The career achievement prize went to Barbara Walters who wasn't in attendance and literally phoned it in because of a "little show called 'The View.'" In a video acceptance speech, Walters placidly remarked, "I'm smiling all over" and the audience burst into laughter because her face, frozen in Botoxed emotional limbo, wasn't moving.
The winners of the heritage award, however, were there to get their dues. Humble "All in the Family" producer Norman Lear and star Rob Reiner a.k.a. "Meathead" offered show-stopping banter upon receiving their shitty piece of plastic. Other standout winners of the night included the cast of NBC's "Parks and Recreation," a warm, earnest sitcom that struggles for ratings but is a critical darling. "After the 100th episode of 'Game of Thrones,' we're all going to kill ourselves," star Amy Poehler cracked before curtsying offstage. After the ceremony, Poehler's costar Adam Scott remarked, "We finally won something!"
In spite of some yawns like the outstanding comedy win for "The Big Bang Theory," the TCA Awards remained as classy an act as ever. The brisk under-90-minute show time prevents any lingering feelings of boredom, which is more than I can say for the bloated but ostensibly more "prestigious" Primetime Emmy Awards. It's the little award shows like the TCAs that make being a member of the press such a pleasure. When the lights went up, I made my way out of the ballroom and through the marauding gang of celebrity sightseers queued up in the Hilton lobby, all along certain that TV really is the best place to be right now -- even for a staunch movie lover.
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: Ken Burns, "The Central Park Five" (PBS)
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: "Bunheads" (ABC Family)
Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: "Shark Tank" (ABC)
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: "Parks and Recreation" (NBC) tied with "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)
Career Achievement Award: Barbara Walters
Heritage Award: "All in the Family" (CBS)
Program of the Year: "Breaking Bad" (FX)