Fox comedy named program of the year

Scribes sang the praises of “Glee” on Saturday at the Television Critics Assn. Awards.

The casual event always plays well with TV community. The absence of tuxes, red carpets, broadcast restrictions or time restraints contributed to a free-flowing night of laughs mixed with melancholy.

The high school musical dramedy won three prizes, while no other show won more than a single award.

The 20th Century Fox skein was tabbed program of the year and top new show, while co-star Jane Lynch won for individual achievement in comedy.

ABC’s “Modern Family,” another freshman standout, was named top comedy. AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and the Alphabet’s “Lost,” which just concluded its six-season run, tied for best drama.

One of the comedy highlights of the evening came from the drama side when “Lost” exec producer Damon Lindelof rattled off a list of angry Twitter messages he received following the series finale. One tweet complained to Lindelof that because of him, she had wasted the last six years of her life.

Steve Levitan, exec producer of “Modern Family,” kidded about ABC’s recent headlines.

“Thank goodness we have a champion in our corner like Steve McPherson,” Levitan said, referring to the recently departed network entertainment topper. “He told me ‘Guys, as long as I’m around you have nothing to worry about.’ ”

Julianna Margulies of first-year CBS drama “The Good Wife” won for individual achievement in a drama.

HBO’s 10-part mini “The Pacific” won the movie, miniseries or special section. Exec produced by Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, “The Pacific” was a companion piece to the pay cabler’s previous WWII project, “Band of Brothers.”

Korean War comedy “MASH,” which ran on the Eye from 1972-83 and whose final episode remains the most-watched scripted show in the history of television with 105 million viewers, won the Heritage Award. The kudo represents a program that had a significant cultural and social impact on society.

Exec producers Burt Metcalfe and Gene Reynolds, along with actors Mike Farrell and William Christopher were on hand. They paid respects to former colleague Larry Gelbart, who died last year and was one of the creative inspirations for the show.

Farrell added he became a regular on the show in 1975 only because of the “unerring business judgment of Wayne Rogers.”

James Garner, whose career dates back to the 1950s and is best known on television for his 1970s role as a private investigator on “The Rockford Files,” won the Career Achievement Award.

Event was held at the Beverly Hilton as part of the 12-day TCA summer tour. “Parenthood” co-star Dax Shepard was the emcee.

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