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ABC sudser cleans up

TCA becomes land of 'Lost'

As Emmy campaigns begin, nominee “Desperate Housewives” found big support this weekend from the nation’s TV critics, who named the ABC sudser their pick for program of the year.

“Housewives” and “Lost” earned ABC three of the top honors at the Television Critics Assn. awards fete, held Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Crix named “Lost” the year’s outstanding new program, and also singled the skein out for achievement in drama. Fox’s “Arrested Development,” meanwhile, scored its second consecutive award for achievement in comedy.

It was clearly resurgent web ABC’s night: Besides the kudos for “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” the Alphabet web’s longrunning news program “Nightline” was honored with this year’s heritage award.

ABC won four awards overall; Fox, with two, was the only other web to receive multiple nods. Pay cabler HBO, last year’s big winner, was shut out.

PBS’ “Frontline” took back the news and information award from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” which had won it the last two years. “Frontline” has now won the award seven times.

But “Daily Show” was still recognized, through host Jon Stewart, who took the TCA award for individual achievement in comedy. Stewart also won the award in 2003.

On the drama side, “House” star Hugh Laurie won the top individual achievement prize.

BBC America’s “The Office Special” scored the TCA award for achievement in movies, minis or specials — another jewel in the crown for Ricky Gervais, who last year was recognized for comedy acting.

And Noggin/The N’s “Degrassi: The Next Generation” elbowed out the competish to win children’s programming honors.

Legendary comedian and TV star Bob Newhart received the TCA’s 2005 award for career achievement.

CBS’ “The Late Late Show” host Craig Ferguson emceed this year’s event. Awards are voted on by roughly 200 print reporters and critics who comprise the TCA org.

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