Glee wins big at 2010 TV Critics Awards, taking three trophies including Program of the Year
Glee creator Ryan Murphy started his writing career as a journalist, cranking out sly feature stories on Cher and Madonna for the Miami Herald and Entertainment Weekly before the lure of Hollywood turned him into TV's golden child.
So it made a certain amount of sense Saturday that Murphy's proudly subversive creation would soak up the most love here Saturday at the Television Critics Association Awards, earning three honors for his groundbreaking musical series about a high school glee club, including best new program, best individual comedy performance (for star Jane Lynch) and program of the year.
"Before critics started paying attention, I never had a single nomination, not for Nip/Tuck, not for anything," said Murphy before the ceremony, held here at the Beverly Hilton hotel (he and I go back to college, where we both worked on Indiana University's student newspaper).
"We created the first 13 episodes kind of in a bubble; no one had seen them (before they began to air)," he added. "So we kind of didn't know what we were doing -- we still don't know what we're doing -- but we were allowed to fail...and it's amazing that it all worked out."
The awards, voted on by the TCA's membership of a couple hundred journalists and critics from across the nation, also honored HBO's The Pacific as best miniseries, ABC's Lost and AMC's Breaking Bad in a tie for best drama, ABC's Modern Family as best comedy and classic comedy M*A*S*H with a Heritage Award for its legendary legacy.
Since the ceremony wasn't televised -- and members were asked to show restraint in interviewing attendees -- the stars who showed to accept their awards got loose, displaying a bawdy sense of humor and impish sense for satire.
"This is the last time I'm f---ing dressing up for you people," cracked Tom Hanks, taking the podium to accept The Pacific's TCA award as its executive producer, lampooning his spot in the program following the cast of kids show Yo Gabba Gabba. "I'm looking in the mirror thinking, Tie or no tie?...(Meanwhile) a guy from the Minnesota Star-Ledger is over here."
Moments later, Hanks would hail the miniseries' attempt to show the difficulty of returning home after war, an important story given America's current engagement in two conflicts on the world's far side.
After the ceremony, I told the star about Sterling Mace, a St. Pete Beach man who served with one of the men whose story was told in The Pacific, who appreciated the miniseries, but said the action seemed more bloody onscreen than it actually was (surprisingly, Hanks agreed with Mace's criticism that they amped up the action and changed how the guys may have deployed themselves at times to make the shots look a little better).
He also talked about an eight-part (or, possibly nine-part) miniseries he's developing for HBO about the Kennedy assassination based on Vincent Bugliosi's book Reclaiming History. "You try to find things nobody has seen before and get them on the screen," he said of the historical dramas he's developed for HBO, including John Adams and From the Earth to the Moon. "Writers always wind up echoing scenes you've seen before from other writers and we have to say, 'Guys, we've seen that before. We've seen that before.'"
Despite the presence of the child actors from Modern Family -- the crowd even sang happy birthday to 12-year-old Rico Rodriguez -- awards recipients let the f-words fly in deliciously unfettered performances. Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof read Twitter messages from fans who hated the show's controversial finale with such inspiring words as "You suck." and "Has anyone accused you of being an emotional terrorist yet?"
Modern Family executive producer Steve Levitan even joked about the recent surprise resignation of ABC entertainment head Stephen McPherson, pretending to read from a speech written a week ago that quoted McPherson saying "Guys, as long as I'm here, you have nothing to worry." Later he would note "As confident and happy as we look over there, we are bottomless pit of need."
For critics here, it was a chance to hobknob with stars from some of TV's best shows. Glee's Matthew Morrison talked about the show's start of production Wednesday, saying their Super Bowl episode will feature a special tribute to a star he could not name. Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston said he likely wouldn't direct any episodes from the show's next season, because he couldn't have the pleasure of really crafting the editing of any episode, given the show's demands on him as an actor.
"I can't even believe this damn thing is on the air," said Breaking Bad executive producer Vince Gilligan, noting his series focuses on a high school science teacher with cancer who becomes a crystal meth dealer. "Thank you all so much for that."
Here's the list of winners from last night:
* PROGRAM OF THE YEAR: “Glee” (FOX)• OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM: “Glee” (FOX)
• INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: Jane Lynch, “Glee” (FOX)
• OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: “Modern Family” (ABC)
• OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: TIE - “Lost” (ABC) and “Breaking
• INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
• OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS & INFORMATION: “Life”
• OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING: “Yo Gabba
Gabba” (NICK JR.)
• OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINISERIES & SPECIALS: “The
• HERITAGE AWARD: “M*A*S*H*” (CBS)
• CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: James Garner