Tuned In

You Be the Critic: The TCA Awards Nominations Are Out

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I spend enough time over the course of my year griping about awards and awards ceremonies that it’s only fair I should open the floor to comments when the one award-giving body I belong to takes its turn. The Television Critics’ Association yesterday released the list of nominees for the TCA Awards, given out at our annual summer press tour in July. It was an especially big first year for Homeland, Louis C.K. and Lena Dunham. Smash also somehow ended up on the Best New Show nominees list, but if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you probably already guessed I didn’t vote for it. Also, before you ask: no, I don’t know why Downton Abbey still counts as a miniseries, except that enough people voted for it as one.

A quick word on the process: in the initial round, each member of the TCA gets to submit two nominees in each category. There’s no nominating committee and little lobbying, co-ordination or vote-bartering (that I’m aware of anyway). The top vote getters in that round form the list of nominees that appears below. From now until June 15, we vote again (actually, I’ve already voted) to pick the winners.

And a couple peculiarities of the awards: we don’t have separate actor and actress categories, which I like because it doesn’t treat men and women as somehow having different acting muscles, but which can also mean more nominations for men when they get showier roles. Still, all told this year there were ten acting nominations, five for each gender. We also give out a career achievement award (all dudes for that one this year) and a “Heritage Award,” which I’ve never been crystal clear on the parameters for but essentially recognizes a past TV show (recent or distant past) that’s finished its run. (Update: Sorry, not “finished its run”—Saturday Night Live, you’ll note, is on the list, but somehow had a broad effect on the culture. Again—not really a crystal-clearly defined category.) Before you ask, “How could you not nominate _____?” you might want to check this list of past winners.

And now have at it. How could we not nominate…? The nominees are:

Individual Achievement in Drama

Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad,” AMC)
Claire Danes (“Homeland,” Showtime)
Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones,” HBO)
Jon Hamm (“Mad Men,” AMC)
Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story,” FX)

Individual Achievement in Comedy

Louis C.K. (“Louie,” FX)
Lena Dunham (“Girls,” HBO)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep,” HBO)
Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,” CBS)
Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation,” NBC)

Outstanding Achievement in News and Information

“Anderson Cooper 360” (CNN)
“The Daily Show” (Comedy Central)
“Frontline” (PBS)
“60 Minutes” (CBS)
“The Rachel Maddow Show” (MSNBC)

Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming

“The Amazing Race” (CBS)
“Dancing with the Stars” (ABC)
“The Glee Project” (Oxygen)
“So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox)
“The Voice” (NBC)

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming

“iCarly” (Nickelodeon)
“Phineas and Ferb” (Disney)
“Sesame Street” (PBS)
“Switched at Birth” (ABC Family)
“Yo Gabba Gabba” (Nick Jr.)

Outstanding New Program

“Girls” (HBO)
“Homeland” (Showtime)
“New Girl” (Fox)
“Revenge” (ABC)
“Smash” (NBC)

Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials

“Downton Abbey: Masterpiece” (PBS)
“Game Change” (HBO)
“Hatfields & McCoys” (History)
“Hemingway & Gellhorn” (HBO)
“Sherlock: Masterpiece” (PBS)

Outstanding Achievement in Drama

“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“Homeland” (Showtime)
“Justified” (FX)
“Mad Men” (AMC)

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy

“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
“Community” (NBC)
“Louie” (FX)
“Modern Family” (ABC)
“Parks and Recreation” (NBC)

Career Achievement Award

Dick Clark
Andy Griffith
David Letterman
Regis Philbin
William Shatner

Heritage Award

“Cheers” (NBC)
“Lost” (ABC)
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
“Star Trek” (NBC)
“Twin Peaks” (ABC)

Program of the Year

“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“Homeland” (Showtime)
“Mad Men” (AMC)
“Downton Abbey: Masterpiece” (PBS)