Nellie Andreeva

Once again, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was far more receptive to new series than the Screen Actors Guild, with a slew of freshmen, including HBO’s Girls, The Newsroom and Veep, NBC’s Smash, ABC’s Nashville, Showtime’s House Of Lies, USA’s Political Animals and Starz’s Magic City landing Golden Globe Award nominations this morning.

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And once again, pay cable dominated, with HBO (17 nominations) and Showtime (7) finishing as No. 1-No. 2 in the network rankings for a second consecutive year. The two networks also landed the most series noms, 7 each. Showtime’s Homeland was the most nominated series with four noms: for best series, best actor (Damian Lewis), actress (Claire Danes) and a welcome surprise, a first major awards nomination for co-star Mandy Patinkin in the supporting category. (HBO movie Game Change was the most nominated program overall with 5 noms.)

Both top series categories were fluid, with only two returning nominees in both. On the drama side, those were the best drama series winners from the past two years — Showtime’s Homeland and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire — joined by Breaking Bad, landing its long-overdue first best series nomination; PBS’ Downton Abbey, which made a successful transition from the movie/miniseries category, which it won in January, to series; and HBO’s The Newsroom. For Aaron Sorkin’s cable news drama, which also got a nom for star Jeff Daniels, this is the biggest awards recognition so far after landing a nom for Daniels at the SAG Awards. The biggest surprise in the category was the omission of AMC’s Mad Men, which failed to make the best drama category for the first time (it won in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and sat out the last Golden Globes because of a large gap between seasons.) Also out was last year’s nominee Game Of Thrones.

A big surprise in the best comedy/musical series field was the nomination of Smash, which had a strong pilot but subsequently meandered creatively — thus the wholsesale changes heading into Season 2. Smash took the spot of the other musical series on TV, Fox’s Glee, which fell out of the category for the first time after winning over Modern Family in 2010 and 2011. This year’s winner, Modern Family, is back, along with one other nominee from the last Golden Globes, Showtime’s Episodes. They’re joined by CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, returning to the category it first broke into two years ago, and HBO’s hot newbie Girls.

While Downton Abbey made the switch from a movie/miniseries to drama series without a hitch, landing a total of 3 noms, the road in the opposite direction proved bumpy for FX’s American Horror Story, which failed to score a best movie/miniseries nom after a best drama series nomination last year. Its lone mention this year came for star Jessica Lange, reigning winner in the supporting TV category. Also surprisingly off the top movie/mini category was BBC/Masterpiece’s Sherlock, though its star Benedict Cumberbatch earned an acting nom. Those who made it for best movie/miniseries include HBO’s Emmy-winning Game Change, the network’s Hitchcock movie The Girl, History’s Hatfields & McCoys, BBC America’s The Hour and USA Network’s short-lived Political Animals, which also landed a nom for star Sigourney Weaver.

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ABC’s Nashville was the only member of the fall 2012 broadcast class to get recognized with nominations for star Connie Britton in the actress in a drama series category and co-star Hayden Panettiere in the supporting actress field. But the HFPA stopped short of handing the ABC soap a best series nom. No freshman broadcast series has landed a best drama series nomination in six years, since NBC’s Heroes, which starred Panettiere, in 2006. Britton is going against three previous Golden Globe winners — Homeland‘s Danes (2012), The Good Wife‘s Julianna Margulies (2011) and Glenn Close (2008), nominated for the the final season of DirecTV’s Damages.

Louie‘s momentum continues despite again missing the top comedy series category. After largely flying under the radar for the first two seasons, the FX comedy’s third season earned a first Emmy in September, a first SAG nomination yesterday and the first Golden Globe nom this morning for star Louis C.K. in the best actor in a comedy series. There hhe faces another newcomer, Don Cheadle of House Of Lies (he won in 1999 for The Rat Pack TV movie), last year’s winner Matt LeBlanc (Episodes) and 30 Rock‘s Alec Baldwin, who’s completing a sweep with a seventh consecutive nomination for the seventh and final season of the NBC comedy (he’s won 3 times). The last spot in the category went to The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons. He has been alternating with co-star Johnny Galecki, who landed a mention last year after Parsons got his first nom (and win) the year before.

While it lost its best comedy series nomination spot from last year, Fox’s New Girl added another one, a first nom for underrated co-star Max Greenfield. He joins New Girl leading lady Zoey Deschanel, who nabbed her second consecutive best comedy actress mention. She is nominated alongside recent Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus of HBO’s Veep, Girls‘ Lena Dunham and the Golden Globes co-hosts, Tina Fey of 30 Rock and Amy Poehler of Parks & Recreation.

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The major series category with the fewest new additions was best actor in a drama series, where Daniels joins previous nominees/winners Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire); Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad); Jon Hamm, who earned Mad Men‘s lone nomination; and Lewis.

After best drama series and best actor nominations for Starz’s Boss last year and a win for star Kelsey Grammer, the dark political drama was overlooked this year. But Starz scored another surprise nom, for Magic City‘s Danny Huston in the supporting actor category, to up its all-time Golden Globe nomination tally to three.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.

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