The list of winners of the TCA Awards was blasted all over the Internet nearly three hours before leaders of the Television Critics Assn. bothered to post it at their own website. Apparently, it was much more important for members to be boozing it up at the Beverly Hilton ballroom (where the Golden Globes are held) than to post important news about TV, even though it's theirs. Couldn't they have tapped someone to be designated awards poster like drunks appoint a designated driver so that the lushes can hang back at the bar and go crazy?
Speaking of crazy, TCA truly went bonkers for "Mad Men" — voting it best new drama series, best new program plus program of the year. Couldn't they have given one of those prizes — say, best drama or program of the year — to the TV show they fawn over like airhead girls gush over the Jonas Brothers? "The Wire" was nominated for both awards.
No, TCA voters stuck it with that bogus, honorary heritage award instead, a prize that is supposed to hail vintage old shows deserving of renewed attention today. The other four nominees for the heritage prize this year were "M*A*S*H," "Roots," "Saturday Night Live" and "Sesame Street." "The Wire" shouldn't be in that lineup, of course. It's not another old chesnut. But it was given this award as a consolation prize because TCA doesn't have the guts to give it a real one. When "The Wire" competes against contemporary peer programs for a TCA Award, the TV critics don't want it.
That's exactly what TCA did to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" — they stuck it with the phony-baloney heritage award after failing over and over to give it a real prize. And therein lies the proof of what hypocrites its members are. The vast majority of them belly-ached and bashed the Emmys for years because "Buffy," first, then "The Wire" didn't win top awards. Well, as far as I'm concerned, "Buffy" and "The Wire" (which just finished its final season) never won any real TCA awards either, so it's high time that its members practiced some self-flagellation in penance.
At least "Buffy" and "The Wire" have fared better than "Battlestar Galactica," another darling of those TV critics who love to slam the Emmys for failing to recognize its brilliance. So far "Galactica" still hasn't won anything, which suggests that next year, when it's off the airwaves entirely, it's a shoo-in for the next worthless heritage award.
Amazingly, a rare woman received a performance award from the predominantly male organization. Winner of best achievement in comedy Tina Fey ("30 Rock") becomes only the fourth female to claim one of the 24 performance prizes ever bestowed by TCA for comedy or drama. The previous three: Jane Kaczmarek for "Malcolm in the Middle" in 2000 and 2001 and Edie Falco for "The Sopranos" in 2003.
The career achievement award, as usual, went to a man. No females were even nominated this year. Recipient: Lorne Michaels, producer of "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock." Of the previous 23 honorees, only four were women (Lucille Ball, Angela Lansbury, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore).
Below is the full list of 2008 champs. To see the nominees, CLICK HERE.
PROGRAM OF THE YEAR: "Mad Men" (AMC)
OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM: "Mad Men" (AMC)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: "30 Rock" (NBC)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: "Mad Men" (AMC)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS & INFORMATION: "The War: A Film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick" (PBS)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING: "WordGirl" (PBS)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINI-SERIES & SPECIALS: "John Adams" (HBO)
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: Tina Fey, "30 Rock" (NBC)
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: Paul Giamatti, "John Adams" (HBO)
HERITAGE AWARD: "The Wire" (HBO)
CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Lorne Michaels (HBO)