10:54: And we've finally arrived at the biggest award of the night: motion picture drama, presented by Harrison Ford. And the Globe goes to The Descendants.
10:47: George Clooney earns the top actor prize for The Descendants. He thanks fellow nominee Brad Pitt for his good works and Michael Fassbender for taking over the "frontal nudity responsibilities."
10:39: The Artist wins the comedy or musical motion picture Golden Globes. Star Jean Dujardin clutches the leash of Uggie, whose tricks delight the audience.
10:33: Gervais bellies up to the podium, drink in hand. "Like me, our next presenter is British. Unlike me, he's won an Oscar. (Oh, good for him.) And ladies swoon over him. I don't get it. What you don't know about him is that he's horribly racist and kicks small children. Ladies and gentlemen, Colin Firth."
Firth runs down the names of the dramatic motion picture actress nominees before calling out the name of winner Meryl Streep. She begins, "When Ricky Gervais' deal fell through and they came to me to play Margaret Thatcher ..." She also thanks the British for letting "me come over and trample all over their history."
10:24: The Artist's Jean Dujardin wins the motion picture comedy actor award. Hopefully the folks watching at home are good lip-readers because the silent-movie star just mouths the last line of his speech.
10:15: Gervais earns his first "bleep" of the evening when he says that he assumes that Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek are interesting people, but he couldn't understand a (expletive) thing they were saying." This sends Banderas off on a tirade, but Hayek confesses, "Ricky, I can't understand him, either." They announce the winner of the TV comedy series award, Modern Family. Colombia native Sofia Vergara accepts and producer Steven Levitan "interprets."
10:12: First-time director Angelina Jolie presents this year's directorial award to Martin Scorsese for Hugo. He thanks his daughter for bringing the book to his attention and his wife for pushing him to "make a movie that their daughter could see, for once."
9:55: After Sidney Poitier welcomes Morgan Freeman to the elite group of Cecil B. DeMille Award winners, Helen Mirren warns the crowd that she's "going to lower the tone a bit. Morgan Freeman has been in over 50 films and I've only been in one. Why couldn't Miss Daisy have been English? I could've been a penguin." Freeman responds that he learned one thing from working on the spy comedy Red with her: "Watching you handle a gun made me sure I never want to piss you off."
9:46: And we're back into the movie awards. This time it's the supporting actress prize. Presenter Bradley Cooper calls the name of Help standout Octavia Spencer, who gets the biggest applause of any winner so far. "Seriously, nuts!" she says before turning a little more serious. "With regards to domestics in this country now and then, Dr. King said it best: all labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance." Solemn bit over, she admits, "I'm shaking, I'm going to fall out of my high heels. Thank you, Table 10!"
9:44: Episodes' Matt LeBlanc wins the comedy TV actor Globe on his fourth nomination. He credits the writers for writing a "Matt LeBlanc that is way more funny and interesting than the real thing."
9:34: A hoarse Dustin Hoffman runs down the nominees for TV dramatic actress. The Globe goes to Claire Danes, making it two for Homeland. Danes decides to rectify a mistake she made when she won her first Globe for My So-Called Life and forgot to thank her parents. She then earns some extra points by thanking her "newish family," husband Hugh Dancy and his clan.
9:30: Gervais launches into a Madonna song-title filled intro, which leads the singer to retort,"If I'm still just like a virgin, Ricky, why don't you come over and do something about it? I haven't kissed a girl in a few years ... on TV." She presents the foreign-language film to Iran's A Separation.
9:22: Spouses Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy win for best presentation, singing their opening bit (completely in tune, thank you), concluding, "It's an honor to be nominated, blah blah blah." They hand the supporting TV actress prize to Jessica Lange for FX's American Horror Story.
9:19: Woody Allen is a no-show when he wins the screenplay award for Midnight in Paris. "Come and get it, Woody," coos presenter Nicole Kidman.
9:13: The Adventures of Tintin picks up the animated feature prize. Director Steven Spielberg accepts, thanking cast members Jamie Bell, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and "the man of a thousand digital faces, Andy Serkis."
9:11: The "Cloonmeister" borrows Brad Pitt's cane to come onstage and introduce his pal's movie, Moneyball. "I have to give it back to him or else he can't make it to the bar."
9:07: TV supporting actor (which lumps together every genre) goes to Peter Dinklage for Game of Thrones. Best visual gag goes to Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who sticks up a sign stating "Whatever" next to co-star Eric Stonestreet's head when his name is announced.
Dinklage confesses that his own mother told him he would lose to Mildred Pierce nominee Guy Pearce. "Gotta love moms. They keep us humble."
9:00: "Hi, I'm Seth Rogen and I'm trying to conceal a massive erection." That's enough to make co-presenter Kate Beckinsale lose it. They hand the award for actress in a motion picture comedy or musical to Michelle Williams, star of the "hilarious comedy My Week With Marilyn." She thanks daughter Matilda and apologizes for reading six month's worth of bedtime stories in her Marilyn Monroe voice.
8:56: Smash co-stars Katharine McPhee and Debra Messing present the minseries/movie actor prize to Idris Elba for BBC America's Luther.
8:44: The Voice judge Adam Levine stops Jimmy Fallon from getting too into his repertoire of Mick Jagger moves by announcing the nominees for best score. It goes to The Artist's composer, Ludovic Bource. "I'm sorry, I'm French," he says. "I'm not French; I have no excuse," says Madonna, who wins best song for W.E.'s Masterpiece. She goes on to thank manager Guy Oseary for being "so irritating" and nagging her into writing a song to go along with her directorial debut.
8:37: The TV drama prize also goes to a first-time nominee, Showtime's Homeland.
8:35: Kelsey Grammer's first foray into TV drama pays off on his first try -- he wins for his Starz series, Boss. His previous wins came in the comedy category for Frasier.
8:19: Rob Lowe and Julianne Moore stumble through TelePrompter issues while trying to introduce this year's Golden Globe, the daughter of Andie McDowell. They fare better with the TV miniseries/movie category. I'll just save myself some time and start typing Downton Abbey. "How fabulous this is," announces producer Julian Fellows, who likens the show to having a promising child who grows up to win the Olympics. (Hey, nice London plug.)
8:12: Next up is the Golden Globe for actress in a TV comedy, which goes to Laura Dern, for HBO's freshman series Enlightened, about the life of a corporate whistle-blower. She's a former winner for Recount and Afterburn, as well as a Miss Golden Globe.
8:07: Our favorite thing of the night, so far: Christopher Plummerwins the movie supporting actor trophy for Beginners. He thanks "that scene-stealing swine," Ewan McGregor. Cosmo, the Jack Russell from the movie, also merits a shout-out.
8:05: Gervais asks a question of presenter Johnny Depp, target of last year's jokes and "the man who wears whatever Tim Burton tells him to": has he managed to see The Tourist yet? And the answer is ... no.
8:00: Looks like NBC is Target No. 1 for Gervais. "Tonight you get the world's biggest comedian, hosting the world's second-biggest awards show on America's fourth-best network. ... The Hollywood Foreign Press is a non-profit organization ... just like NBC!"
Now that George Clooney's Cincinnati Bengals are out of the playoff picture, he's thrown his support to girlfriend Stacey Keibler's Baltimore Ravens.
7:50: Here's your "Stars! They're just like us" moment: If your kids complain when you leave them in the care of a babysitter for an adult night out, you're not alone. Angelina and Brad share your pain. "They're so mad that we're leaving," Jolie tells USA TODAY. "The kids are sick of Mommy and Daddy having to go to events."
7:31: Shailene Woodley, nominated for her supporting role as Clooney's daughter in The Descendants, wants to be clear about one thing, notes USA TODAY's Bryan Alexander. She's not nervous. "Everyone keeps asking me if I'm nervous. Why should I be nervous? This is a new adventure. I'm super stoked."
Before choosing her gray Marchesa gown, "I tried on five dresses, and they were way too fancy. Everyone kept telling me I had to wear a long dress. I argued for little bit, but then gave up."
She used two criteria when picking out her dress. "It's all about breathing and eating. If you can't breathe or eat at this show, then why come?" she said. "I keep stepping on it, but I figure it's OK if it rips at this point since I'm already at the show."
7:29: Team Clooney was calm, cool and collected after the Baltimore Ravens' win today, reports USA TODAY's Andrea Mandell. The actor's girlfriend, Stacey Keibler, is a big fan of her hometown's NFL team. Before she donned her red Valentino gown, she reports, "I was in my Ravens jersey. The dog was in his Ravens jersey. The makeup artist was like, 'You've got to close your eyes.'"
Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier from 'The Artist,' hits the Globes receiving line. Glenn Close told USA TODAY she'd like to see more canines on the red carpet, starting with hers.
Has Keibler conviced Clooney to change teams? "Yes, now that the Bengals are out, George is a Ravens fan," she said. (As long as he stays loyal to the AFC North, that's OK by this Cincinnati native.)
7:13: Christopher Plummer, best supporting actor nominee for Beginners, realized something while dressing for tonight's festivities. "I have so many dinner jackets and not a lot of clothes. It was either this tuxedo or nude. I chose the tuxedo." He does have one complaint: he argues that the dog in Beginners "was much more professional than Uggie," the canine star of The Artist. "I don't know why everyone's paying so much attention to Uggie."
7:10: The red carpet conversation topics tonight seem to be (in random order): Uggie, Brad and Angelina and Downton Abbey. Elizabeth McGovern fed the frenzy, walking the carpet with co-star Hugh Bonneville. Both are up for their roles in the PBS/Masterpiece miniseries.
Wearing a black and blue strapless Jacques Azagury dress, McGovern didn't know who her necklace was by, but Bonneville quipped, "That necklace would just about pay for one month's catering bill on Downton Abbey."
Asked about the challenges of playing British royalty and going to an awards show: "It's always a challenge to figure out what I'm going to wear. It's always a long journey."
Did Bonneville have any help getting ready for the Golden Globes? "For me, at this point, getting up in the morning is enough of a challenge. I can just about barely put on cufflinks for myself."
7:07: T-minus 53 minutes until Ricky Gervais opens his mouth. Any wagers on who his first target will be? Despite complaints that he went too far with his jokes last year, he still has plenty of pals on the red carpet. "Nothing is too far for me," demurs Descendants director Alexander Payne. Judd Apatow is similarly open-minded: "I just like good jokes. If they're good jokes, I'm a huge supporter."
7:01 p.m. ET/4:01 PT: The red carpet is in full swing. George Clooney has already made his way through and the E! crew is all atwitter about how Brad got out of the limo and walked around to open the door for Angelina.
A few scenes from the carpet:
Glenn Close is wearing navy blue velvet Armani Privé and is admiring Uggie, the Jack Russell from The Artist: "I think there should be more dogs on the red carpet. I wish I could bring my Bill and Jake," her two dogs.
How was her relaxation time with Janet McTeer earlier today? "We had a little bit of a fit in the jacuzzi this morning with Tina Fey, her husband and some little girl," Close joked.
Back to that dog on the red carpet: "We always get upstaged by children and dogs."
By Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY