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Glee cleans up, other recipients score points by talking a little dirty at TV Critics Association Awards

by on August 2nd 2010 at 1:40 am

Glee comes up big/Fox photo

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- What a night, what a crowd, what a time to sound like Rodney Dangerfield.

The 26th annual Television Critics Association awards, bestowed Saturday night, managed to rock the house despite a trio of prominent no-shows for seemingly defensible reasons.

Let's go there first.

Julianna Margulies of CBS' The Good Wife, a winner for individual achievement in drama, was filming the series in New York. So she accepted via videotape, saying "It's rare that you get to love your job everyday."

Jane Lynch of Fox's Glee, cited for individual achievement in comedy, contracted a "terrible case of laryngitis," according to executive producer Ryan Murphy. So the mouth that roars, as acidic cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester, did not get a chance to say something like, "I immensely deserve this award, even if it comes from you horrid little blights on humankind."

Furthermore, career achievement winner James Garner long has suffered from stage fright and "hates these things," his biographer told a packed house of TV critics and winners who actually did show up.

Foremost among them was Tom Hanks, who co-produced HBO's The Pacific with Steven Spielberg. Hanks, natty in a dark suit and tie, couldn't help but notice the attire of  guest host Dax Shepard of NBC's Parenthood (tieless in a clownish tomato red suit) and Murphy, who wore a notably stretched out white undershirt under his suitcoat.

"This is the last time I'm dressin' up for you (bleepin') people," Hanks deadpanned. He later kissed "this priceless piece of Lucite" that constitutes a TCA trophy. But Hanks got serious, too, ending his speech with the notation that "The Pacific is not about World War II. It's about today."

Hollywood's most unpretentious major star also stayed late and kibbitzed at length with critics after the ceremony ended at 9:25 p.m. West Coast time. He didn't have to do that, but Hanks invariably is gracious with his time, even on a Saturday night.

During informal conversation, he said that his next planned project for HBO is a 9-hour adaptation of famed prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's massive tome on the Kennedy assassination. Bugliosi, a firm believer that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone,  meticulously attempts to discredit every conceivable conspiracy theory. Hanks said that the HBO project will reflect Bugliosi's findings in what basically would amount to a polar-opposite rebuttal of Oliver Stone's JFK film. Hanks agreed that this is certain to be a controversial undertaking.

The outstanding achievement in drama award was shared by ABC's Lost and AMC's Breaking Bad while ABC's Modern Family got the best comedy trophy and Glee won for both program of the year and best new program.

Damon Lindelof, co-executive producer of Lost, noted that some fans of the show didn't buy into the ending. He then read a series of disparaging tweets, including "Hey, douche, How about if you just give me six years of my life back."

Lindelof also thanked TV critics for their overall support -- "Thanks for being John Locke to my Jack Shephard" -- before noting that no Lost cast members were in attendance.

"It's coming, Murphy, it's coming," he warned the Glee executive producer, who had almost a full cast contingent on hand Saturday night, including principal stars Matthew Morrisson and Lea Michele.

Modern Family executive producer Steven Levitan apologized for using a pre-written acceptance speech, contending he'd been out of the country and unable to revise it. He then began, "Doing a television show is scary. But thankfully we have a champion in our corner like Steve McPherson."

Levitan of course knew full well that McPherson had been forced out Tuesday as ABC entertainment president after six years on the job. Anything for a laugh -- and it worked.

The night's other winners were Discovery's Life miniseries in the news and information category and Nick Jr.'s Yo Gabba Gabba as best "youth program." And the already much-lauded M*A*S*H received the Heritage Award.

"I'm glad the critics are finally getting around to M*A*S*H. Our ranks are running thin," said William Christopher, who played Father Francis Mulcahy throughout the entire 11-season run of the landmark Korean War series. It  ended in 1983, just before the Television Critics Association Awards were established.

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