Gloria on "Modern Family," could score a nom. And Jim Parsons of "Big Bang Theory" could break into the Globes ranks.

Also, at some point the HFPA also needs to realize what even the supposedly stodgy TV Academy has already figured out -- that about half of all shows are part of this genre called "reality" and they really ought to create a category or two for honoring it.