TCA Awards 2017: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Atlanta’ won top prizes – Emmys next?

On August 5 the Television Critics Association announced the winners of their 33rd annual awards, and “The Handmaid’s Tale” was the big winner. Hulu’s dystopian drama is based on Margaret Atwood‘s novel and tells the story of a society in which a theocratic dictatorship forces fertile women to bear children for powerful, infertile couples. The dark series won its top two categories: Program of the Year, and Best Drama Series. And it marks the first time a streaming series has won top honors at the TCA — sorry, Netflix. Check out the complete list of winners right here.

Atlanta” was also one of the TCA’s top nominees, and while the freshman FX series didn’t win Program of the Year — comedies rarely do — it did claim two other big awards: Best Comedy Series and Best Individual Achievement in Comedy for Donald Glover, who not only stars in the series as the manager of an up-and-coming rap artist, he also writes, directs, and produces it.

Is that good news for both shows at the Emmys? “Handmaid’s Tale” was nominated 13 times by the TV academy including Best Drama Series, while “Atlanta” is up for six awards including Best Comedy. The TCA victories for these shows don’t hurt, but critics don’t always see eye-to-eye with the industry insiders who pick the Emmys. Sometimes their tastes overlap, as with “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad,” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which were TCA’s Program of the Year in recent years and also took top honors at the Emmys. However, some TCA victories don’t translate to Emmy glory, as past Program of the Year champs like “Battlestar Galactica” and “Empire” can attest.

As usual, the critics liked to spread the wealth. They gave Best New Program to “This is Us,” and Carrie Coon won Best Individual Achievement in Drama in a historic victory that honored her performances in two projects: “The Leftovers” and “Fargo.”

“Big Little Lies” held off its Emmy rivals “Feud: Bette and Joan” and “The Night Of” to claim Best Movie/Miniseries/Special, while nonfiction awards went to “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” (Best Reality Programming) and the Oscar winning “O.J.: Made in America” (Best News and Information). The ABC sitcom “Speechless” rounded out the awards by taking Best Youth Programming.

What do you think of the TCA winners? Does this change the Emmy race? Comment below, and join the discussion in our forums.

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