Once a year, television critics from all over the country migrate to the fertile critiquing grounds of Hollywood to criticize things for two weeks straight, an event known in nature as the Television Critics Association Press Tour (TCAs). Also in attendance at this magical event are the TV networks, which present their upcoming shows and the stars of those shows in hopes of gaining the critics' favor and attracting viewers. It's an incredible spectacle, one that's always brimming with sarcastic tweets and jaded groans, and scented with the strong aroma of alcohol.
But every year, the TCA's noble critics put aside their dislikes for one night and one night only in order to reveal what they do like, for a change. This occurrence is known as the TCA Awards. And it happened on Saturday night!
Winning the top prize of Outstanding Program was NBC's Friday Night Lights, a longtime critics' favorite that completed its five-year (broadcast) run last month. There were no surprises in the Drama and Comedy categories, with perennial winners Mad Men and Modern Family earning honors in their respective genres. The Best New Show award went to HBO's Game of Thrones.
Elsewhere, Mad Men's Jon Hamm (snooze) won Best Drama Actor, and Modern Family's Ty Burrell and Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman split the award for Best Comedy Actor. Coincidentally, Offerman also hosted the event, in case you'd like to whip up any conspiracy theories.
Here's the full list of winners:
Program of the Year: Friday Night Lights (DirecTV/NBC)
Outstanding New Program: Game of Thrones (HBO)
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: The Amazing Race (CBS)
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: Sesame Street (PBS)
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”