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The Season for Nominating

By Belinda Acosta, Fri., Dec. 25, 2009

The Writers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, and Golden Globes all handed Best Comedy award nominations to ABC's new sitcom <i>Modern Family</i>.
The Writers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, and Golden Globes all handed Best Comedy award nominations to ABC's new sitcom Modern Family.

It's the end of an old year, so you know what that means – a new awards season is near. The Writers Guild, the Golden Globes, and the Screen Actors Guild recently announced the nominees for their respective soirees, which provided some holiday cheer to the recipients and started deliberations on who might win what and why.

As always, let me start with the writing noms.

Drama series nominated for Writers Guild Awards include AMC's Mad Men and Breaking Bad, Dexter (Showtime), Lost (ABC), and Friday Night Lights (NBC). Nominated comedy series include newcomers Glee (Fox) and Modern Family (ABC), along with The Office, 30 Rock (both on NBC), and Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO).

Glee is somewhat of a surprise here, only because of its unconventional pilot launch, followed by a long summer hiatus, and then a fall return to the air (where it has built a faithful following). Of the two newcomers, my favorite is the consistently strong, funny, and often touching Modern Family. They nail it week after week.

The Writers Guild Awards will be presented Feb. 20.

A couple of things that make the Screen Actors Guild awards different from the rest is that a lifetime achievement award is the centerpiece of the ceremony, which also includes ensemble acting awards in addition to awards for individual performances. This year's Life Achievement Award goes to the delightful Betty White (The Golden Girls). Nominated drama ensembles include The Closer (TNT), Dexter, The Good Wife (CBS), Mad Men, and True Blood (HBO). Nominated comedy ensembles include 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Glee, Modern Family, and The Office.

Individual SAG Award nominees for lead actors and actresses in dramas include the great: Glenn Close (Damages, FX), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), and the not quite great: Patricia Arquette (Medium, NBC/CBS), Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NBC), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), and Simon Baker (The Mentalist, CBS). The nominees in the comedy category are more perplexing. I can understand Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Steve Carell (The Office), and Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm). I'll take Tony Shalhoub (Monk, USA), but Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men, CBS)? Really? The actresses in comedy are also interesting. Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?, ABC) shows up, but she pales against United States of Tara's Toni Collette and Nurse Jackie's Edie Falco (both Showtime). Tina Fey (30 Rock) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine, CBS) complete the list.

The 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be presented Jan. 23.

Breaking Bad fans will be displeased that the show, along with lead actor Bryan Cranston, has been excluded from the Golden Globes' nominees. Big Love (HBO) (and its star Bill Paxton) did make the list, alongside House (Fox), Dexter, Mad Men, and True Blood. Newcomers Glee and Modern Family show up on the Globes' Best Comedy list, along with Entourage (HBO) and NBC series The Office and 30 Rock.

Golden Globe nominees for lead actors include all the leads of the aforementioned dramas, with the addition of The Mentalist's Simon Baker; no one from True Blood made the cut. For lead actresses in a drama, January Jones (Mad Men) and Anna Paquin (True Blood) join Close, Margulies, and Sedgwick. The Globes part ways from the norm in the lead actor in a comedy category. Thomas Jane of Hung (HBO) and Glee's Matthew Morrison join Californication's (Showtime) David Duchovny, Carell, and Baldwin. Glee's Lea Michele shows up on the best actress in a comedy roster, along with Cougar Town's Courteney Cox. Collette, Fey, and Falco complete the list.

The 67th Annual Golden Globes will be awarded Jan. 17. The live telecast of the show begins at 7pm on NBC.

As always, stay tuned.


Follow TV Eye on Twitter: @ChronicleTVEye.

E-mail Belinda Acosta at tveye@austinchronicle.com.

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