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You may hate awards shows, but the participation of Ricky Gervais as host could make for a funny and unpredictable Golden Globes this Sunday.


Gervais is a brilliant, risk-taking comedian. Just how feisty will he be at the Globes? That could be the night’s biggest mystery. The awards start at 8 p.m. EST Sunday.


The celebrities like to party at the Globes, and these awards bring together television and movies. On the TV side, the races have clear front-runners.


Drama series: It’s a race between “Mad Men” and “Dexter.” Showtime’s serial killer probably has the edge. The other nominees are Fox’s “House” and two from HBO, “Big Love” and “True Blood.”


Comedy series: Globe voters love newcomers, and Fox’s “Glee” is the charming freshman that should take the prize. The other nominees are NBC’s “30 Rock” and “The Office,” ABC’s “Modern Family” and HBO’s “Entourage.”


Dramatic actor: Michael C. Hall should triumph in what will be a big night for “Dexter.” His victory could be a dramatic moment. Earlier this week, Hall revealed that he has been battling cancer. The other nominees are Jon Hamm of “Mad Men,” Hugh Laurie of “House,” Simon Baker of “The Mentalist” and Bill Paxton of “Big Love.”


Dramatic actress: Julianna Margulies is the main reason “The Good Wife” has become a hit for CBS. Look for her at the podium. The other nominees are Glenn Close of “Damages,” Anna Paquin of “True Blood,” January Jones of “Mad Men” and Kyra Sedgwick of “The Closer.”


Comedy actor: Matthew Morrison is crucial to the appeal of “Glee,” and he sings beautifully, too. He would be my pick, and I think the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will pick him, too. The other nominees are Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock,” Steve Carell of “The Office,” David Duchovny of “Californication” and Thomas Jane of “Hung.”


Comedy actress: Edie Falco of “Nurse Jackie” probably earned the best reviews of any actor last year on television. She seems the likely victor, but she faces strong competition from Toni Collette of “United States of Tara.” The other nominees are Tina Fey of “30 Rock,” Lea Michele of “Glee” and Courteney Cox of “Cougar Town.”


The supporting categories lump comedy, drama and movie performances together. The supporting actor winner seems a no-brainer: John Lithgow for “Dexter.” His fellow nominees are Jeremy Piven of “Entourage,” Neil Patrick Harris of “How I Met Your Mother,” William Hurt of “Damages” and Michael Emerson of “Lost.”


Jane Lynch is the knockout performer on “Glee,” and she should win supporting actress. Her fellow nominees are Jane Adams of “Hung,” Rose Byrne of “Damages,” Janet McTeer of “Into the Storm” and Chloe Sevigny of “Big Love.”


The nominees for best TV movie or miniseries are Lifetime’s “Georgia O’Keeffe,” PBS’ “Little Dorrit” and three from HBO, “Taking Chance,” “Grey Gardens” and “Into the Storm.” Look for the Globes to honor “Grey Gardens,” although “Little Dorrit” is most deserving.


The nominees for TV movie actress are Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange for “Grey Gardens,” Joan Allen for “Georgia O’Keeffe,” Anna Paquin for “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler” and Sigourney Weaver for “Prayers for Bobby.” Lange won the Emmy for her role, and look for her to repeat.


The nominees for TV movie actor are Kevin Bacon for “Taking Chance,” Kenneth Branagh for “Wallander: One Step Behind,” Chiwetel Ejiofor for “Endgame,” Jeremy Irons for “Georgia O’Keeffe” and Brendan Gleeson for “Into the Storm.” Gleeson won the Emmy for his towering performance as Winston Churchill; he will repeat at the Globes.


Here are this movie fan’s picks on the film side: “Avatar,” Jeff Bridges and Carey Mulligan in dramatic categories; “(500) Days of Summer,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Meryl Streep (for “Julie & Julia”) in comedy categories; Mo’Nique and Christoph Waltz in supporting categories; James Cameron for director.

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