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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Quirky TV musical "Glee" struck a chord at the Golden Globe awards on Tuesday in its first season with a leading four nominations in a television field packed with fresh shows and new stars.
The Fox network show about high-school misfits in a struggling choir picked up nominations for best comedy or musical, best actor and actress for stars Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele, and a best supporting actress for the scheming cheerleader coach played by Jane Lynch.
Morrison put the success of "Glee" down to its joyful spirit. "I think people need optimism. It is an uplifting show. It is something new, and fresh and I think the music is infectious," he told Reuters.
"Glee", one of the best reviewed new shows of the 2009-10 TV season with a regular audience of 8.7 million viewers, also helped Fox clinch a share of second place in the nomination count to cable network HBO, which again dominated the field with 17 nominations.
Fox had six nods overall, as did cable network Showtime. Ratings-challenged NBC followed with five -- for comedies "The Office" and "30 Rock" -- CBS had four and ABC had three.
HBO's vampire show "True Blood" and the network's controversial polygamy drama "Big Love" will square off for the top honor -- best TV drama -- against double Emmy-winner "Mad Men" (AMC), Showtime's serial killer series "Dexter" and the Fox medical series "House".
Joining "Glee" among best comedy contenders were old favorites "3O Rock", "The Office" and "Entourage".
The Golden Globes are awarded annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and while they are closely-watched for their film honors during Oscar season, they are often the first to shine a spotlight on new TV shows and emerging stars.
This year they shone that light on two new ABC comedies, "Cougar Town" with former "Friends" star Courteney Cox, who earned a best actress nomination as a 40-something divorced woman, and "Modern Family", which got a best comedy nod.
HBO show "Hung", which aired in its first season and tells of a down-on-his-luck man who decides to market himself as a gigolo, brought nominations for its previously little-known stars Thomas Jane and Jane Adams.
Along with all the fresh faces, several well-known actors turned up in new shows, and Golden Globes voters took note.
Former "ER" star Julianna Margulies was nominated for best actress in a TV drama in "The Good Wife" (CBS), playing the spouse of a disgraced public official. Edie Falco, who won multiple awards for her role in "The Sopranos," was nominated for best actress in a TV comedy or musical playing hard-bitten "Nurse Jackie" on Showtime.
Lifetime, a TV channel aimed at women, picked up three nominations for its biopic "Georgia O'Keeffe", including acting nods for its stars Joan Allen and British actor Jeremy Irons.
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte