'Breaking Bad,' 'The Americans' Top TCA Awards

Frank W. Ockenfels 3
"Breaking Bad"

"Orphan Black's" Tatiana Maslany and "Louie's" Louis C.K. nabbed drama and comedy accolades, respectively, while Barbara Walters was honored with a career achievement award.

Breaking Bad and The Americans earned top honors at the Television Critics Association's 29th annual TCA Awards Saturday evening.

The invitation-only event, hosted by Comedy Central comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, took place at The Beverly Hilton, home to the TCA’s summer press tour, currently underway. CBS' The Big Bang Theory, NBC's Parks and Recreation and ABC Family's since-canceled Bunheads were among the other programs honored by the 220-plus members of the media organization.

"These were not easy choices for our membership because there were so many deserving nominees," said TCA president Candace Havens, adding: "In a year that saw a lot of great television, the TCA Awards winners represent the best of the best."

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Program of the year was awarded to AMC’s Breaking Bad, which beat out fellow nominees The Americans, The Walking Dead, House of Cards and last year’s winner, Game of Thrones. Bad, which begins its final eight-episode run August 11, will face off against the latter two as well as Homeland, Mad Men and Downton Abbey at September's Emmy Awards.

FX’s The Americans, which led the pack with four nominations, took home the award for outstanding new program, an honor bestowed upon Homeland in 2012. The since-renewed Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys KGB drama launched earlier this year to critical and commercial acclaim, but was shut out of the fiercely competitive drama category at the Emmys.

HBO’s Game of Thrones nabbed the outstanding achievement in drama award, while breakout star Tatiana Maslany was honored with individual achievement in drama for her portrayal of Sarah Manning in BBC America’s Orphan Black. Though Maslany failed to break into the Emmy race this year, she did take home top honors at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards. Here, she beat out multiple Emmy winner Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad along with Bates Motel’s Vera Farmiga, Parenthood’s Monica Potter and The Americans’ Rhys.

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Ratings juggernaut The Big Bang Theory and long-running darling Parks and Recreation tied for outstanding achievement in comedy, the only series category outside of reality programming (ABC's Shark Tank) and the Heritage award (CBS' All in the Family) in which the big four broadcast networks were recognized. For his part, Louis C.K., writer, producer and star of FX’s Louie, took the top trophy in the individual achievement in comedy category for the second consecutive year.

Trailblazer Barbara Walters was granted the career achievement award, an honor given to CBS late-night host David Letterman at last year's show. The prestigious nod comes as the news veteran, who has been on TV for more than 50 years, is set to retire next year.

A complete list of 2013 TCA Award recipients follows:

  • Individual Achievement in Drama: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black, BBC America) 
  • Individual Achievement in Comedy: Louis C.K. (Louie, FX)
  • Outstanding Achievement in News and Information: The Central Park Five (PBS)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: Shark Tank (ABC)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: Bunheads (ABC Family) 
  • Outstanding New Program: The Americans (FX)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials: Behind the Candelabra (HBO)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Drama: Game of Thrones (HBO) 
  • Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: The Big Bang Theory (CBS) and Parks and Recreation (NBC).
  • Career Achievement Award: Barbara Walters (ABC)
  • Heritage Award: All in the Family (CBS)
  • Program of the Year: Breaking Bad (AMC)