December 11, 2008 / 9:23 PM / 10 years ago

HBO leads TV networks' Golden Globes contest

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Premium cable channel HBO seized the most recognition of any network in the Golden Globes’ television race on Thursday with 22 nominations in all, led by five nods for the new psychiatric drama series “In Treatment.”

Among film studios, Warner Bros came out on top with 11 nominations for movies including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” which landed in the best film drama category.

The spotlight gained from awards and nominations often lure more audiences to TV and movie theater box offices, as well as provide acclaim that can boost sales of products such as DVDs, so the networks and studios compete heavily to win prizes.

More than half of HBO’s haul came from a trio of fact-based entries in the long-form production categories — “John Adams,” the seven-part story of the second U.S. president; political drama “Recount”; and “Bernard and Doris,” the tale of tobacco heiress Doris Duke and her gay butler.

All three were nominated as best mini-series or TV movie while amassing multiple acting bids for their big-name stars, including Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney for “John Adams,” Kevin Spacey and Laura Dern for “Recount” and Ralph Fiennes and Susan Sarandon in “Bernard and Doris.”

“John Adams” emerged the big victor at the higher-profile Primetime Emmy Awards in September with 13 trophies, the most ever won by a mini-series, including laurels for Giamatti and Linney as John and Abigail Adams.

But after being shut out of the prestigious Emmy race for best drama series, HBO reasserted itself by claiming two of the five nominations in the Golden Globes contest on Thursday — for “In Treatment” and the new vampire drama “True Blood.”

“In Treatment” was the most nominated TV program of all with five nods, including a best actor bid for Irish star Gabriel Byrne for playing a brooding psychotherapist as troubled as many of his patients.

HBO’s “Entourage,” an edgy insider look at Hollywood’s culture of celebrity, gained three nominations, including one for best comedy series.

HBO, owned by Time Warner Inc, originated as a movie channel but has grown into a powerhouse of original programing in recent years with hits like “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.” As such it has become a perennial favorite for TV awards long dominated by the broadcast networks.

Rival pay-cable channel Showtime, a unit of CBS Corp, was the No. 2 network in this year’s Golden Globe race with eight nominations in all. Showtime picked up two each from “Dexter,” the tale of a serial-killing sleuth, and “Californication,” about an oversexed Hollywood writer.

The Big Four broadcast networks — CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox — accounted for 15 nominations combined, led by Walt Disney Co-owned ABC with five.

Basic cable network AMC, a unit of Cablevision Systems Corp, tied ABC with five nominations, including three bids for the advertising-themed 1960s period piece “Mad Men,” which won the last Golden Globe and Emmy awards for best drama.

In the film arena Warner Bros, a division of Time Warner Inc, was followed by Universal Pictures, a unit of the NBC Universal media division of General Electric Co, which had nine nominations from movies that included “Frost/Nixon.”

Privately held The Weinstein Co had eight nominations to follow Universal, and tied for No. 4 with seven nominations apiece were News Corp movie unit Fox Searchlight and Walt Disney’s Miramax Films.

Editing by Bob Tourtellotte, Richard Chang

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