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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Golden Globe organizers shook up the television industry on Thursday, snubbing old favorites and nominating a slew of new shows and stars for its highest honors.
Seven of the 10 best TV drama and comedy series nominations went to newcomers, including Showtime psychological thriller "Homeland", HBO fantasy "Game of Thrones", the Fox comedy "New Girl" and FX's "American Horror Story."
But the onslaught of new nominees meant that perennial favorites, like "The Office" and "Dexter" and their stars, were shut out of the Golden Globes in favor of fresh faces like Mireille Enos ("The Killing") and Laura Dern ("Enlightened").
"A lot of newbies swept in and took some of the positions that we thought would be filled with previous nominees," said Matt Whitfield, entertainment editor at Yahoo! TV.
Major broadcast networks were the biggest losers of the shake-up on a day that saw cable TV's HBO again assert its awards show dominance with a leading 18 nominations, including four for 1930s miniseries drama "Mildred Pierce" starring Kate Winslet.
Showtime was next with eight nods. ABC managed just four -- mostly for comedy "Modern Family" -- while Fox and NBC garnered three apiece. CBS, the most-watched U.S. network, got just two Golden Globe nominations, for best drama actress Julianna Margulies in lawyer series "The Good Wife" and best comedy actor contender Johnny Galecki in "The Big Bang Theory."
With AMC critical darling "Mad Men" off the air in 2011 because of a contract dispute, the drama categories were thrown wide open.
Haunted house thriller "American Horror Story," Kelsey Grammer's new political corruption series "Boss" and last year's Golden Globe winner "Boardwalk Empire" will compete against "Homeland" and "Game of Thrones" for the top prize
Grammer, the former "Frasier" star in a new guise as a ruthless mayor in the Starz series, also got a best actor nod. "It is rewarding, not only to receive personal recognition... but to see that those who worked so hard and tirelessly to make 'Boss' a reality were also recognized," Grammer said in a statement.
The Golden Globes will be awarded at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills on Jan 15.
Emmy-winning mockumentary "Modern Family" will defend its Golden Globe comedy series trophy against musical show "Glee", HBO's new series "Enlightened", Hollywood satire "Episodes" and "New Girl", whose ditzy star Zooey Deschanel also got a best comedy actress mention.
"What the Golden Globes do very well is to salute new emerging TV talent. The prominence of 'New Girl' is typical of the Globes championing something sexy, hip and new even though it is not critically acclaimed," said awards watcher Tom O'Neil of websites Goldderby and TheEnvelope.
Bryan Cranston was nominated for his role as a teacher turned drug dealer in "Breaking Bad" but the AMC series again failed to make the cut with members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hands out the Golden Globes.
"To have this show, that possibly delivered its best season ever, missing from the mix is truly baffling," said Whitfield.
Recent Emmy winners Melissa McCarthy ("Mike & Molly"), "Modern Family" stars Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, and "Big Bang Theory"s Jim Parsons were also left out, as was Steve Carell in his farewell season at "The Office."
But "Homeland" -- a tense, post 9/11 terrorist drama -- brought nods for its two stars, Claire Danes and Briton Damian Lewis, along with landing in the category for TV drama.
"I think the subject matter is something that is certainly on peoples' minds everywhere and it is just a good story with good characters," said co-creator Howard Gordon.
Mike White, the creator and director of "Enlightened," said the comedy series and best actress nods for Laura Dern would give his show "a whole new lease on life."
British television, always popular at the Golden Globes, had a particularly good showing on Thursday, with nominations for 11 actors and actresses. Upstair-downstairs period drama "Downton Abbey" earned four nominations, and BBC America co-production "The Hour" had three.
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte