There were a lot of first time nominations and winners at last night’s Critics Choice Television Awards. Granted, the awards are only four years old, but look at almost any four-year stretch of the Emmys and see how many new shows get nominated and then win. While there were a few repeat winners – Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, Jim Parsons, the very deserving Tatiana Maslany among them – the night was notable for giving rookies some love.
True Detective’s Matthew McConaghey took Best Actor, Drama, Fargo got Best Mini-Series and acting wins for Billy Bob Thornton (Best Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series) and Allison Tolman (Best Supporting Actress in Movie or Mini-Series) and Orange Is the New Black nabbed Best Comedy Series (it is funnier than Nurse Jackie!) and two acting awards. For a complete list of winners, and a bit of commentary follow the jump.
BEST DRAMA SERIES
Breaking Bad (AMC) (WINNER) – After its superb final eight episodes, the combination of quality and sentiment among voters meant this was pretty much a lock. I thought True Detective had a chance here. Wrong again…
The Americans (FX)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Good Wife (CBS)
Masters of Sex (Showtime)
True Detective (HBO)
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective (HBO) (WINNER) – Playing a role that bounced back and forth across seventeen years, McConaghey was gifted with a role that had two distinct sides that had to remain connected in such a way that we never doubted it was the same person. He pulled it off brilliantly.
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Hugh Dancy, Hannibal (NBC)
Freddie Highmore, Bates Motel (A&E)
Matthew Rhys, The Americans (FX)
Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex (Showtime)
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black (BBC America) (WINNER) – Wake up Emmys! Maslany continues to kill as the Clone Club of Orphan Black, playing as seven distinct characters in second season – one of them a transgendered male – frequently playing three in the same scene.
Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex (Showtime)
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel (A&E)
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (CBS)
Keri Russell, The Americans (FX)
Robin Wright, House of Cards (Netflix)
BEST COMEDY SERIES
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) (WINNER) – Like I said, OITNB is funnier than Nurse Jackie, which the Emmys keep awarding. On the other hand, it’s a dramedy and, by definition, not as funny as the other nominated shows here. So, better than Emmys, critics. But not by that much.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Broad City (Comedy Central)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO) (WINNER) – No argument here.
Ilana Glazer, Broad City (Comedy Central)
Wendi McLendon-Covey, The Goldbergs (ABC)
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Emmy Rossum, Shameless (Showtime)
BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS) (WINNER) – Sheldon is a difficult character to make funny without slipping into either pandering or obnoxiousness. Parsons walks that line brilliantly. No argument from me.
Louis CK, Louie (FX)
Chris Messina, The Mindy Project (FOX)
Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley (HBO)
Adam Scott, Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Robin Williams, The Crazy Ones (CBS)
The Normal Heart (HBO) (WINNER) – Due to personal bias, I would have loved to see Sherlock: His Lat Vow or An Adventure in Space and Time win, but neither would have been the right choice. This was.
An Adventure in Space and Time (BBC America)
Burton and Taylor (BBC America)
Killing Kennedy (National Geographic Channel)
Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)
Fargo (FX) (WINNER) – Even by the end of the finale it was hard to believe this wasn’t actually a Coen Brothers project. To my mind, only one episode dipped blow an A+ – and that was still an A. Bravo.
American Horror Story: Coven (FX)
Bonnie & Clyde (A&E/History/Lifetime)
Dancing on the Edge (Starz)
The Hollow Crown (PBS)
Luther (BBC America)
BEST ACTRESS IN A MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven (FX) (WINNER) – Did you watch Lange tear up Coven? No other choice, here. Really.
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor (BBC America)
Minnie Driver, Return to Zero (Lifetime)
Whoopi Goldberg, A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime)
Holliday Grainger, Bonnie & Clyde (A&E/History/Lifetime)
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)
BEST ACTOR IN A MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo (FX) (WINNER) – It’s not often you get to see someone play a genuine force of nature. Lorne Malvo was a Trickster/god/devil, appearing from nowhere, screwing with people’s minds (when he wasn’t killing them) and reveling in all of it. Thornton got it, nailed it down solid.
David Bradley, An Adventure in Space and Time (BBC America)
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge (Starz)
Martin Freeman, Fargo (FX)
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart (HBO)
BEST ANIMATED SERIES
Archer (FX) (WINNER) – The best animated series on television and an object lesson – if you have a brilliant stand-up comic in your cast, that’s who should give your acceptance speech.
Bob’s Burgers (FOX)
The Simpsons (FOX)
Family Guy (FOX)
Phineas and Ferb (Disney XD)
Adventure Time (Cartoon Network)
BEST REALITY SERIES – COMPETITION
Shark Tank (ABC) (WINNER) – a riff on a show we have in Canada (Dragon’s Den), this paean to the entrepreneurial combination of ingenuity and greed is refreshing because of its blunt panel of moguls/judges and ideas that they get to judge. Simultaneously appealing to our best and worst instincts. Gotta love that.
The Amazing Race (CBS)
Project Runway (Lifetime)
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)
BEST REALITY SERIES
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (FOX/National Geographic Channel) (WINNER) – Nothing else had a chance here. Money, intelligence, wit and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Deadliest Catch (Discovery)
Duck Dynasty (A&E)
Top Gear (BBC America)
Undercover Boss (CBS)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Allison Janney, Mom (CBS) (TIE) – Did anyone see this coming? On the other hand, Janney and Mulgrew both make anything they’re in instantly watchable, so there’s that.
Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is the New Black (TIE)
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) (WINNER) – The straight man (in the comedy team sense) who can score big laughs himself is a rare thing. Braugher makes it look easy. It’s not.
Keith David, Enlisted (FOX)
Tony Hale, Veep (HBO)
Albert Tsai, Trophy Wife (ABC)
Christopher Evan Welch, Silicon Valley (HBO)
Jeremy Allen White, Shameless (Showtime)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
Allison Tolman, Fargo (FX) (WINNER) – Without a doubt the most interesting character in this category – the small town cop who has to peer into the abyss one time in her life and discover what she’s really made of. Tolman’s matter-of-fact brilliance as Molly Solverson was far more entrancing than the other, more colorful performances in this category because she was unfailingly real.
Amanda Abbington, Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven (FX)
Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic (Lifetime)
Jessica Raine, An Adventure in Space and Time (BBC America)
Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart (HBO)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart (HBO) (WINNER) – Bomer never gets enough credit for the sterling work he does on White Collar. Now everyone can see just how good he is – Tom Hanks in Philadelphia good.
Warren Brown, Luther (BBC America)
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
Colin Hanks, Fargo (FX)
Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart (HBO)
Blair Underwood, The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)
BEST GUEST PERFORMER IN A DRAMA SERIES
Allison Janney, Masters of Sex (Showtime) (WINNER) – Not one actor in this category deserved to lose (that happens more with the Critics’ Choice Awards than any other awards). Janney was amazing on Masters of Sex and deserves the award, but it could just as easily have gone to Diana Rigg, Walton Goggins or Beau Bridges.
Beau Bridges, Masters of Sex (Showtime)
Walton Goggins, Sons of Anarchy (FX)
Joe Morton, Scandal (ABC)
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife (CBS)
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones (HBO)
BEST GUEST PERFORMER IN A COMEDY SERIES
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) – I haven’t seen enough of OITNB to comment here except to say that anyone who can persuade an aggregation critics to not for James Earl Jones has to be very, very good.
Sarah Baker, Louie (FX)
James Earl Jones, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Mimi Kennedy, Mom (CBS)
Andrew Rannells, Girls (HBO)
Lauren Weedman, Looking (HBO)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (AMC) (WINNER) – another category where any one of them could have won and it have made perfect sense. Personally, for me it came down to Paul and Walton Goggins. I think Paul got the edge because Jesse Pinkman had such a disturbing arc over Breaking Bad’s final eight eps and no one thought he’d get out alive. Well, that and the way Paul kept Jesse’s natural innocence alive even he was doing terrible things or suffering terribly.
Josh Charles, The Good Wife (CBS)
Walton Goggins, Justified (FX)
Peter Sarsgaard, The Killing (AMC)
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan (Showtime)
Jeffrey Wright, Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Bellamy Young, Scandal (ABC) (WINNER) – I would have picked Gunn, but I can see why Young won and I don’t even watch Scandal religiously.
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife (CBS)
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Annet Mahendru, The Americans (FX)
Melissa McBride, The Walking Dead (AMC)
Maggie Siff, Sons of Anarchy (FX)
BEST REALITY HOST
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (FOX/National Geographic Channel) (WINNER) – Seriously, did anyone expect Tyson to lose?
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Carson Daly, The Voice (NBC)
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance (FOX)
Gordon Ramsay, MasterChef (FOX)
RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race (Logo)
BEST TALK SHOW
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC) (WINNER) – Fallon keeps things a little too light for me. I cannot believe that Craig Ferguson didn’t even get nominated!
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Time Telepictures)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)