Other film winners included Woody Allen's romantic comedy "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," which won for comedy or musical. Allen wasn't present to accept, but his sister, the movie's producer, Letty Aronson, accepted. The Globe for actress in a musical or comedy went to England's Sally Hawkins for her role as an eternally optimistic young woman in Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky."
Foreign language film went to the Israeli-animated documentary, "Waltz with Bashir," "Wall-E" won for animated film, and veteran rocker Bruce Springsteen earned song honors for his title tune from "The Wrestler."
On the TV side, the night seemed to belong to HBO and especially its miniseries "John Adams," about the nation's second president.
That miniseries won for miniseries or motion picture made for television, actor for Paul Giamatti, actress for Laura Linney and supporting actor for Tom Wilkinson.
The award for actor in a TV series, drama, went to Gabriel Byrne for his role as a troubled shrink in HBO's "In Treatment," though he was a no-show. Actress in this category went to Anna Paquin for the pay channel's blood-sucking vampire romance, "True Blood." "Oh, my God! Thank you. ... This is awesome," said Paquin.
And supporting actress in a series, miniseries or motion picture made for television went to Laura Dern for her role as Katherine Harris Florida's controversial secretary of state at the center of the 2000 Bush-Gore hanging-chad controversy in HBO's "Recount."
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That HBO spell was broken and the awards show got a jolt of life when Tracy Morgan accepted the comedy series award for NBC's "30 Rock."
The star of the sitcom took center stage, claiming that he'd had a bet with fellow co-star and the show's creator, Tina Fey, that if Barack Obama won the presidential election Morgan would become the official "30 Rock" spokesman at award shows.
"I'm the face of post-racial America," he proclaimed in an oft-rambling speech, adding: "Deal with it, Cate Blanchett!"
The NBC sitcom also won actress for Fey and actor for Alec Baldwin, who accepted by saying: "Thank you, Tina, thank you, Tina, thank you, Tina."
The Golden Globe for TV series drama went to AMC's "Mad Men," which also earned the honor last year.
Though the Golden Globes are considered a bellwether for the Academy Awards, there has been discrepancy between the HFPA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Last year, for example, the Golden Globes gave "Atonement" best dramatic picture honors, while the Oscars awarded "No Country For Old Men." Julian Schnabel was the Globes pick for best director for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," while the Academy Award was given to Joel and Ethan Coen for "No Country."