"The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards" (7 p.m. Sunday, NBC) has become a big and slick production. And that's too bad. They used to be fun, intimate, sloppy and, let's be honest, completely meaningless. Now they're so huge, the Academy Awards has moved from March to February to stay relevant.
The awards are so hotly anticipated that they've created their own entertainment ecosystem. "Globe"-related programs have sprung up in its very shadow. NBC offers the "Golden Globes Arrival Special" (6 p.m.) for those who want to see the stars hit the red carpet. Not to be scooped, the E! network offers six hours of "Globe" mania, starting at 11 a.m., featuring special correspondents Nicky ("I'm not Paris") Hilton and Richard ("Deal a Meal") Simmons. Mother-daughter squawkers Joan and Melissa Rivers will be hosts to a two-hour special "Live from the Red Carpet" (5 p.m., E!). For those who just can't endure the sound of two Rivers running their mouths, E!'s own sister network Style, offers a two-hour "Live from the Red Carpet" (5 p.m.) spectacular.
- Can't wait for the Globes? Don't fret. Zooey Deshchanel and Jake Gyllenhaal are hosts of the "2004 Sundance Film Festival Awards" (8 p.m. today, Sundance).
- It's not in prime-time, so it doesn't get much attention in this column, but fans of intelligent television should raise a glass of orange juice and toast the 25th anniversary of "CBS News Sunday Morning" (8 a.m., CBS).
- In a casting coup that should delight English majors everywhere, reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon ("V," "Gravity's Rainbow") appears (in cartoon form) on "The Simpsons" (7 p.m. Sunday, Fox). Pynchon appears with best-selling thriller writer Tom Clancy when both men are asked to provide a promotional blurb for Marge's new book.
Tonight's other highlights
- The voices of Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are featured in the 1998 animated comedy "A Bug's Life" (7 p.m., ABC).
- The four-part series "Barbarians" (7 p.m., History) profiles the Vikings, Goths, Mongols and Huns.