Two new shows among Globes TV nominees

'True Blood,' 'In Treatment' receive series nominations

HBO's low-key therapy drama "In Treatment," whose first season ran almost a year ago, has emerged as the unlikely leader in the Golden Globes' TV series field.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. is known for singling out breakout shows before the more traditional Emmys. But after a year in which the writers strike hampered development, the 2008 nominations list was dominated by familiar shows and actors.

"Treatment," which earned five noms, including best drama series, and HBO's gothic vampire tale "True Blood" were the only freshman shows to crack the top series categories, while the new broadcast shows were shut out completely.

Cable ruled again, with more than double the nominations of broadcasters. HBO, which had the two most-nominated programs -- "Treatment" and the election thriller "Recount" -- led the pack with 22 nominations. It was followed by Showtime, which nabbed its best Globes performance with eight noms, all in the series categories.

"It's a confirmation of our original programming, which has really broken through," Showtime CEO Matt Blank said. "It's hard to not suggest that Showtime is one of the most important players in all of television."

The network's "Dexter" landed its first best drama series nom, along with fellow first-time nominees "Treatment" and "Blood" as well as Fox's "House" and last year's winner and Emmy champ, AMC's "Mad Men."

The recognition for "Blood" caps a strong first season for the series, which started slow but grew nearly every week and earned a second-season order.

"Doing this show is so much fun, that's the reward in and of itself," the show's creator/exec producer Alan Ball said. "This is like gravy."

Five perennial favorites -- HBO's "Entourage," NBC's "The Office" and reigning Globes and Emmy winner "30 Rock" as well as Showtime's "Weeds" and "Californication" -- are returning in the best comedy series category.

"Treatment" star Gabriel Byrne is the only new addition to the best drama actor field, joining returning nominees Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Hugh Laurie ("House"), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Showtime's "The Tudors") and last year's winner, Jon Hamm ("Mad Men").

The category also provided the biggest upset in the TV categories, the snub of Emmy winner Bryan Cranston from AMC's "Breaking Bad."

Other notable omissions this year include "Breaking Bad," CBS' freshman breakout "The Mentalist," FX's "The Shield" and HBO's "The Wire" -- the latter two of which wrapped strong final seasons -- in the best drama category as well as "Mentalist's" Simon Baker and "Shield's" Michael Chiklis for actor in a drama series.

Meanwhile, Mark Wahlberg pulled a rare comedy-drama punch. He executive produces best series nominees "In Treatment" and "Entourage."

Two new faces, January Jones ("Mad Men") and Anna Paquin ("True Blood"), joined the lead actress in the drama series field along with Sally Field (ABC's "Brothers & Sisters"), Mariska Hargitay (NBC's "Law & Order: SVU"), and Kyra Sedgwick (TNT's "The Closer").

A big surprise in the lead comedy actor category was Kevin Connolly, who earned his first major award recognition for his role on HBO's "Entourage." He will face previous winners David Duchovny ("Californication"), Alec Baldwin (NBC's "30 Rock"), Steve Carell (NBC's "The Office") and Tony Shalhoub (USA's "Monk").

This is Debra Messing's second straight acting Globes nomination for her role as starter-wife Molly Kagan. Last year, it was in the longform category for USA's mini "The Starter Wife." Now, it's for the series the mini spawned. Messing's comedy series actress competition includes Christina Applegate (ABC's "Samantha Who?") and previous winners America Ferrera (ABC's "Ugly Betty"), Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds") and Tina Fey ("30 Rock").

For movie and miniseries, HBO's "Recount," "John Adams" and "Bernard and Doris" will go up against ABC's "A Raisin in the Sun" and PBS' "Cranford."