If not for Tina Fey, the Golden Globes would have pitched an embarrassing shutout at broadcast television Sunday.
Fey was honoured as best actress in a TV musical or comedy for her role as Liz Lemon in NBC’s absurdist “30 Rock,” the series she created based on her former job as head writer on “Saturday Night Live.”
All of the other television Golden Globes went to shows on cable, giving potentially big publicity boosts to AMC’s “Mad Men” and FX’s “Damages.” The HBO miniseries “Longford” won all three awards for which it was nominated.
The Hollywood writers strike made for a glitz-free Globes, with the winners announced at a news conference without any of the stars picking up trophies or fumbling through acceptance speeches.
It had to have been a night of mixed feelings for Fey, known primarily for her writing. Fey has appeared on New York picket lines in support of the writers, whose strike cost her a chance at a national showcase for her acting.
She’s been self-effacing about that ability in the past.
“If you were to sit next to me at your cousin’s wedding, you would not particularly suss out what I do for a living,” she told The Associated Press when “30 Rock” debuted a season ago. “You might assume that I worked for Macy’s. At a managerial level.”
Alec Baldwin, who plays Lemon’s over-the-top corporate boss, lost his bid for best actor in a comedy. David Duchovny won for his role as an emotionally damaged writer in Showtime’s “Californication.”
Both series were beaten for the best comedy Globe by HBO’s “Extras.”
AMC’s first effort at a series, “Mad Men,” proved a critical hit and earned special recognition at the Globes, which has often championed television productions before they earn wide acceptance by the public.
The series set in an early-1960s New York advertising agency won best television drama. Jon Hamm, who plays the creative director of the Sterling Cooper ad agency, won best actor. He beat out Hugh Laurie of Fox’s “House,” who had won the past two Globes in the category.
Glenn Close, who plays the tough lawyer Patty Hewes in FX’s legal thriller “Damages,” earned best actress in a TV drama.
Queen Latifah took home a Globe for her role as an HIV-positive wife and mother in HBO’s “Life Support,” taking inspiration from her own youth.
“I grew up around these women and around these streets, so it was probably one of the more relatable backdrops that I’ve been able to sort of step into,” she said shortly before the TV movie’s premiere last winter.
The HBO drama “Longford” was about the colourful British politician Lord Longford, who advocated for notorious murderer Myra Hindley. Jim Broadbent and Samantha Morton, who played those characters, both earned Globes. “Longford” also won as best TV movie or miniseries.
Broadbent’s victory, however, prevented a feel-good story: also nominated in his category was 90-year-old actor Ernest Borgnine for his role in “A Grandpa for Christmas.”