The jazz-dancing murderesses of Chicago entered the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday with a leading eight nominations, while the film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours had seven and the screenwriting comedy Adaptation had six.

The ceremony, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is considered by some to be a barometer for the upcoming Academy Award nominations in February.

The Golden Globes, set for broadcast live on NBC, is renowned as one of Hollywood's biggest parties, where participants are encouraged to be spontaneous and irreverent.

Gene Hackman was chosen to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which honors the star of The Conversation and Crimson Tide for his career spanning nearly 80 films.

The best dramatic film category included The Hours, About Schmidt, Gangs of New York, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Pianist.

Nominees in the musical/comedy class were Chicago, Adaptation, Nicholas Nickleby, About a Boy and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Many of the nominated films have been unavailable in most parts of the country as studios waited to do wide-releases closer to the awards ceremony and next month's Oscar nominations.

In television, The Sopranos and The West Wing competed again for best drama along with Six Feet Under, The Shield and 24. TV comedy nominees were The Simpsons, Will & Grace, Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Friends.

Meryl Streep received two film nominations, competing with The Hours co-star Nicole Kidman for best dramatic actress, and in the supporting actress category for Adaptation.

Other dramatic actress nominees were Salma Hayek for Frida, Diane Lane for Unfaithful and Julianne Moore for Far From Heaven.

Jack Nicholson's turn in the retirement drama About Schmidt earned him a dramatic actor mention, along with Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can, Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York, Michael Caine in The Quiet American and Adrien Brody in The Pianist.

Nicolas Cage's dual performance as a screenwriter and his fictional twin brother in Adaptation placed him against Hugh Grant in About a Boy, Kieran Culkin in Igby Goes Down, Richard Gere in Chicago and Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love in the comedic or musical actor category.

Nominees for actress in a musical or comedy were Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago, Nia Vardalos in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Goldie Hawn in The Banger Sisters and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary.

Golden Globe honors are chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's roughly 90 members, who cover Hollywood for overseas publications.