“Glee” the big winner at the TCA Awards

Glee the big winner at the TCA Awards
Glee, Modern Family, Breaking Bad, Lost, The Pacific and M*A*S*H honored as TV’s Best

The stars of Glee were happy to show up and mingle with the members of the Television Critics Association who just presented three trophies to the Fox series at the 26th Annual TCA Awards. The event honors the best shows on TV.

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The musical series took the top prize of Program of the Year, as well as Outstanding New Program, and Individual Achievement in Comedy for Jane Lynch, the villainess of the group. Executive producer Ryan Murphy accepted the honors while surrounded by most of his talented ensemble and co-producer Ian Brennan.

Murphy talked about how the show has helped the funding for high school arts programs. He explained, “Our show makes it hard for districts to cut programs. I hear from music teachers who say, ‘Thanks to your show they can’t cut my program anymore, because I’ve gone from seven members to forty.’ That’s the best award of all.”

Yet Murphy still said he was humbled by the TCA honor. “You wrote about us, and that gave our program a chance. There has never been a musical that has worked on television since Fame (in 1982).”

Glee’s star Matthew Morrison later reinforced Murphy’s statements. “It’s not just a show that entertains. In just one season it has really influenced funding for the arts departments across the country,” Morrison proclaimed.

Cory Monteith was also happy to be there and noted that “it’s a show that has a great message about challenging stereotypes.”

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ABC’s Modern Family was voted Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, and cast members were on hand, including Rico Rodriguez who was celebrating his 12th birthday that night. Lead by the show’s executive producer Steve Levitan, everybody in the room sang “Happy Birthday” to the talented scene-stealer.

Bryan Cranston, the Emmy-winning star of AMC’s Breaking Bad, was on hand with wife Robin to support his show, along with co-stars Dean Norris and Betsy Brandt. Creator-producer Vince Gilligan accepted with amazement that a show “about a man dying of cancer who cooks crystal meth is on three seasons now.”

Breaking Bad tied with ABC’s Lost in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Drama. Showing he also has a flair for comedy, Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof kidded, “I remember when the Lost actors still cared about us,” referring to the nonattendance of his cast at the event. And he got roars from the critical crowd when he read twitters from fans who were unhappy with the show’s finale.

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“Here are a few choice selections from my Twitter feed,” Lindelof said as he read, “Has anyone accused you of being an emotional terrorist yet?” “Hey douche bag, how about you give me six years of my life back.” “Please don’t ruin Star Trek by ending it in Klingon purgatory.”

Nick Jr.’s joyful children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba won its second consecutive TCA Award in Youth Programming. Creator-producer Christian Jacobs said he and his team were “excited just to be mentioned alongside so many incredible programs and people.” A highlight for Jacobs was Tom Hanks clowning around with the show’s characters after hanging out with the TV critics.

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Hanks was there to accept the Movies/Miniseries Award for HBO’s epic The Pacific, which he helped produce. Always funny, Hanks got serious when he explained, “The Pacific is not about World War 2, it’s about today. There are men and women coming back from hell on earth. And they’re going to have to figure out how to pick up their lives and continue on. How do these people do it after they’ve been to places like Peleliu, Guadalcanal, Iraq and Afghanistan? That’s what The Pacific is about.”

In addition to recognizing this year’s finest programs, the TCA gave the Heritage Award to M*A*S*H, which debuted in 1972 and ran for 11 seasons on CBS. Executive producer Gene Reynolds gratefully accepted, and was joined on stage by fellow producer Burt Metcalfe, and stars William Christopher (Father Mulcahy) and Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut). Even watching the reruns 30 years after the show said its final goodbye, audiences still find it as fresh, funny, and relevant as it was when it debuted.

The Discovery Channel’s Life series won in the News & Information category. Julianna Margulies, star of CBS’ The Good Wife, sent a video “thank you” for her Individual Achievement in Drama honor. And in absentia, the organization gave actor James Garner a Career Achievement Awards for the influence his work has had on the small screen.

The TCA is made up of 200-plus professional TV writers from the U.S. and Canada, and their big awards night was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Dax Shepard, star of NBC’s Parenthood, launched the evening with a comedy routine about television, joking that “Dog the Bounty Hunter must have turned down this gig.”


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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