Golden Globes Take A 'Desperate' Turn

Backstage at a night to remember
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Marc Cherry, who until recently was an unemployed, desperate writer, is desperately trying to make his way from the Beverly Hilton ballroom to one of the swank, on-site afterparties at the 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 17. Caught in an entourage of elegantly dressed actors and significant others, the ultra-glamorous Desperate Housewives gang gets no special treatment, moving slowly through the throngs of partygoers in the Hilton's hallways.

“Who's got my Golden Globe?” calls Cherry, still in shock from his show's big win as Best Comedy Series. “I do!” answers a disembodied voice ahead. “Hold on to that thing!” calls Cherry. He looks confused and very happy. “Isn't this nuts? Who would've thought?”

So nuts, in fact, that ABC's monster hit series, airing opposite the Hollywood glam fest, siphoned off a huge chunk of the Golden Globes audience: 24 million fans flocked to an all-new episode of Desperate Housewives while NBC's Golden Globes crowd was 16.8 million, down from 26.8 million in 2004. Cherry had feared that fans would skip the episode. “They don't listen to me about scheduling at all,” he says.

But he needn't have worried. Not only did Desperate Housewives win its time slot, the ladies (and gentleman creator) of Wisteria Lane walked off with some of the Globes' most prestigious honors. A second Desperate statuette went to Best Comedy Actress Teri Hatcher. She floats into the pressroom, radiant, bubbly and astonished by the excitement surrounding her as one the evening's five “it” girls. “I couldn't have been a bigger has-been,” says Hatcher. Backstage, she has time to and reflect. “I think what's great about being older and having what feels like many jump-starts of a career over 20 years is that, when it kind of starts to go your way a little more, you understand the fragility of it. And you appreciate every single second. You just get it.”

A zoo backstage

Backstage, an endless stream of winners is shepherded through as many as eight press rooms after snagging their trophies. The first is a large meeting room jammed with flash photographers, then a bigger room packed with print and television reporters, and finally, through the private interview rooms where Entertainment Tonight and its high-profile competitors do one-on-ones.

The logistics of keeping it all moving are tricky, “We're always looking for the surprises, the snags,” says one NBC spokesman. Like? “Like 'I need a Golden Globe statue in my area as a prop.' Well, we've got them, but I think they're going to be needed on stage.”

HBO hot, but not overwhelming

HBO, for once, is not trouncing everyone in sight. Though the pay-cable service walked away with the most statues (four) for Best TV Movie (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers), Best Actor in a TV Movie (Geoffrey Rush in Peter Sellers), Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie (Angelica Huston in Iron Jawed Angels) and Best Drama Actor (Ian McShane in Deadwood), there is enough hardware to go around. NBC's Mariska Hargitay snagged Best Drama Actress for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Critic's darling Jason Bateman won for Best Comedy Actor in Fox's Arrested Development. Showtime got to show off Glenn Close as Best Actress in a TV movie for The Lion in Winter. And ABC's William Shatner, refusing to think of his role as Denny Crane in Boston Legal as a comeback (“I don't feel I've ever left,” he says), snagged Best Supporting Actor.

The surprise of the night had to be FX's Nip/Tuck as Best Drama. Despite all the Botox in the room, you could clearly see the audience's shock. It beat HBO's The Sopranos and Deadwood and ABC's other water-cooler hit, Lost. Nip/Tuck creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy wasn't fazed “With our show and The Shield and Rescue Me, that [FX] team is pretty fearless. It's now the place to go for vanguard programming.”

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