As usual, the Golden Globes thumbed their noses at conventional wisdom and threw a whole bunch of surprise nominees at us this year. And that means a lot of the usual suspects were left on the outside looking in.
Here, a rundown of the biggest snubs and surprises from this year's TV nominations.
SNUB: Claire Danes, "Homeland"
Danes was winning Golden Globes before she was old enough to drive, and she's already taken home two for playing "Homeland's" basket-case CIA analyst Carrie Mathison. But the Globes shockingly passed her over this year, and also left "Homeland" off the best drama series list. That one's not a surprise ("Homeland's" been disappointing this year), but we thought for sure Danes would be in the mix again. Think she's demonstrating her famous cry face right now?
SURPRISE: Andy Samberg and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
A best comedy series nod for the Fox cop comedy, and a best actor nod for the “Saturday Night Live” alum, as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association acknowledges the best new sitcom of the TV season. Samberg’s chemistry with the equally nomination-deserving Andre Braugher, along with the support of one of the best comedy ensembles on the tube, allayed any worries that his performance would be too over-the-top for a network comedy, and has, so far, produced a string of episodes that has included nary a clunker.
[Related: Golden Globes 2014: Movies Snubs & Surprises]
SNUB: "Mad Men"
Don Draper's magic tough must be fading: AMC's 1960s ad-man drama didn't land a best drama series nomination for the second year in a row, and star Jon Hamm got left out in the cold for the first time in six seasons. (Don't you want to see that handsome mug on the red carpet, voters?) This follows "Mad Men" being shut out of the SAG Awards and not winning a single Emmy in the past two years. As Pete Campbell might say, "Not good, Bob!"
SURPRISE: Michael J. Fox, "The Michael J. Fox Show"
Ratings for Fox’s NBC comeback series (his first regular TV role in more than a decade) have been disappointing, but it seems the HFPA is feeling more nostalgic about the sitcom legend than primetime viewers are. Here’s hoping this vote of confidence and nod to his comedic skills will inspire the cliché-addled sitcom to step out of its safe little network comedy box and let Fox and his co-stars get truly pseudo autobiographical, a la “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Louie,” and Kevin Hart’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood.”
SURPRISE: "Masters of Sex"
Yes, you should be watching this Showtime nominee for best TV drama, which wraps its debut season on Dec. 15. Smart, funny, and seductive, the show — about the real-life experiences of human sexuality researchers Masters and Johnson — has only gotten better as the season hummed along. Though female lead Lizzy Caplan was overlooked for a nomination (particularly sad, since this is the best role of her already pretty fantastic career), Michael Sheen received a nod for best actor, an acknowledgement that the performances on the series are as terrific as the stories.
SNUB: "Game of Thrones"
This feels like a dozen arrows to the chest: Despite submitting maybe its best season yet, HBO's swords-and-dragons epic was left out of the best drama series race. (Guess the Globe voters weren't as blown away by the Red Wedding as the rest of us.) Plus, Emmy winner Peter Dinklage, who took home the Globe for best supporting actor in 2011, didn't make the cut this year.
SURPRISE: James Spader, "The Blacklist"
It’s no small thing for a network drama star to land a best actor nod amongst a group that includes cable heavyweights like Bryan Cranston and Liev Schreiber. But in a TV season that has netted few new hits for the networks, “The Blacklist” stands out for finally (after “Boston Legal's” five-season run) giving the talented actor the right forum to once again unleash his cool, mysterious, but morally murky vibe on a primetime leading man.
SURPRISE: Taylor Schilling, "Orange Is the New Black"
And the Netflix love continues. “House of Cards” and the “Arrested Development” comeback have already gotten major awards recognition, but Schilling’s nod for best actress in a TV drama is the first big nomination for “OITNB.” And while we know U.S. viewers were all a-Twitter about the show last summer, it appears the HFPA voters have active Netflix subscriptions, too.
The votes are in, and HBO's scathing political satire still hasn't landed a Globe nod for best comedy series in its two seasons, despite massive acclaim. (Maybe the Globe voters don't like curse words?) Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus did score a nod for lead actress, but her co-star Tony Hale, who took home the Emmy back in September, got stiffed here as well.
SURPRISE: Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight, "Ray Donovan"
Schreiber’s nod for best actor is well deserved, but Voight’s surprise nod as best supporting actor for playing the twerk-loving, former convict papa of Schreiber’s titular character on Showtime's new drama is simply delightful. Voight’s Mickey is brutal and flippant, but his love for the ladies never fails to bring much-needed doses of levity to the heavy storylines at just the right times. The best evidence: the scene where a newly-freed Mickey heads to the public library and gets interactive with a twerking video.
SNUB: Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"
We never thought we'd see the day when an awards show would fail to recognize the mistress of quips herself, "Downton's" Dowager Countess. But it happened: The Globes didn't include Smith in a bizarre supporting actress roster (Janet McTeer? Jacqueline Bisset?), even though they gave her the trophy last year. We kind of wish we could see the look on Smith's face when she heard she lost out to Hayden Panettiere.
SURPRISE: Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black"
It felt like a huge snub that Maslany didn’t get Emmy love earlier this year for her role as con woman Sarah Manning — and Manning’s many, many clones — on “Orphan Black,” and when she was MIA again this week from the SAG Award nominations, it seemed her performance might continue to go unacknowledged by the Hollywood awards machine. But no fear: The HFPA continues its habit of being ahead of the curve with TV picks, which just might mean more eyeballs for “Orphan Black” when its second season premieres on BBC America on April 19.
SNUB: Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad"
The Globes showed "Breaking Bad" lots of love for its final season, with nods for drama series and stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. But Gunn, who finally broke through this year with a well-deserved Emmy win for her work as complicit wife Skyler White, didn't get recognized in the supporting actress category. But hey, at least with Dame Maggie Smith also getting snubbed, she's in good company.
SURPRISE: "Dancing on the Edge"
Never heard of this miniseries, which aired on the Starz network? Then thank the HFPA for this best miniseries or TV movie nomination, which should bring the fantastic story to the attentions of viewers who would otherwise have missed it. The story focuses on Louis Lester ("12 Years a Slave's" Chiwetel Ejiofor, who received a best actor nod as well) and his jazz band, which becomes the toast of London society in the 1930s, despite racial prejudices, until they’re dragged into a brutal act of violence. Ejiofor is at his leading-man best, and a supporting cast that includes the always fantastic John Goodman and Jacqueline Bisset again make the miniseries a must-see. Unfortunately, Starz doesn’t currently have “Dancing” on its schedule, but we’re guessing that will change very soon.
Winners will be announced at the 71st Annual Golden Globes Awards hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and broadcast live on NBC on Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.