BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Reuters) - Two fresh new series, Showtime’s “The Affair” and Amazon’s “Transparent,” were catapulted into the spotlight on Sunday at Hollywood’s Golden Globe awards, taking home the night’s honors for best television drama and comedy.
Amazon.com Inc’s win for “Transparent” marked the first time an online streaming service took home a Golden Globe for best series. The show, about a transgender woman who comes out to her three adult children, won for best comedy series.
Its star, Jeffrey Tambor, also took home a statue for best actor in a comedy series, giving Amazon wins in both of the categories for which it was nominated.
“Transparent” received wide critical acclaim for its handling of groundbreaking subject matter and has been a breakthrough series for Amazon, whose original programing had struggled to find an audience early on. Few consumers knew the largest U.S. online retailer was in the TV business.
“It was a huge risk,” Jill Soloway, the creator of “Transparent” and the daughter of a transgender parent herself, told reporters backstage. “The way Amazon is distributing it is transformative and the show is transformative.”
“Transparent” bested HBO’s “Girls” and “Silicon Valley”, The CW’s “Jane the Virgin” and Netflix Inc’s “Orange is the New Black” to win the top comedy series award.
The winner for best drama series, “The Affair” tells the story of an affair between two married people told from the different perspectives of the man and the woman.
It beat out four longer-running and well-loved series - “Downton Abbey”, “Game of Thrones”, “The Good Wife” and “House of Cards”.
“It does feel like a real whirlwind and it does feel like we just got on the air,” the show’s co-creator, Sarah Treem, said backstage at the awards show.
Ruth Wilson, one of the stars of “The Affair”, picked up the award for best actress in a drama series.
Netflix, which is better known than Amazon for its original online programing, went into the night with seven nominations but picked up just one award - best actor in a drama series for actor Kevin Spacey, who plays a conniving Washington politician in “House of Cards.”
“This is just the beginning of my revenge,” Spacey said onstage while accepting his award.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hands out the Golden Globes, also honored new series “Jane the Virgin” and “Fargo.”
Gina Rodriguez won the best supporting actress in a comedy award for her role as a young Latina woman who is artificially inseminated by mistake in “Jane the Virgin.”
“This award is so much more than myself. It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes,” Rodriguez said onstage.
In the mini-series category, FX’s “Fargo” picked up two awards - best mini-series and best actor in a mini-series for Billy Bob Thornton. The series is a dark comedy crime series inspired by the 1996 Coen brothers film of the same name.
Additional reporting by Mary Milliken and Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Paul Tait