The biggest surprise from this week’s Golden Globes, Writer’s Guild and SAG Award nominations in the television category was the lack of love given to cable’s quality comedy series.
I know broadcast television is in the midst of a comedy sitcom revival after it all but abandoned the genre once Everybody Loves Raymond went off the air, but cable has been mining the space recently with some very good comedy series that have drawn acclaim from TV critics and viewers alike.
With all do respect to freshman broadcast comedy sitcoms Glee and Modern Family — which received best comedy nods from all three awards groups along with perennial picks The Office and 30 Rock from NBC — it’s hard to imagine that shows like Showtime’s Weeds or United States of Tara, FX’s much improved It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia or even Starz’ Party Down, which was recently recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the top shows of 2009, didn’t receive nods from the Writer’s Guild, Golden Globes or the SAG Award committees.
Instead only HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm curried favor with SAG and Writer’s Guild Award voters, while HBO’s Entourage generated a comedy nomination from the Globes.
The Writer’s Guild did recognize HBO’s Hung and Showtime’s Nurse Jackie in the best new comedy series category.
Actors and actresses in cable comedy sitcoms fared marginally better. Toni Collette, star of Showtime’s United States of Tara and Edie Falco from Showtime’s Nurse Jackie were recognized by both SAG and the Golden Globes in the best actress/comedy series category.
The Globes honored Thomas Kane (HBO’s Hung) and David Duchovny (Showtime’s Californication) with best male comedy performance nominations, while SAG nominated Curb’s Larry David and Tony Shalhoub (USA Network’s Monk) in the category [the Writer’s Guild Awards do not have best TV actor or actress categories.]
Outside of comedy, the other glaring omission was AMC’s drama series Breaking Bad from the Globes’ best drama categories. I guess series star Brian Cranston’s back-to-back Emmy wins for best actor in a drama series disqualifies him from getting a Golden Globes nomination in the same category.
SAG did recognize Cranston’s great portrayal of crystal-meth-cooking anti-hero Walter White in its choices for best actor in a drama series .