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TCA Awards 2016: ‘People v. O.J. Simpson’ Wins Big; Sarah Paulson, Rachel Bloom Take Acting Prizes

The Television Critics Association presented its 32nd annual TCA Awards ceremony on Saturday night, with FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” taking three prizes to lead the night, including the ceremony’s top award, Program of the Year. The show also earned the award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials, and Individual Achievement in Drama for star Sarah Paulson, who played troubled head prosecutor Marcia Clark.

The TCA Awards don’t separate their nominees or winners by gender, meaning Paulson was up against her “People v. O.J.” co-star Courtney B. Vance, “All The Way” star Bryan Cranston, “Mr. Robot’s” Rami Malek, Bob Odenkirk of “Better Call Saul” and Keri Russell of “The Americans” for the drama honor.

It was a triumphant night for women across the dial, as “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom took home the award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, beating Aziz Ansari for “Master of None,” Samantha Bee of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” Aya Cash of “You’re The Worst,” reigning Emmy champ Julia Louis-Dreyfus of “Veep,” and Constance Wu of “Fresh Off the Boat.”

Bee nabbed the Outstanding Achievement in News and Information category for her TBS series “Full Frontal,” while “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” won the TCA’s Heritage Award for the tremendous cultural and social impact it has had on society, with star Valerie Harper and co-creator Allan Burns on hand to accept the award, reading a letter of gratitude from Moore during their speech. “Grace and Frankie” star Lily Tomlin was honored with the Career Achievement Award for her diverse television legacy that spans over 50 years and includes seven Emmy wins. Tomlin’s “Grace and Frankie” co-star Jane Fonda made a special appearance to present Tomlin with the award, giving an emotional tribute to her colleague and friend, praising her generosity and loyalty to the many friends Tomlin has made over the years.

“This was truly a landmark season — not just for television, but for women in television,” said Amber Dowling, TCA President. “We had an unprecedented amount of female winners this year, which is a testament to both the talented actresses who were honored tonight, as well as to the growing number of high-quality roles being created for and by women. It’s extremely encouraging to see this growing trend being embraced, accepted, and expanded upon, and I look forward to seeing even more of it in the future.”

The ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton hotel and was hosted by “Jane the Virgin” star Jaime Camil; beloved telenovela icon Rogelio De La Vega also made a cameo appearance, with “Jane the Virgin’s” invisible narrator Anthony Mendez providing introductions for the presenters. The results were determined from votes cast by the TCA’s membership, comprised of more than 220 professional TV critics and journalists from the United States and Canada. Before the soiree, critics and winners mingled for a cocktail party, with stars including “Mr. Robot’s” Malek and Christian Slater, and “The People v. O.J. Simpson’s” Paulson and Cuba Gooding, Jr. on hand to celebrate the night.

Because the TCA Awards aren’t televised, there was less pressure for winners to wrap up their speeches or risk being played off stage, with remarks ranging from a matter of seconds to seven or eight minutes, allowing for heartfelt comments from Paulson, who expressed her appreciation that the awards aren’t divided by gender; “The Americans” showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, who praised absent stars Russell and Matthew Rhys; and “Making a Murderer” writer-directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, who spoke of the joy of being able to realize their vision and tell such an important story on Netflix.

See the full list of TCA winners below.

Individual Achievement in Drama: Sarah Paulson (THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY, FX)
Individual Achievement in Comedy: Rachel Bloom (CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, The CW)
Outstanding Achievement in News and Information: FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE (TBS)
Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: MAKING A MURDERER (Netflix)
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD (PBS)
Outstanding New Program: MR. ROBOT (USA)
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY (FX)
Outstanding Achievement in Drama: THE AMERICANS (FX) – second consecutive year
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: BLACK-ISH (ABC)
Career Achievement Award: Lily Tomlin

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