After Wednesday morning's staid and predictable SAG Awards nominations, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association fired back on Thursday morning with a far less predictable assortment of nominees, highlighting new shows, particularly on the drama side.
Meanwhile, the Golden Globes continued the recent award-giving trend to shun "Mad Men" and became the first group to begin freezing out Showtime's "Homeland," just one year after "Homeland" swept the main drama awards.
Both Netflix's "House of Cards" and Showtime's "Masters of Sex" broke into the TV Series, Drama category, joining "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey" and "The Good Wife." Only "Breaking Bad" and "Downton" were nominated here last year, with "Homeland," "The Newsroom" and "Boardwalk Empire" all falling out.
"House of Cards" and "Masters of Sex" also received nominations for leading men Kevin Spacey and Michael Sheen, respectively. They're joined in the Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series, Drama category by reliable favorite Bryan Cranston and by semi-surprises Liev Schreiber of "Ray Donovan" and James Spader of "The Blacklist." Damian Lewis, who won here last year for "Homeland," was squeezed out, as were Steve Buscemi, Jeff Daniels and Jon Hamm in what amounts to an 80 percent overhaul.
Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Drama also had an 80 percent overhaul, with only "Good Wife" star Julianna Margulies returning. Yes, that means that unstoppable awards force Claire Danes was excluded. In her place, there are nominations for Kerry Washington of "Scandal," Robin Wright of "House of Cards" and in a pair of exciting breakthroughs, Taylor Schilling of "Orange Is The New Black" and Tatiana Maslany of "Orphan Black."
On the comedy side, the name of the game was spreading the wealth and, again, overhaul.
Last year's winner "Girls" is back, along with "Modern Family" and "The Big Bang Theory," "Parks and Recreation" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" are new to the category. Dropping out are last year's nominees "Episodes" (not eligible) and "Smash" (eligible, but "Smash").
After yesterday's predictable SAG nominations, a more eclectic mix
Each of the comedy nominees placed one star in the acting fields.
Lena Dunham returns to defend her Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy crown against returning nominees Zooey Deschanel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Golden Globes host Amy Poehler. Edie Falco returned to the field this year for "Nurse Jackie."
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine," one of the morning's bigger Globes surprises, saw leading man Andy Samberg nominated for Best Actor, TV Series Musical or Comedy against last year's winner Don Cheadle, Jim Parsons, Michael J. Fox and Jason Bateman, returning to the field for Netflix's "Arrested Development."
The only "Modern Family" acting nominee was Sofia Vergara, in the silly catch-all category Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. The only other returning nominee in that category is "Nashville" starlet Hayden Panettiere, meaning that last year's winner Maggie Smith was snubbed in favor of Jacqueline Bisset for "Dancing on the Edge," Janet McTeer for "White Queen" and Monica Potter of "Parenthood."
In the silly catch-all category Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, there were no nominees repeating from last year. Aaron Paul breaking into the field for "Breaking Bad," joined by Josh Charles of "The Good Wife," Rob Lowe for "Behind the Candelabra," Corey Stoll of "House of Cards" and Jon Voight for "Ray Donovan."
Lowe's "Behind the Candelabra" co-stars Matt Damon and Michael Douglas predictably dominate the Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television category, joined by Al Pacino, Idris Elba and double Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The Actress in a Movie-Miniseries category features Helena Bonham Carter for "Burton and Taylor," Rebecca Ferguson of "White Queen," Jessica Lange of "American Horror Story: Coven," Helen Mirren of "Phil Spector" and Elisabeth Moss for "Top of the Lake."
And yes, Starz did a terrific job of getting out there with Golden Globes voters, as "White Queen" and "Dancing on the Edge" managed to join "Behind the Candelabra," "Top of the Lake" and "American Horror Story: Coven" in the Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television category.
Hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for the second year in a row, the Golden Globes will air on Sunday, January 12, 2014.
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.