Since they come a few months after the Emmys, the Golden Globes get first dibs on honoring this summer and fall's new TV shows before the Emmys get a chance. Which freshman series will make their award-show debut at this year's Globes? Here are a few possibilities that have started strong out of the gate.
Of all the newly eligible shows, Aaron Sorkin's peek behind the scenes of a nightly cable TV news show has the best shot at collecting a few Globe nods. Jeff Daniels is a definite contender for Best Actor in a Drama for his gripping work as disillusioned anchor Will MacAvoy; his instant-classic monologue about the decline of America in the pilot is enough to cinch a nod on its own. Sam Waterston could get a Best Supporting Actor nod as Will's patrician boss Charlie Skinner, and "The Newsroom" has an outside chance of sneaking into a crowded Best Drama race as well.
The cast and crew of ABC's country-music soap should be saying "Yee-haw!" after the Globe nominations are announced. Connie Britton is a solid candidate for Best Actress in a Drama for her role as aging Nashville hit-maker Rayna James, and her onscreen rival, Hayden Panettiere, might join her in the category for playing sex-kitten country star Juliette Barnes. (Not that it matters; Claire Danes is going to win anyway.)
"American Horror Story: Asylum"
Okay, technically this isn't a new show, but by changing its concept and characters every season, FX's frightfest is considered a TV miniseries, and its new cast should be in line for a few Globe nods. Jessica Lange is a lock as the asylum's severe head nun Sister Jude, and the series could take home the Globe for Best TV Movie/Miniseries, now that "Downton Abbey's" out of the category. James Cromwell deserves a nod for scaring the bejeezus out us as Briarcliff's mad scientist Dr. Arden, and we're pulling for Lily Rabe to get recognized for her jaw-dropping work as devil-possessed nun Sister Mary Eunice.
"The New Normal"
As politically incorrect great-grandma Jane, Ellen Barkin gets all the best lines on NBC's new fall comedy, and should hear her name called when the Globe nominations are announced. The rest of the show is admittedly a mixed bag, although we're definitely fond of Andrew Rannells, who plays Bryan, the more flamboyant (and fun) half of the gay couple adopting a baby.
"The Mindy Project"
Our favorite new comedy of the fall is still finding its creative footing, so we're not predicting any Best Comedy love just yet. But star Mindy Kaling is already a fully-formed comic creation as boy-crazy doctor Mindy Lahiri, and residual love for her "Office" character could result in a Best Actress in a Comedy nomination. Which we would love, because it would give a boost to a struggling show that sorely needs it. As for the rest of the cast, Chris Messina is fantastic as Mindy's macho coworker Danny Castellano, but we're not expecting him to break into an already overstuffed Supporting Actor race.
The Globes love seeing big TV stars come back to the small screen, so they'll most likely be adding "Friends" alum Matthew Perry to the Best Actor in a Comedy shortlist. Perry's work as grieving sportscaster Ryan King, who's forced into a touchy-feely support group against his will, has been surprisingly affecting. We don't see any of the other members of Ryan's support group grabbing a nomination this year, but it wouldn't shock us to see "Go On" in the Best Comedy mix. After all, the Globes are good for one out-of-the-blue nomination every year.
The clues are pointing to some possible Golden Globe recognition for CBS's brainy new procedural, starring Jonny Lee Miller as a tattooed, drug-addicted Sherlock Holmes. Miller has a chance at a Best Actor in a Drama nod, and Lucy Liu could very well sneak into the Supporting Actress mix as Sherlock's sidekick Watson. We're still pulling for the BBC's superior "Sherlock" to trump it, though.
Weak ratings sent ABC's ambitious military drama to a watery grave, but we're still holding out hope that a few members of the U.S.S. Colorado crew could land a Golden Globe nomination -- especially star Andre Braugher, whose performance as the ship's loose-cannon captain Marcus Chaplin deserved better than a one-season-and-done sendoff. All other nominations are about as likely as Chaplin getting back to the mainland without any punishment from the U.S. goverment; in other words, slim to none.