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'Masters of Sex' breaks into the Golden Globes

Michael Sheen as Dr. William Masters and Lizzy

Michael Sheen as Dr. William Masters and Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson in Showtime's "Masters of Sex." Credit: AP

"Masters of Sex" -- the Showtime freshman based on Newsday reporter Tom Maier's biography of William Masters and Virginia Johnson -- scored a nomination for best drama in the just-announced Golden Globes. In addition, Michael Sheen earned a nod for the best actor in a drama category.

Meanwhile, on the downside, what happened to HBO Thursday morning? A not great day for TV's king of awards. "Girls" got in, of course, but it now regularly does with the Globes. For an oversight that is simply inexplicable -- and ridiculous -- scroll down to the drama awards category analysis.  

And Michael J. Fox: Let's file that one under the "surprise that was expected" category. 

Quickly, the TV rundown, with commentary:

Best actor in a TV series, drama Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"; Liev Schreiber, "Ray Donovan"; Michael Sheen, "Masters of Sex"; Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"; James Spader, "The Blacklist"

No surprises, and once again, Spader establishes that wherever he goes, and whatever he does, an awards committee will anxiously follow him with hosannas. (But what about Jon Hamm?)

Best actor in a miniseries or TV movie Matt Damon, "Behind the Candelabra"; Michael Douglas, "Behind the Candelabra"; Chiwetel Ejiofor, "Dancing on the Edge"; Idris Elba, "Luther"; Al Pacino, "Phil Spector"

Ejiotor is the hottest awards actor on the planet, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which also nominated him for "12 Years a Slave," doesn't want to miss that boat. "Dancing," however, was not particularly good; and Pacino in "Spector" was just a flat-out misfire.

Best TV series, drama "Breaking Bad"; "Downton Abbey"; "The Good Wife"; "House of Cards"; "Masters of Sex"

You'll note "House" here, which is pretty much the only big score for Netflix today; hence no repeat of that historic moment last summer when just about anything with a Netflix tag got nominated. (Excepting pretty much "Hemlock Grove.")

Also, there is no "Mad Men" here. Clearly, as far as those who bestow prestigious awards are concerned, "Men" -- after its sixth season -- is no longer as worthy as it was before. Meanwhile, "Game of Thrones" is snubbed and so is "Boardwalk Empire." HBO is having a not-great day.

And what to say about "Homeland," which began its huge first season awards bounty right here at the Globes? Again, the sun may have set, and without Claire Danes on the best actress short list, that may be a safe conclusion.  

Meanwhile, what would a Globes morning be without a screed -- you know, one of those asides that accuse the Hollywood Foreign Press Association of being comprised of witless dummies? Consider this aside. In a question, nothing for "Game of Thrones?" Surely they jest .?.?. or maybe the DVDs didn't arrive, or maybe they didn't pay for their HBO sub, or maybe they think it's a book, or maybe they don't like dragons, or maybe they thought the Red Wedding was too scary, or maybe they are simply idiots. But how could any awards nominating body overlook one of TV's finest creations? These sorts of missteps tend to hurt the Globes.

And did I mention the exclusion of "Boardwalk Empire," which by some estimations just wrapped its single best season yet? Once again, this just makes the Globes look incompetent. At least there's some compensation with Maier's "Masters." 

Best actress in a TV series, drama Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"; Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black"; Taylor Schilling, "Orange is the New Black"; Kerry Washington, "Scandal"; Robin Wright, "House of Cards"

Maslany, who won the top TCA actress award this past summer, has arrived, and certainly deserves to have arrived.  

Best TV series, comedy "The Big Bang Theory"; "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"; "Girls"; "Modern Family"; "Parks and Recreation"

"Brooklyn Nine-Nine?" Why not! But you also have to wonder what happened to "30 Rock" here. 

Best TV miniseries or movie "American Horror Story"; "Coven"; "Behind the Candelabra"; "Dancing on the Edge"; "Top of the Lake"; "White Queen"

The genius of the "AHS" franchise has been Ryan Murphy's shrewd addition of socially conscious story lines -- and a first-rate cast -- to a series that would otherwise float away to neverneverland during the awards season. These are the hooks that grab voters.

Best actor, TV series comedy Jason Bateman, "Arrested"; Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"; Michael J. Fox, "The Michael J. Fox Show"; Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"; Andy Samberg, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

Fox's series has not worked out for NBC, and it has been a critical bust. But the magic of that name is so great, and his life with Parkinson's -- the story that threads this entire series -- so unprecedented that to ignore him today would've seemed churlish. Will this lead to an Emmy nod? Will this convince NBC to keep the series on, even though ratings are terrible? Will this make critics (including me) take another look to see what we were missing? A very possible "yes" to all three. Good for Fox -- this seems like the happiest nomination of the entire day.        

Best actress in a TV series, comedy Zooey Deschanel, "New Girl"; Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"; Lena Dunham, "Girls"; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"; Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

Not sure, but I believe this is the exact same list that the Emmys came up with in July. Certainly close to the same list the Globes came up with last year, too.

Best supporting actress in a series, miniseries, or TV movie Jacqueline Bisset, "Dancing on the Edge"; Janet McTeer, "The White Queen"; Hayden Panettiere, "Nashville"; Monica Potter, "Parenthood"; Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"; 

Best supporting actor in a series, miniseries or TV movie Josh Charles, "The Good Wife"; Rob Lowe, "Behind the Candelabra"; Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"; Corey Stoll, "House of Cards"; Jon Voight, "Ray Donovan" 

This is one of those grab bag categories that seems to say "oh, right we can't forget about these guys." Nor should they, but the idea of co-mingling leads and supporting leads from comedies, dramas and TV movies is just plain wacky. Whatever. I gotta say, it is good to see Lowe here: He was terrific in "Candelabra" and I always thought the Emmys snubbed him for this. The Globes have done right by him -- and pretty much everyone else here, too. (You already know my thoughts on "Edge.")

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