Los Angeles - The Golden Globes crowned a new galaxy of television stars on Sunday, honouring a slew of shows in their first season and leaving old favourites out in the cold.
Psychological thriller Homeland, which premiered on cable channel Showtime in October, won best TV drama series and best actress for Claire Danes in her role as a suspicious bi-polar CIA agent tracking a possible home-grown terrorist.
"It feels completely unreal. The shows were so amazing this year and (given) the work done in TV these days, to have won the award is just beyond belief," Howard Gordon, co-producer of the tense post September 11 drama, told reporters backstage.
Only Modern Family retained its Golden Globe trophy from last year. The ABC mockumentary beat off challenges from Fox's New Girl and previous favourite Glee to win best TV comedy series for a second consecutive year.
But the absence of AMC critical darling Mad Men, off the air in 2011 and ineligible because of a contract dispute, threw the drama categories wide open.
GALLERY: 2012 Golden Globe Awards
Former Frasier actor Kelsey Grammer, in a new guise as ruthless mayor in the dark Starz drama Boss, took home the best drama actor trophy, and Jessica Lange was honoured for her supporting role as a disturbed neighbour in the FX haunted house saga American Horror Story.
"It's really, really flattering. We have taken note of the fact we got a lot of attention right out of the gate," Grammer told reporters afterward.
Peter Dinklage, who plays a scheming dwarf in HBO's freshman fantasy series Game of Thrones, won best supporting actor, while Idris Elba was a new face on the winner's podium for BBC America detective mini-series Luther.
But the Golden Globes also shone the light on new comedies.
Matt LeBlanc won the Golden Globe he never took home for his long-running role as the philandering Joey on Friends. LeBlanc was honoured for playing a version of Joey in the TV industry satire Episodes.
"They wrote a Matt LeBlanc who, to be honest, is way more interesting than the real thing. I wish I were him," said LeBlanc, whose competition included 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin.
Laura Dern was a surprise best comedy actress winner for HBO's little-watched Enlightened, while Britain's Downton Abbey and its tale of an aristocratic family and their servants in the 1930s was a popular winner of best TV mini-series.
The Golden Globes were bad news for network television. Modern Family was the only show from one of the four main free to view US networks, with cable shows and actors picking up every other honour.
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