Winners celebrated, TV’s TCA Awards are a harbinger for the Emmys

 The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sunday, September 20, 2020 on ABC hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Thanks to everyone living in a pandemic world with Covid this year, the live Emmys will be a virtual celebration.

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel

 The awards are presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to honor the best in U.S. prime time television programming from the past year. There should be a lot of surprises, but if you want a pre-event glimpse of who will get the trophies look no further than the winners of the Television Critics Association’s TCA Awards which were just announced.

 A harbinger for the Emmys, the 36th annual TCA awards celebrate the top programs and performances of the 2019-2020 television season as voted on by TV writers from across the United States and Canada.

WATCHMEN (courtesy HBO)

 An eclectic bunch of outstanding shows and hidden gems were honored with the winners determined by votes cast by the TCA’s broad network of more than 250 professional TV critics and journalists. The 2020 TCA Awards put the spotlight on a diverse lineup of stars and series across 13 categories including Program Of The Year (won by HBO’s Watchman), the prestigious Heritage Award (CBS’ vintage Star Trek), and the Career Achievement Award which honored the incredible legendary host of Jeopardy Alex Trebek.

ALEX TREBEK (courtesy Jeopardy!)

 HBO was the year’s biggest winner with six of the TCA’s top honors. The network’s riveting limited series Watchmen captured an Individual Achievement In Drama honor for series star Regina King; Outstanding Movie, Miniseries, Or Special; Outstanding New Program, and the coveted Program Of The Year award, for taking the Watchmen graphic novel to new heights with a timely story. HBO also scored victories with the media dynasty tale Succession which won the award for Outstanding Achievement In Drama, and first-year comedy series A Black Lady Sketch Show which earned Outstanding Achievement In Sketch/Variety Show.

Schitt’s Creek stars Daniel Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Annie Murphy (courtesy POP TV)

 Other notable winners include Pop TV’s riches-to-rags hit Schitt’s Creek, which found new fortune earning awards for Outstanding Achievement In Comedy and Individual Achievement In Comedy for fan-favorite Catherine O’Hara. Additionally, ESPN’s Michael Jordan-infused docuseries The Last Dance got the trophy for Outstanding Achievement In News And Information; Netflix’s college pep squad profile Cheer landed Outstanding Achievement In Reality Programming; and PBS Kids’ Peabody Award-winning animated series Molly Of Denali added Outstanding Achievement In Youth Programming to its growing collection of accolades.

 The TCA was proud to bestow the Heritage Award upon Gene Roddenberry’s landmark 1966 sci-fi epic Star Trek. The legacy of the groundbreaking series is undeniable.

The TCA also presented television icon Alex Trebek with the Career Achievement Award, honoring the seven-time Emmy® winner for Outstanding Game Show Host, Guinness World Record®-holder, Hollywood and Canadian Walk Of Fame recipient, National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Broadcasting Hall Of Fame inductee, philanthropist, and long-time host of the Peabody Award-winning game show Jeopardy! Trebek is one of television’s most enduring and best-loved personalities.

 “Entertainment and culture are intertwined and in this challenging year, never has that intersection been more crucial as both a mirror to examine tough reflections and a rabbit hole to escape the noise and scares outside our homes. The 2019-2020 television season was both a challenge and a balm,” said Sarah Rodman, TCA President and executive editor at Entertainment Weekly. “This year offered up many high-quality options appealing to a wide swath of audiences with eclectic subjects ranging from sports and superheroes, to side-splitting sitcoms, darkly fascinating dramas, insightful documentaries, kid-friendly series, and more. We are excited to see what the future of television has in store, and we look forward to celebrating in-person next year as we come together to honor this medium that means so much to all of us.”

The 2020 TCA Award recipients:

Individual Achievement In Drama: Regina King (WATCHMEN, HBO)

Individual Achievement In Comedy: Catherine O’Hara (SCHITT’S CREEK, Pop TV)

Outstanding Achievement In News and Information: THE LAST DANCE (ESPN)

Outstanding Achievement In Reality Programming: CHEER (Netflix)

Outstanding Achievement In Youth Programming: MOLLY OF DENALI (PBS Kids)

Outstanding Achievement In Sketch/Variety Shows: A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW (HBO)

Outstanding New Program: WATCHMEN (HBO)

Outstanding Achievement In Movie, Miniseries, Or Special: WATCHMEN (HBO)

Outstanding Achievement In Drama: SUCCESSION (HBO)

Outstanding Achievement In Comedy: SCHITT’S CREEK (Pop TV)

Program of the Year: WATCHMEN (HBO)

Career Achievement Honoree: Alex Trebek

Heritage Award: STAR TREK (CBS)

 Tune in ABC, Sunday, September 20 to see if Emmy voters concur with the critics about the best shows on TV.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.