The nominations for the 2013 Golden Globes are in, and while there aren't a lot of huge surprises among the list of TV nominees, things weren't exactly status quo either. In fact, only two of the five nominated dramas are repeats from last year. And the same goes for the comedies, which may make both categories a bit trickier to predict.
We'll start by looking at the Best Drama nominees for this year:
Best Television Series, Drama
Look at the contrast from last year's Drama noms, which included American Horror Story, Boardwalk Empire, Boss, Game of Thrones and Homeland. Only Boardwalk Empire and Homeland have returned. With Downton Abbey moved to the drama category (where it belongs), that takes up one spot. The other two went to Breaking Bad and The Newsroom. It would've been nice to see Game of Thrones on there again, or The Walking Dead, which has been pretty great this year. But The Newsroom had a great first season and Breaking Bad's first-half of Season 5 was some of the best TV had to offer this year. In fact, the AMC drama is my pick to win.
Moving on to comedies, here are this year's nominees.
Best Television Series Comedy or Musical
The Big Bang Theory
Last year's nominees were Enlightened, Episodes, Glee, Modern Family and New Girl. As you can see, Episodes and Modern Family are the returners. I like to think that Episodes' inside look at the TV industry gives it a bit more edge among the voters, though it doesn't have the same mainstream appreciation as Modern Family. Among the additional nominees, Smash seems to have unseated Glee as the token musical series to make the list. While Smash's first season had its problems, I'd still rank it above Glee on pretty much all fronts, so its nomination is good news. Among this year's quirky premium cable channel comedies (excluding Episodes), it looks like Girls is filling the spot occupied by Enlightened. And for network TV comedies, New Girl moved out and The Big Bang Theory moved in. So the nominees have shifted, but there's a similar balance from what we saw last year.
Smash wasn't the only music-themed series to get some recognition this year. ABC's new drama Nashville also managed to earn two nominees. It didn't make the drama list, but Connie Britton earned a nomination in the Actress in a Drama category and her co-star Hayden Panettiere earned one for Supporting Actress. I'd actually consider Panettiere to be as much a lead as Britton is, but perhaps her odds were better in the Supporting category.
New Girl may have been bumped off the Best Comedy list, but its lead, Zooey Deschanel, scored another nomination this year, and co-star Max Greenfield (who earned an Emmy nomination this year for the same role), was also nominated this year. Deschanel will go up against Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Lena Dunham, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in the Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical category, so the competition is certainly steep there. For Greenfield, the nominations for supporting actor are such a mix, as they include miniseries and dramas, which means he's up against Mandy Patinkin, who's amazing in Homeland, and Ed Harris from HBO's Game Change. Also nominated are Danny Huston and Eric Stonestreet.
Just as New Girl didn't make the Best Comedy list this year, American Horror Story was also absent from the Drama list, however it too earned two acting nominations, with Jessica Lange earning a second nomination for AHS: Asylum, and Sarah Paulson making the list for Supporting Actress this year. Paulson goes up against Maggie Smith, Sofia Vergara, Hayden Panettiere and Archie Punjabi.
Political dramas earned some attention too, with HBO's Game Change and USA's limited series Political Animals among the nominees for Best Mini-series. They'll go up against The Girl, The Hour and the very popular Hatfields & McCoys.
The hardest category to call would probably be the Actor in a drama series category. Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm, Damien Lewis, Steve Buscemi and Jeff Daniels are all fantastic in their roles. Of my favorites among the nominees, I'd probably call it a tie between Bryan Cranston and Damien Lewis. But good arguments could certainly be made for the other three nominees.
There's a definite lack of sci-fi/fantasy this year, especially by contrast to last year and the year before. The Walking Dead was nominated for Best Drama in 2011, and American Horror Story and Game of Thrones made the list last year. While it's hard to argue against any of the dramas on the list this year, it would be nice to see a bit more genre presence among the nominees this year.
View the full list of TV nominations for the 2013 Golden Globe Awards here.