The Late Late Show host James Corden had fun roasting the critics and TV industry at the Television Critics Association’s 31st annual TCA Awards. As emcee, Corden kicked off the ceremony with devastatingly funny material that he used to skewer the gathering of TV writers and winners. Corden joked, “This is the big one. When I got asked to host the TCA Awards, I thought I was hosting the Teen Choice Awards. Critics and teenagers are not that different, both stay up all night writing mean blogs.”
Corden (the Into The Woods movie musical star) told this reporter he wasn’t biting the hand that feeds him by picking on the press, because “I didn’t knock Les Moonves [the head of CBS], he’s the one that pays me. But sure I’m going to have some fun with the critics.” And they loved it.
In his monolog Corden said, “There are so many fantastic nominees, including Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. That show is amazing at taking something that no one has ever heard of and making people care. We can only hope that one day he’ll tackle the TCA Awards.”
“And there’s the nominated The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. Durst could not be with us, but he did teach us to remove portable microphones before we start muttering to ourselves.” There was actual praise for The Jinx HBO special that won in the Outstanding Achievement in Movies/Miniseries category, and helped put the murder suspect behind bars.
Political satirist John Oliver taped his acceptance for the Achievement in News and Information award, for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. But he questioned why his comedy show qualified for the category. “What exactly were you thinking? Are you giving us this award for news and information sarcastically? That would be incredibly mean, but it would make sense. And I’d like to apologize to the other nominees. I work on the floor under 60 Minutes, so I’m looking forward to Morley Safer leaving a bag of flaming [manure] outside my door.” Oliver’s comments filled the ballroom at the Beverly Hilton with roars of laughter.
Highlights of the event were the honors given to AMC’s Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, with producers Peter Gould, Mark Johnson, Thomas Schnauz and Vince Gilligan receiving the award for Outstanding New Program; and the hip-hop drama Empire on Fox, getting Program of the Year in its first season. Empire’s producer Brian Grazer and co-creator Lee Daniels expressed thanks for their “over the top Black Dynasty.”
Two awards went to Amy Schumer for her work as actress and producer of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer. “Amy wanted to be here but unfortunately she is being treated for over exposure,” writer Christine Nangle joked about her boss who has been besieged with media attention lately with her shows and film Trainwreck.
Critics’ darling Jon Hamm was on hand to pick up his second Individual Achievement in Drama award for his Don Draper ad man role on the acclaimed AMC drama Mad Men. Hamm said he had auditioned eight times for the Draper role because “no one wanted to cast me but (producer-creator) Matthew Weiner.”
The filmmaking competition series The Chair on Starz won for Reality Programming; actress Sherri Saum got emotional about “giving a voice to the new blended families” when ABC Family’s The Fosters got the Achievement in Youth Programming award; and FX’s spy thriller The Americans, starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, won for Achievement in Drama, and jokes were made about their wigs and costumes.
The Late Show with David Letterman got the Heritage Award. Letterman, who recently wrapped his 33-year run as a talk show host, sent a video message. After Homer Simpson (via tape) praised James L. Brooks, the producer-writer-director picked up the TCA’s Career Achievement Award. The Oscar-winning filmmaker can also boast of TV shows have had more than 100 Emmy wins, from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, to The Simpsons– that’s what makes him a legend in the TV industry. #