The Television Critics Association passes rare annual judgment on TV shows by saying it likes The Americans and Breaking Bad

The Television Critics Association passes rare annual judgment on TV shows by saying it likes The Americans and Breaking Bad

It is that special time of year, when normally taciturn television critics grudgingly agree to share their opinions on TV shows, rather than adopting their usual policy of live-and-let-live silence. And this year the Television Critics Association said it particularly enjoyed FX shows like The Americansprobably while making an open-handed shrugging gesture to communicate that it’s okay if you didn’t see it yet. “Hey, you’ve been busy,” television critics said, noting that it’s similarly cool if you still haven’t gotten into Breaking Bad, which tied The Americans at three nominations, including Program Of The Year. “We’re certainly not going to tell you which shows to watch in your limited free time,” critics added, before praising everyone in the whole entertainment industry for just “showing some real hustle this year.”

Anyway, in the sense that one can measure such things, The Americans led the way for FX to score the highest number of nominations of any network, with additional recognition for Louie and American Horror Story: Asylum across multiple categories. It was also just one of several freshmen shows to make the list—including its Program Of The Year competitor House Of Cards, whose nomination officially ushers in the age of Netflix being considered in the same category as regular TV networks, and other newcomers The Mindy Project, Rectify, Top Of The Lake, and Orphan Black.

Along with livening up expected holdovers like Homeland, Mad Men, Parks And Recreation, and Veep, and creating a hilarious situation where Adventure Time must somehow be judged by the same criteria as Bunheads, this new blood is most evident in the acting categories: New Girl’s Jake Johnson got some well-earned notice, while Parenthood’s Monica Potter, Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, The Americans’ Matthew Rhys, and Bates Motel’s Vera Farmiga will all enjoy this first opportunity to probably lose to Bryan Cranston.

Elsewhere, some will likely quibble with the exclusion of Enlightened and 30 Rock for their swan songs, or the acting snubs for Homeland and New Program snub for Hannibal, and there’s possibly even someone who will take issue with The Walking Dead being up for Program Of The Year, should a negative person decide to use the Internet for “criticizing television” today. “Can’t we instead just marvel at the wealth of available entertainment options for everyone?” the TCA would surely argue. 

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
The Americans, FX
Breaking Bad, AMC
Game of Thrones, HBO
House of Cards, Netflix
The Walking Dead, AMC

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
The Americans, FX
Breaking Bad, AMC
Game Of Thrones, HBO
Homeland, Showtime
Mad Men, AMC

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel (A&E)
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black (BBC America)
Monica Potter, Parenthood (NBC)
Matthew Rhys, The Americans (FX)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
The Big Bang Theory, CBS
Louie, FX
New Girl, Fox
Parks And Recreation, NBC
Veep, HBO

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
Louis C.K., Louie (FX)
Lena Dunham, Girls (HBO)
Jake Johnson, New Girl (Fox)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation (NBC)

NEW PROGRAM
The Americans, FX
Elementary, CBS
House Of Cards, Netflix
The Mindy Project, Fox
Orphan Black, BBC America

OUTSTANDING MOVIE, MINISERIES OR SPECIAL
American Horror Story: Asylum, FX
Behind the Candelabra, HBO
Downton Abbey, PBS
Rectify, Sundance Channel
Top Of The Lake, Sundance Channel

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY PROGRAMMING
The Amazing Race, CBS
The Glee Project, Oxygen
Shark Tank, ABC
Survivor, CBS
The Voice, NBC

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING
Adventure Time, Cartoon Network
Bunheads, ABC Family
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, PBS
Sesame Street, PBS
Switched at Birth, ABC Family

NEWS AND INFORMATION
60 Minutes, CBS
Anderson Cooper 360, CNN
Central Park Five, PBS
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Comedy Central
Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC

HERITAGE AWARD
All In the Family, CBS
Lost, ABC
Saturday Night Live, NBC
Star Trek, NBC
Twin Peaks, ABC

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
James L. Brooks
James Burrows
Jay Leno
William Shatner
Barbara Walters