By ANGELA DAWSON and JUDY SLOANE
HOLLYWOOD—“Breaking Bad,” the acclaimed AMC drama starring Bryan Cranston as a high school teacher who becomes a drug kingpin in Albuquerque, N.M., is the Program of the Year, according to the Television Critics Association.
That and other TV shows and actors of the 2012-13 television season were honored at the 29th Annual TCA Awards presentation Saturday.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, stars of Comedy Central’s hit series “Key & Peele,” hosted the annual invitation-only event, held at the Beverly Hilton hotel in conjunction with the TCA’s summer press tour. The non-televised ceremony bestowed awards in 12 categories to recipients in comedy, drama, reality, miniseries, news and youth programming.
Members of the TCA, a media organization of more than 220 professional TV critics and journalists from the U.S. and Canada, also voted FX’s freshman drama, “The Americans,” Outstanding New Program.
“These were not easy choices for our membership because there were so many deserving nominees,” said TCA president Candace Havens. “In a year that saw a lot of great television, the TCA Awards winners represent the best of the best.”
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, having previously won for Program of the Year in 2012, and BBC America’s “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany was honored with Individual Achievement in Drama for her portrayal of Sarah Manning.
CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” both were award-winners, tying for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. And Louis C.K., star of FX’s “Louie,” nabbed the top trophy in the Individual Achievement in Comedy category for the second consecutive year.
The comedian, whose real name is Louis Szekely, unwittingly started an ongoing rib throughout the awards show at the trophy itself, saying he would use it as a drink card holder when he started his chain of diners.
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.
Hollywood veteran Jerry Weintraub was on hand to pick up his award, explaining it took 12 years to make “Behind the Candelabra,” which he produced. He credited the TV movie’s success to its co-stars Michael Douglas, who played the late entertainer Liberace, and Matt Damon, who played his longtime lover Scott Thorson.
Additionally, the TCA recognized ABC Family’s “Bunheads” with an award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming. Kaitlyn Jenkins, who starred in that short-lived series, couldn’t hold back tears as she accepted the award on behalf her colleagues on the show.
The PBS documentary “The Central Park Five” received top honors for Outstanding Achievement in News & Information.
The TCA not only recognized the year’s finest programming, but it also bestowed a Heritage Award upon CBS’ classic sitcom “All in the Family” (1971-1979), for the cultural and social impact the program has had on society. Both series creator Norman Lear and one of its surviving stars Rob Reiner, who played Mike “Meathead” Stivic, were on hand to accept the award.
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. Walters wasn’t at the show but drew laughs from the audience when she said on tape “I’m smiling all over.”
2013 TCA Award recipients are as follows:
Individual Achievement in Drama: Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black,” BBC America)
Individual Achievement in Comedy: Louis C.K. (“Louie,” FX)
Outstanding Achievement in News and Information: “The Central Park Five” (PBS)
Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: “Shark Tank” (ABC)
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: “Bunheads” (ABC Family)
Outstanding New Program: “The Americans” (FX)
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials: “Behind the Candelabra” (HBO)
Outstanding Achievement in Drama: “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: (Tie) “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) and “Parks and Recreation” (NBC).
Career Achievement Award: Barbara Walters (ABC)
Heritage Award: “All in the Family” (CBS)
Program of the Year: “Breaking Bad” (AMC)