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‘Moon’ on the beam

HBO space saga tops TCA awards

HBO and NBC dominated the 14th annual Television Critics Assn. Awards on Saturday, with Tom Hanks’ sweeping miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon” walking away with program of the year honors.

The cabler and the Peacock each snagged three TCA Awards, while Fox, Nickelodeon and PBS earned one award apiece. ABC news chairman Roone Arledge was honored for career achievement during ceremonies held at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.

Hanks’ $65 million space saga was also recognized in the category for movies, miniseries and specials, beating out NBC’s “Merlin,” CBS’ “What the Deaf Man Heard,” USA’s “Moby Dick” and HBO’s biopic of boxing promoter Don King.

During his acceptance speech, Hanks thanked HBO chief Jeff Bewkes and crew for their “faith … in us and in our story.

“Their willingness to go down uncharted roads for us and their demand that we not compromise any step of the way in either the storytelling or in the realization of the visuals to me is unparalleled,” he said.

Hanks also indicated a desire to develop more small screen projects with HBO.

“Good Lord, let’s make some more television,” he said.

Meanwhile, NBC’s Emmy-challenged “Homicide: Life on the Street” continues to be a darling with crix, earning its third consecutive TCA Award for best drama. That ties the record winning streak set by NBC’s “Frasier,” which won for best comedy from 1993 to 1996.

HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show,” which ended its cable run in May, was tapped best comedy for the second consecutive year. The first-ever TCA award for best freshman show went to Fox’s “Ally McBeal.”

“Homicide” snagged its second prize of the evening thanks to departed star Andre Braugher, who was honored for individual achievement in drama. “Frasier” funnyman David Hyde Pierce won the same prize for comedy.

In children’s programming, the critics chose Nickelodeon’s “Blue’s Clues,” while PBS’ “The American Experience” was singled out in the news and information field.

The 220-member critics group also honored the memory of late NBC Entertainment chief Brandon Tartikoff, with Dallas Morning News scribe Ed Bark reading an emotional tribute to the Peacock legend.

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