- Associated Press - Sunday, January 15, 2012

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. (AP) - The names were familiar: Kelsey Grammer, Matt LeBlanc, Claire Danes, Laura Dern and Jessica Lange. The television work for which they were honored by the Golden Globes Sunday night wasn’t.

They are actors largely known for their work in film or in shows on commercial broadcast networks. Each took Golden Globe trophies for roles on new cable television series that won critical acclaim and commercial success in the past year, sometimes both.

Danes won her third Globe for portraying CIA agent Carrie Mathison on Showtime’s new “Homeland.” The series that explored terrorism and an Iraq war veteran also won a Golden Globe for best television drama.

Danes, who won her first Globe at age 15 for “My So-Called Life,” remembered being so flustered then that she forgot to thank her parents.

“I am so lucky to have another opportunity to let them know how lucky I am to have their love and encouragement,” she said.

Grammer’s signature television role was the pompous psychiatrist Frasier Crane for many years on “Cheers” and “Frasier,” but he won for best actor in a TV drama Sunday for playing a powerful Chicago mayor on Starz’s “Boss.”

LeBlanc, one of NBC’s famed “Friends,” didn’t need to stretch too far in his new role. He played Matt LeBlanc in the Showtime series “Episodes,” winning him honors for acting in a comedy. He thanked the show’s writers.

“They wrote a Matt LeBlanc who, let’s be honest, was a lot more interesting and fun than the real thing,” he said. “I wish I was him.”

Lange, after receiving four Golden Globes for movies that included “A Streetcar Named Desire,” won best supporting actress in a TV series for her role in FX’s new “American Horror Story.”

“I find it … rarer ever year to find a piece of work that is beautifully written and gives you something to do,” she said. “It certainly was this.”

Dern was named best actress in a TV comedy for her role in HBO’s “Enlightened,” playing environmental activist Amy Jellicoe. Dern’s mother, actress Diane Ladd who plays her mother in the series, looked on proudly from the audience.

ABC’s “Modern Family” carried the flag for commercial broadcast networks, following up its Emmy for best television comedy by winning the Golden Globe. Creator Steve Levitan and actress Sofia Vergara accepted the award with a comic riff in which she spoke in Spanish and Levitan “translated.”

“Mildred Pierce” didn’t win best TV miniseries or movie, but Winslet won for her acting. She played a strong-willed divorcee in Depression-era California in this remake of the Joan Crawford classic.

“I want to thank HBO for being absent when we needed it to be absent and being present when we needed a little more shooting time,” Winslet.

PBS’ “Downton Abbey” won best for best TV miniseries or movie, beating out three nominees from HBO.

“How fabulous this is,” said producer Julian Fellowes. “The whole `Downton Abbey’ adventure has been an extraordinary one, like spotting a promising child and waking up to find they won the Olympics.”

Idris Elba, who plays the detective John Luther in BBC America’s “Luther,” won the Globe for best actor in a TV movie or miniseries. He looked at the camera and saluted his daughter, who he said was hosting a Golden Globe party.

Peter Dinklage, one of the few American actors in the mostly British “Game of Thrones” on HBO, won the award for best TV supporting actor. In his speech, he admitted to being “a little nervous” because he and his wife hired a baby sitter for the first time for their daughter.

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