BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) - HBO’s mini-series about the second U.S. president, “John Adams,” swept the Golden Globe television awards on Sunday, picking up four honors on a night that rewarded serious and political shows over lighter fare.
Only “30 Rock” — the NBC comedy starring, written by and produced by Tina Fey — broke the mold. It won three Golden Globes — best TV comedy and best comedy actress and actor for Fey and co-star Alec Baldwin.
The Golden Globe awards followed a stellar year for Fey in which she won TV’s highest honor — an Emmy — for “30 Rock” and found a nationwide audience with her satirical impressions of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
“I really know how very lucky I am to have had the year I had last year. If you start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet and you can find a lot of people who don’t like you,” Fey joked.
The awards for “30 Rock” were the only wins for U.S. broadcast networks on Sunday as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association showered its praise on cable TV dramas with relatively small audiences.
While they are closely followed for their film honors during Oscar season, the Golden Globes also have a tradition of shining a spotlight on new, lesser-known TV series and actors.
“Mad Men” the much admired AMC drama series set in the advertising industry in the early 1960s, won its second Golden in two years for best drama series. The show also won the Emmy for best drama in September.
But most of the acting prizes went to the cast of “John Adams” — a seven-part costume drama based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by David McCullough that won the Golden Globe for best mini-series .
Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney won Globes for their roles as John and Abigail Adams, while Briton Tom Wilkinson won the best supporting actor award for playing Benjamin Franklin.
Linney said the awards were particularly welcome because of the challenge of mounting such an epic project.
“It was a six-month shoot, there were horses and wigs and prosthetics and also a responsibility to hopefully provide an opportunity for people to learn something about America,” Linney told reporters backstage.
HBO shows also picked the awards for best actor and actress in a drama with Gabriel Byrne winning for his starring role as a psychologist in need of advice himself in the freshman therapy series “In Treatment.”
Anna Paquin, who won an Oscar in 1994 as a child star for “The Piano,” won best actress in a drama for playing a telepathic waitress who falls in love with a vampire in the new HBO series “True Blood.”
“It wasn’t the most obvious casting choice but I really wanted it,” Paquin, 26, told reporters afterward. Asked about her Oscar win, she replied, “I don’t remember that (night). It was very blurry and crazy. At least this time I am old enough to stay up and drink a bit.”
Laura Dern picked up the best supporting actress award for portraying former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in HBO’s “Recount,” which recreated the disputed, wafer-thin victory by George W. Bush in the 2000 U.S. presidential elections.
Editing by Bill Trott