Cable is fast becoming the belle of the awards balls, scooping up nearly all the television awards at the recent Golden Globe Awards.
Cable's take at the Jan. 19 awards show included a Best Actor in a Drama nod for The Shield's Michael Chiklis and Best Actress in a Drama for The Sopranos
' Edie Falco. The one elusive reward was Best Actress in a Comedy, which went to Jennifer Aniston for NBC's Friends.
The recognition comes on the heels of the Prime Time Emmy Awards, when cable also claimed multiple awards (including Best Actor for Chiklis again). With more cable networks venturing into original scripted projects, the hit parade may only stand to increase.
"Cable's tide is rising, and it's indicative of how cable has begun to take over the mantle of creativity of broadcasting," said Lifetime's head of research and television historian Tim Brooks.
Increasingly, cable is shedding its reputation as a second-class creative option.
Academy Award winner Diane Keaton, who plays an addict single mom in an upcoming Lifetime movie Breaking Through, said cable offers more creative expanses. "Who's going to believe I'm a drug addict?" Keaton said at the recent Television Critics Association tour in Los Angeles. "No one else was interested in me doing a program like that."
HBO, often lauded for the creative freedom it gives its producers, writers and actors, garnered the most recognition for cable, with seven awards, including Best Comedy for Curb Your Enthusiasm. And basic-cable networks FX and USA, which had each ponied up more than $1 million per episode to create broadcast-quality shows, were rewarded as well: FX's The Shield
was honored as Best Drama, and USA's Monk
earned Best Actor in a Comedy for star Tony Shalhoub.