TV critics awards honor old faves: Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, Oprah Winfrey, Dick Van Dyke and Modern Family
LOS ANGELES -- Much as TV critics complain about how shows like the Emmys overlook new talent, it looks like we fell into the same trap in our own contest, the TCA Awards.
Administrered by the Television Critics Association here during our summer press tour, the TCAs are often our angry cry against Emmy's sluggishness and easy convention. But in the awards handed out Saturday, critics looked past promising new and growing shows to hand their biggest honors to proven favorites such as Mad Men (best drama), Modern Family (best comedy), Sesame Street (best youth programming), Oprah Winfrey (career achievement) and The Dick Van Dyke Show (legacy award).
We did right one wrong, giving Parks and Recreation co-star Nick Offerman a shared best comedic performance award (alongside Ty Burrell from -- you guessed it -- Modern Family). HBO's Game of Thrones also earned best new show honors -- more a measure of how geeky we all are here than anything.
The event itself was a low-key affair in the same space at the Beverly Hills Hilton which will house the Golden Globe awards in January.
Offerman kicked off the evening with a sidespliting five minutes of comedy, including a parody song "I Should Stay Offline" (set to Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line") and a short film showing how he eats a pile of bacon to prepare for his Parks and Recreation role (added bonus; taped skit with a old guy limping into a trailer amid sounds of sandblasting, emerging as a freakishly youthful Rob Lowe)
Later, Offerman would display that same oddball charm in accepting his award, noting "My wife (former Will & Grace star Megan Mullaly) wins a s--tload of trophies...now I have something to put against the closet door."
The casts of Mad Men and Friday Night Lights also turned up to celebrate wins, alongside TV legends Carl Reiner; Winfrey even sent in a taped response, saying she was on vacation.
Here's the list of winners.
2011 TCA Award recipients are as follows:
• Individual Achievement in Drama: Jon Hamm (“Mad Men,” AMC)
• Individual Achievement in Comedy: Ty Burrell (“Modern Family,” ABC)
and Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation,” NBC)
• Outstanding Achievement in News and Information:
“Restrepo” (National Geographic Channel)
• Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: “Amazing Race” (CBS)
• Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: “Sesame Street” (PBS)
• Outstanding New Program: “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
• Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials:
“Masterpiece: Sherlock” (PBS)
• Outstanding Achievement in Drama: “Mad Men” (AMC)
• Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: “Modern Family” (ABC)
• Career Achievement Award: Oprah Winfrey
• Heritage Award: “The Dick Van Dyke Show”
• Program of the Year: “Friday Night Lights” (DirecTV/NBC)
ABOUT THE TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION
The Television Critics Association represents more than 200
journalists writing about television for print and online outlets in
the United States and Canada. For 27 years the TCA has honored
outstanding achievement in television and enduring contributions to
the medium’s heritage through the TCA Awards. Membership in the
Television Critics Association is open to full-time TV writers at
newspapers, magazines, trade publications, news wire services, news
syndicates, and text-based Internet news organizations. For additional
information on the TCA, please visit http://www.tvcritics.org. The TCA
is also on Facebook and Twitter. To follow the Summer TCA on twitter,
tweets are represented with the hashtag #TCAs11.