There is nothing elementary about “Abbott Elementary’s” performance at the 38th Television Critics Association Awards. The ABC sitcom won four prizes, including Program of the Year.
“Abbott,” which led with five nominations, defeated “Better Call Saul,” “Hacks,” “Severance,” “Squid Game,” “Succession,” “The White Lotus” and “Yellowjackets” for the top award. It also won comedy series, new program and Individual Achievement in Comedy for creator, writer and star Quinta Brunson. Its fifth nomination was in that same category for breakout Janelle James, so technically “Abbott” did not lose any category in which it was nominated. It is the second show in three years to win four awards after “Watchmen” went four for four in 2020.
The TCA Awards were supposed to return to an in-person ceremony this year, hosted by James and her “Abbott” co-stars Sheryl Lee Ralph and Lisa Ann Walters, but the entire TCA summer press tour went virtual again due to the BA.5 COVID variant. Like the past two years, winners sent in acceptance speeches.
“On behalf of our whole ‘Abbott’ family, I’d like to thank teachers. You continue to inspire us every day,” “Abbott” executive producer Randall Einhorn said while accepting for Program of the Year and new program.
No other show won more than one award. After getting snubbed by the Emmys, Mandy Moore got a nice consolation prize, taking home Individual Achievement in Drama honors for the final season of “This Is Us” (it should be noted that voting for TCA winners occurred in June, aka before Emmy nominations in July). She is the seventh consecutive woman to win the gender-neutral category (similarly, Brunson is the fifth straight woman to win the comedy equivalent).
SEE ‘Abbott Elementary’ tops Television Critics Association Awards nominations with 5 bids
“Succession” scored a bookend drama series trophy to go along with the one from 2020. The HBO hit is the fourth show to win the category twice after “Breaking Bad,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “The West Wing” (“The Sopranos” holds the record at four).
Hulu’s “Dopesick” won Outstanding Achievement in Movie, Miniseries or Specials, ending a three-year HBO streak in the category. Reminder that Emmy frontrunner “The White Lotus” was snubbed in the category.
There were not one but two ties. For the second year in a row, reality programming went to two shows, this time “The Amazing Race” and “Legendary,” marking the second victory in the category for the former and the first for the latter. Ted Danson and Steve Martin also tied for the Career Achievement Award.
“Thank you so much, Television Critics Association, for this amazing partial lifetime achievement award,” Danson quipped. “And lastly, I’m so glad that this award is not posthumous,” deadpanned Martin, who was a nominee this year for “Only Murders in the Building.”
Unlike the past two years when winners were revealed mid-September, this year’s winners announcement comes less than a week before final Emmy voting begins on Aug. 12. “Abbott” has seven Emmy bids, including Best Comedy Series. Last year, “Ted Lasso” bagged three TCA Awards, including Program of the Year, en route to winning the Best Comedy Series Emmy.
Other winners include “The Beatles: Get Back” in news and information, “The Baby-Sitters Club” in youth programming and Heritage Award recipient “I Love Lucy.”
See the full list of winners below.
Individual Achievement in Drama: Mandy Moore (“This Is Us,” NBC)
Individual Achievement in Comedy: Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary,” ABC)
Outstanding Achievement in News and Information: “The Beatles: Get Back” (Disney+)
Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: TIE: “The Amazing Race” (CBS), “Legendary” (HBO Max)
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: “The Baby-Sitters Club” (Netflix)
Outstanding Achievement in Variety, Talk or Sketch: “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson” (Netflix)
Outstanding New Program: “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries, or Specials: “Dopesick” (Hulu)
Outstanding Achievement in Drama: “Succession” (HBO)
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
Program of the Year: “Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
Career Achievement Honoree: TIE: Ted Danson and Steve Martin
Heritage Award: “I Love Lucy” (CBS)
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