June 06, 2011 6:00am PT by Tim Goodman
Critics' Choice Television Awards: Yet Another Awards Show Arrives to Fete TV
If you’re thinking that what the world needs now is another awards show, then perhaps you’re a member of the newly formed Broadcast Television Journalists Association, which whipped itself together recently and decided to hold an awards show this month to get a jump on a slightly bigger gathering called the Emmys.
The Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) is an off-shoot of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and centers mostly on “those who regularly cover television for TV viewers,” meaning these are people you see on TV fawning over – or maybe that’s called covering – people who are on television series. People covering television shows on television don’t seem to do much serious criticism, but the group did decide to add some people who cover television online and, in a nice coup, also got respected critic Matt Roush from TV Guide Magazine.
The new group’s nominees, announced today, show some progressively clever improvements over traditional Emmy nominees but also a few stupefying decisions and omissions.
The group has 10 nominees in both the best drama and best comedy category, something the Emmys should seriously consider. There are six nominees in the acting categories, three reality categories (series, competition, host) a “talk show” category that includes daytime entrees, no writing or directing categories and no movies, miniseries, specials or documentaries.
So at least it should be a lot shorter than the Emmys.
The 10 best drama nominees are Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, Friday Night Lights, Fringe, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, Justified, The Killing, Mad Men and The Walking Dead.That’s a pretty strong list if you’re nominating 10 and, despite the egregious omission of Treme, plus the worthy trio of Men Of A Certain Age, Lights Outand Southland, there’s not much to quibble with.
The 10 best comedy nominees are Archer, The Big Bang Theory, Community, Glee, Louie, The Middle, Modern Family, The Office, Parks and Recreationand 30 Rock. Scratch Glee and The Office and you’d have room for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Raising Hope, two far better choices (Emmy voters, pay close attention to that). But at least the Archer nomination was inspired (and deserved).
In the “talk show” category, the only late night network talk show nominee is Jimmy Kimmel Live (which we endorse, wholeheartedly), though Chelsea Lately gets a nod. Both Oprah and Ellen get included for daytime.
Inspired picks elsewhere that Emmy voters should monitor include Walton Goggins (Justified) and Shawn Hatosy (Southland) for best supporting actor; Margo Martindale (Justified) for best supporting actress; Charlie Day for lead comedy actor on Sunny; Nick Offerman for supporting comedy actor on Parks and Eden Sher for supporing actress on The Middle.
Of course, award nominations (and winners) are meant to bickered about, but we’re going to save most of our applause and bile for the Emmys, which is a show most people are more likely to watch. These so-called Critics Choice Television Awards (rowr!) will be held June 20 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, streamed live on VH1.com and then shown on the Reelz Channel on June 22 at 8 p.m. (repeated at 11 p.m.).
The Television Critics Association, made up of print critics from newspapers, magazines and online sites, also has an awards show every July, but wisely keeps it off the air. If only several others followed our lead.