LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - They may be a group of high school misfits but the cast and creators of TV musical "Glee" are beginning to look like Hollywood award veterans, picking up a leading five Golden Globe nominations on Tuesday.
The Fox show, whose subversive humor and infectious songs in its second season has taken pop culture by storm, roared back to defend its 2010 Golden Globe best comedy award in a list that ignored most of the season's new TV shows.
"Glee" also picked up acting nods for stars Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele, and supporting actors Chris Colfer (Kurt) and Jane Lynch, who won an Emmy in August for her role as the show's devious cheerleading coach.
"Glee" will compete for best TV comedy at the January16 Golden Globe awards with ABC's Emmy-winning comedy "Modern Family", popular favorites "The Big Bang Theory" and "30 Rock", and returning "Nurse Jackie" starring Edie Falco.
The "Glee" actors, perhaps in tune with their young audience, took to Twitter to show their appreciation.
"Oh my g-d!!!! So excited, happy, thrilled, and thankful this morning:) What amazing news!! So happy for our show, Jane, matt & chris too!!!!," Michele tweeted.
Colfer chimed in with, "OMGG! I can't believe it! Am I awake? OUCH! Yes, I'm awake! I'm going to obnoxiously tackle everyone I see today!"
Critical darling "Mad Men," on the AMC network, will bid for its fourth consecutive Golden Globe trophy for best TV drama, boosted by nominations on Tuesday for its stars Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss in acting categories.
"Mad Men" will compete against two veterans, "The Good Wife" and "Dexter," as well as gangster show "Boardwalk Empire" and post-apocalypse zombie show, "The Walking Dead," which were among the few new shows making headlines at the Golden Globes.
Along with "Mad Men" and zombie drama "Walking Dead," upstart cable network AMC snagged mentions for three-time Emmy-award winning actor Bryan Cranston in "Breaking Bad".
But it was cable TV giant HBO that took the top spot among U.S. networks with 12 nominations, overall, thanks to the lavish "Boardwalk Empire", World War Two miniseries "The Pacific" and made-for-TV movies including "You Don't Know Jack" and "Temple Grandin".
Showtime clinched second place in the network count with eight nods, including cancer comedy "The Big C" and stalwarts "Dexter" and "United States of Tara".
"I'm absolutely thrilled for our show, 'The Big C'," said actress Laura Linney, who was among the few actresses getting nods for new roles or shows on TV.
Fox and CBS followed with six nominations apiece, including best drama nods for lawyer series "The Good Wife" and its 2010 Golden Globe winner Julianna Margulies.
The Golden Globes, awarded annually in TV and film by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, often shine a light on new shows or stars. But on Tuesday, they bypassed many of the dozens of new TV shows on offer to U.S. viewers.
Among the exceptions were actor Idris Elba of BBC America crime series "Luther", Scott Caan in the revamped CBS hit show "Hawaii Five-O", and the new Starz medieval series "Pillars of the Earth", based on the best-selling book by Ken Follett, which earned nominations for best mini-series and for its actors Hayley Atwell and Ian McShane.
Piper Perabo was nominated for her lead role in freshman secret service drama "Covert Affairs", and Katey Sagal for her under the radar role in long-running motorcycle drama series "Sons of Anarchy".
HBO is owned by Time Warner Inc, CBS and Showtime are units of CBS Corp, AMC is owned by Cable Vision Systems Corp, ABC is part of the Walt Disney Co, NBC is a unit of General Electric Co, Fox is a unit of News Corp.
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte