Lucy Attends 20th Television Critics Association Awards
The Toronto Star
19 July 2004
Critics' awards mirror Emmys
Coming as they generally do within days of the annual Emmy announcements, the Television Critics Association Awards tend to reflect and/or confirm the relative veracity of the Academy's nominations.
And in this 20th year of the TCA ceremonies — an annual offshoot of the organization's fall TV preview tour — the general consensus would appear to be ... a general consensus.
The 200-plus members of the TCA, representing major newspaper and Internet outlets from across North America, doubly honoured HBO's miniseries adaptation of Angels In America, with awards for Program of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries & Specials.
Director Mike Nichols and a posse of colleagues, along with actor Justin Kirk, were on hand to accept.
Angels In America leads the Emmy race with 21 of HBO's 124 nominations.
Similarly doubly honoured, for Outstanding New Program and Achievement In Comedy, the critically acclaimed but ratings-challenged Fox sitcom Arrested Development, brought out virtually its entire cast — including Ontario's own Will Arnett and Michael Cera — to acknowledge the invaluable accolades.
Again, the Emmys followed suit, with seven nominations for the struggling show.
The year's special Heritage and Career Achievement awards both went to 60 Minutes, the latter to its creator, news legend Don Hewitt.
Linda Ellerbee thanked "the little people" for her well-deserved win of the Children's Programming Award for Nickelodeon's Nick News.
The Outstanding Achievement In Drama award went to HBO's The Sopranos, to be hesitantly and humbly accepted by an unprepared Edie Falco, sporting a spiky new Sharon Stone 'do.
Ian McShane gratefully acknowledged an appropriately profane presentation for his stellar work on the cable western, Deadwood.
The best two acceptance speeches of the night were from winners who were unable to attend in person. The Office's creator/star Ricky Gervais was hilarious, lapsing into smarmy David Brent mode in a pre-recorded video message.
As was Jon Stewart, also on tape — having accepted last year's Comedy Award in person — expressing some understandable confusion over this year's win for Outstanding Achievement in News & Information.
"You do know we're fake, right?" Stewart said. "Next year we're going for Children's Programming. Grover, we're gonna kick your ass!"
Also in the audience at the Century Plaza Saturday night, Larry Hagman, Lucy Lawless and the actress-turned-hotelier Beverly Garland.
The one sour note in an otherwise ebullient evening was a rather embarrassing typo on both the redesigned award and the 20th-anniversary program booklet — the word "television," of all things, was misspelled (in both cases, dropping the first "i").
The misspelled trophies will apparently be replaced.