HBO’s “Watchmen” walked away the big winner at the 2020 Television Critics Assn. (TCA) Awards, picking up four trophies: program of the year; new program; outstanding achievement in movie, miniseries or special; and individual achievement in drama, for actor Regina King.
Pop’s “Schitt’s Creek” was the second-biggest winner, earning two trophies this year: outstanding achievement in comedy and individual achievement in comedy, for actor Catherine O’Hara.
In a video taped acceptance speech — because in accordance with safety guidelines due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic the 36th Annual TCA Awards were announced digitally this year — O’Hara preferred to call TCA members, “the television nurturers’ association — because you have been so welcoming and supporting of Eugene and Daniel Levy and the cast and crew of ‘Schitt’s Creek’ — and me.”
She continued, “I try not to take anything said about me too seriously, but your very kind encouragement and this award is making it very difficult to keep my head on straight.”
“Watchmen’s” wins helped push its premium cable home, HBO, to the top earner for networks, winning six overall honors from the TCA this year (doubling its total from last year). “Succession” won the outstanding achievement in drama statue category, and “A Black Lady Sketch Show” won outstanding achievement in sketch/variety.
“It’s just an honor to be nominated against all my friends, and I’m so happy that we beat them,” said Robin Thede, creator, writer, executive producer and actor, “A Black Lady Sketch Show.”
“Watchmen” creator Damon Lindelof used his acceptance speech time to remind the critics who voted for his show just how uncomfortable it is when actors and producers walk out on stage during the biannual TCA presentations to no applause. (The members must remain neutral in their opinions of the show at that point in time.) “Your invalidation actually validates my belief that I am human garbage,” he said, “so imagine my dismay upon learning that you have awarded ‘Watchmen’ so generously. I suppose one of the only upsides of the global pandemic is that this format continues to deprive me of the applause that I so unhealthily crave.”
Lindelof also noted that he reads the reviews and other stories written about his shows because to not do so would “be to ignore an incredible resource. … I love television, and I know you do, too.”
“Schitt’s Creek’s” wins made Pop the second-most awarded network. All other recipients received only one award each. The other winners are: ESPN’s “The Last Dance” for outstanding achievement in news and information, Netflix’s “Cheer” for outstanding achievement in reality programming and PBS Kids’ “Molly of Denali” for outstanding achievement in youth programming.
“For too long indigenous peoples have been sidelined or, worse, demeaned in media,” said Sovereign Bill, voice of Molly in “Molly of Denali.” She thanked the TCA voters “for honoring our efforts to correct that by bringing positive, authentic portrayals of Alaskan natives through Molly and her world.”
The special career achievement honor went to “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek, while CBS and Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek” was honored with the heritage award.
Roddenberry’s son, Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, accepted the heritage award, noting that when his father created the show, it was with the “hope and optimistic view of what humanity could become, told through the lens of science fiction.”
“It’s an honor to be a part of its lasting legacy that has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, addressing many of the social and political issues, which address our society today,” he said.
The winners of the 2020 TCA Awards were determined by votes cast by the members of the organization: more than 250 professional television critics and journalists working and residing in both the United States and Canada. The TCA Awards are one of few organizations that do not separate nominees along gender lines.
“What a wonderful group of thespians to be named alongside,” King said in her acceptance speech. She was nominated in the same category as Cate Blanchett, Kaitlyn Dever, Mark Ruffalo, Rhea Seehorn, Jeremy Strong and Merritt Wever. Finding out she won, she said, “My heart is just jumping. … I’m just bubbling.”