Amazon's "Mozart in the Jungle," about classical musicians in New York, was named best TV comedy. The comedy category had been considered a three-way race between Amazon's transgender dramedy, "Transparent"; Netflix's ensemble prison saga, "Orange is the New Black"; and HBO's political satire, "Veep."
In another mild surprise, Rachel Bloom won best actress in a TV comedy for "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," which premiered on the CW in October. "Veep's" Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has won numerous awards for her starring role on the show, was widely considered the front-runner.
Jon Hamm, on the heels of his first Emmy win in November, won best actor in a TV drama for his defining role as the tormented, womanizing Don Draper in AMC's "Mad Men," which wrapped its final season last year.
Best supporting actress in a TV series went to Maura Tierney for Showtime's "The Affair," in which she plays a middle-age woman who learns that her husband is cheating on her. The drama, also starring Dominic West, Ruth Wilson and Joshua Jackson, just wrapped its second season.
Christian Slater won best supporting actor in a TV series for his role as an anarchist in "Mr. Robot," USA Network's hacker drama.
Over on the movie side, the best supporting actress prize went to Kate Winslet for "Steve Jobs," Danny Boyle's portrait of the late Apple co-founder. Winslet played Apple marketing exec Joanna Hoffman, a member of Jobs' inner circle and one of the few people at the company who stood up to his famous bullying.
Best miniseries or TV movie went to "Wolf Hall," the BBC drama about political machinations among England's Tudor dynasty during the reign of King Henry VIII. Oscar Isaac, currently co-starring as a rebel fighter pilot in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," won best actor in a TV miniseries for his role as a mayor who fought for the desegregation of public housing in HBO's "Show Me a Hero."
Host Ricky Gervais kicked off the night with a beer in his hand and a typically bitchy monologue in which he made jokes at the expense of Caitlyn Jenner, "Transparent" nominee Jeffrey Tambor, movie bomb "Pixels" and host network NBC, which didn't receive any Globe nominations.
Some see the Golden Globes, voted on by the 90 or so members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, as predictors of the more prestigious Academy Awards. Oscar nominations will be announced Thursday, with the show following on February 28.