With the 67th Annual Golden Globes less than four weeks away, the HFPA have announced the initial presenters for this years show and, as expected, star power is a prominent consideration.  Globe nominee this year for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical Julia Roberts (eh, don't get us started) will join last year's Best Actor in a Drama winner Mickey Rourke and perennial HFPA favorite Jennifer Aniston in helping to drive even higher ratings for the show. And if you haven't noticed that seems to be a priority for both the HFPA and NBC.

The organization made two very smart moves this year.  First, they decided to bring on Ricky Gervais to host -- and he should be a perfect fit for the already irreverent and intoxicated mood in the Beverly Hilton ballroom  -- and second, they made the show live on the West Coast.  Don't discount a ratings uptick because of this.  The ability to have the show air three hours earlier should been a two-fold increase in parties and events for a show that is already a must-watch for both the movie and TV industries.  And in Los Angeles, that's pretty much 90% of the population (OK, maybe from Silverlake to Brentwood it is).  Realizing they have a huge opportunity here, NBC has whipped out some very smart promos featuring Gervais to hype up the show such as the one below.



Granted, NBC need all the ratings it can get, but don't be surprised to see some sort of "Globe" week on "Jay Leno" or every other one of the network's promos to be pushing the event after Jan 1. And if they are lucky, Gervais may pull off a night that will make the Academy a bit nervous about good ol' Oscar (not that they would even officially admit the Globes even exist).

As for other stars appearing on the show, the HFPA previously announced that Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro would be presenting a statue to their longtime collaborator and this year's Cecil B. DeMille honoree Martin Scorsese.  Expect a laundry list of famous names to be revealed over the next few weeks.

In other news...

- "The Hurt Locker" will soon have the title of most acclaimed movie of the year.  The thriller is already on 85 plus top ten lists, topped the Village Voice and Film Comment critic's poles and shoot, it even won the best picture award from the Oklahoma Critics.  Right now, "Locker" has won ten national critics group awards doubling "Up in the Air's" five.  The gap between the two should increase as the end of the year draws nearer.

- Good tidings for "Avatar" at the film's official Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screening over the weekend. As Steve Pond at The Wrap reports, the event was a "triumph" and the picture got "great applause" at the end.  This sort of reaction is one of the reasons "Avatar" is shooting up the Oscar charts.

- In Contention has a rundown of the official London Critic's award nominations this year.  The org's Film of the Year nominees? "Avatar," "The Hurt Locker," "Up in the Air," "A Prophet" and "The White Ribbon." British Film of the year? "Bright Star," "Moon," "An Education," "Fish Tank" and "In the Loop."  Can't argue with any of those.  Find a list of all the English nods here.

 As the season heats up, look for breaking awards season news and commentary daily on Awards Campaign.  For the latest, follow @HitFixGregory on Twitter.