The highlight (at least for the reporters) of the Television Critics Association summer press tour happened Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton hotel, where the group honored the best programs and actors of the 2012-2013 television season with TCA Awards.
AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” which begins the last half of its final season Aug. 11, was named Program of the Year at the 29th annual awards ceremony. Creator Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston, who directed the riveting midseason premiere, were just some of the “Breaking Bad” folks on hand to accept the award.
FX’s freshman drama, “The Americans,” was honored as Outstanding New Program.
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, having previously won for Program of the Year in 2012.
BBC America’s “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany was honored with Individual Achievement in Drama for her portrayal of Sarah Manning. (Suck it, Emmy voters!)
CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” tied for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. Chicago native Jim O’Heir from “Parks and Rec” was in the house, as were Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Adam Scott and others from the NBC comedy.
Louis C.K., star of FX’s “Louie,” nabbed the top trophy in the Individual Achievement in Comedy category for the second consecutive year. He had everyone in the room cracking up as he made fun of the actual award, saying that if he ever opened a diner it would make a great accessory for him to advertise the drink specials.
HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra” emerged victorious in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials, while ABC’s “Shark Tank” took home the award for Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming. (Chicago’s Lori Greiner was on hand to accept the prize.)
The TCA also recognized ABC Family’s recently canceled “Bunheads” with an award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming, and PBS’ documentary “The Central Park Five” received top honors for Outstanding Achievement in News & Information. (Ken Burns couldn’t make it because he was celebrating his 60th birthday.)
The TCA gave its Heritage Award to CBS’ classic sitcom “All in the Family” (1971-1979), for the cultural and social impact the program has had. The non-profit organization also presented Barbara Walters (“The Barbara Walters Specials,” “The View,” ABC News) with a Career Achievement Award for her influence in covering news and information.
The Television Critics Association represents more than 220 journalists writing about television. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, stars of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” hosted the event.