Loving the TCA Awards: Where Critics Make Up for Emmy's Mistakes
Taking time to honor the shows we liked, the TV Critics Association Saturday handed out awards to series and actors who got the big snub when Emmy nominations were announced last week, including Michael C. Hall of Dexter, and Friday Night Lights.
Yours truly got to hand the trophy to Hall last night, quipping that a series about a forensic police technician who moonlights as a serial killer sounds more like a documentary to somebody from Florida. My brush with fame, besides a quick compliment to Hall, was getting a chance to talk a bit with James Remar, who plays Dexter's father and also played my favorite movie character -- killer Albert Ganz in the Eddie Murphy movie 48 Hours.
The coolest thing about the TCAs is that most every star who wins an award shows up (except Mary Tyler Moore, who inexplicably blew us off, sending along a note saying she liked "most" of us). Alec Baldwin regaled us all with a story about ducking into a bathroom at the Four Seasons in New York and whipping off his sweat drenched shirt to dry it on an air dryer, only to have David Chase, creator of the Sopranos walk in, looking at him like he was insane.
"I just remember thinking, holy shit, that's Alec Baldwin, a famous movie star," said Chase later, stepping up accept his own award for the Sopranos. "I didn't even notice he didn't have his shirt on."
I can remember past TCA awards shows where stars stuck around for the post-show hang out with critics; Martin Sheen stayed until the place shut down after winning an award with the West Wing, regaling us with old showbiz stories, and Jon Stewart roamed the pre-show reception, a long line of worshipful critics trailing behind.
Not this time. Chase probably didn't want to spend hours fielding Sopranos finale questions ("When I went to film school, I went to see the Planet of the Apes and saw the Statue of Liberty at the end," said Chase, offering to explain the Sopranos ending. "And I said, 'Wow, they had a Statue of Liberty, too?' So that's what you're dealing with.") Baldwin probably didn't want to talk about leaving awful voice mail messages for his daughter. So they both bolted quickly.
Heroes star Adrian Pasdar had a bushy beard, allegedly for his role on the series, which means he didn't die at last season's end. And the whole event was kicked off by a side-splitting set from British Daily Show correspondent John Oliver, who reminded us that the English pioneered destroying other cultures' countries with a mix of clueless arrogance and blithe regret.
We also honored Dusty Saunders, the 3rd president of the TCA, who is retiring this year after his 67th press tour and more than 50 years in the biz. Not a bad way to spend a night so far away from home.
Among those on hand at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to accept were Lorraine Bracco, Connie Britton, Kyle Chandler, Jack Coleman, Edie Falco, Mindy Kaling, Masi Oka, Zachary Quinto, and Sendhil Ramamurthy (click on any photo to enlarge).
2007 TCA Award recipients:
OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM: “Friday Night Lights” (NBC)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: “The Sopranos” (HBO)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: “The Office” (NBC)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS & INFORMATION: “Planet Earth” (Discovery)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING: “Kyle XY” (ABC Family)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINI-SERIES & SPECIALS: “Planet Earth” (Discovery)
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: Michael C. Hall, “Dexter” (Showtime)
HERITAGE AWARD: “The Sopranos” (HBO)
CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Mary Tyler Moore