January 16, 2012



Possibly because the Golden Globes take place in much less proximity to the Emmys than they do to the Oscars, and thus aren’t the crucial part of network gamesplaying that they are for the movie studios, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s TV awards have always tended to be more adventurous and genuine than the ones they give to movies.

A remarkable sign of the times:  only a single one of the 11 TV awards tonight went to a major broadcast network:  Best Comedy, to ABC’s MODERN FAMILY.  9 of the other 10 awards went to cable, with the 11th to PBS for DOWNTON ABBEY.  And 7 of those 9 went to HBO, Showtime or Starz (FX and BBCAmerica each took 1 of the remaining 2). It goes without saying, sadly enough, that none of the shows or artists awarded were on host network NBC.

The Downton award was cause for celebration, as were the 2 major wins that Showtime’s HOMELAND took for Drama and Best Drama Actress, to the spectacular Claire Danes.  Ditto for the universally lauded Peter Dinklage from GAME OF THRONES.  
Most of the other acting awards celebrated shows that are more uneven, but the performances themselves are beyond reproach:  Matt LeBlanc’s wry work as “himself” in Showtime’s EPISODES, Jessica Lange’s campy yet fully-committed turn in FX’s wacky AMERICAN HORROR STORY, Idris Elba’s riveting dark homicide detective in BBCAmerica’s LUTHER, Kate Winslet’s superbly textured portrayal of HBO’s MILDRED PIERCE, and Kelsey Grammer as the uncompromisingly grim antihero of Starz’s BOSS.  HBO’s ENLIGHTENED and Laura Dern’s lead role are acquired tastes that this viewer hasn’t acquired, but one has to respect both the work and HFPA’s willingness to honor it.
One question, though;  does anyone know what NBC will be airing the night after the Super Bowl?  After watching tonight’s telecast for 3 hours, I find myself completely unaware of what they may have on tap.  Just wondering…

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."