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Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Television Critics Association 2006 Award Nominees

by Jennifer Squires Biller

The Television Critics Association named its nominees for the 2006 TCA Awards Wednesday. Unlike Emmy voters, I think these folks actually watch the shows and actors, before placing their votes. Translation: You won’t find umpteen nominations for Will and Grace. Yay!

There were a few oversights in my opinion, namely Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars, Donald Faison of Scrubs, Denis Leary of Rescue Me and an absolute shutout of Boston Legal. But, the categories are limited, so I forgive them. The TCA doesn’t have as many categories as the Emmys, so it is incredibly difficult to narrow the leads for comedy and drama down to just five, without the sub-categories of male, female and supporting actor. Without further adieu, **drum roll please**, here are the nominees. (My choices for the winners are in bold type, followed by a brief explanation of why. Keep in mind, this is who I WANT to win, not necessarily my pick for who WILL win.)

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
Lost (ABC)
The Office (NBC)
The Sopranos (HBO)
24 (Fox)

Tube Talk Girl’s analysis: Anyone who watched the two-part post Super Bowl episodes understands why this show is bloody brilliant. (Pun intended. Rest in peace, hot bomb guy.)


INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
Alan Alda (The West Wing)
James Gandolfini (The Sopranos)
Hugh Laurie (House)
Kiefer Sutherland (24)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)

Tube Talk Girl’s analysis: Laurie is brilliant as curmudgeonly Dr. House and gets extra points for his American accent. However, Kristen Bell and Denis Leary should have been on this list. As much as I love Alda and Sedgwick, I think Bell and Leary really hit it home last year.

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
Steve Carell (The Office)
Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report)
Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls)
Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl)
Jon Stewart (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)

Tube Talk Girl’s analysis: Scrubs’ Donald Faison is a must this year on any comedy list. Why he isn’t here can only be attributed to the stiff, talented comedic competition. Choosing between Steve Carell, Jon Stewart and Jason Lee is like trying to choose my favorite kind of chocolate. Alas, I’m going with Lee and hoping it’ll bring me some good karma.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
Everybody Hates Chris (UPN)
My Name Is Earl (NBC)
The Office (NBC)
Scrubs (NBC)

Tube Talk Girl’s analysis: This year we watched Turk do an air band routine, fight kung-fu style and sing the theme song from Sanford and Son. Then, there were J.D.’s outrageous daydreams that got crazier with each episode. This show’s ensemble cast doesn’t have one weak link, from the janitor to the nurses to the physicians to Ted the lawyer, Scrubs achieved “outstanding comedy” and should be rewarded.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
House (Fox)
Lost (ABC)
The Sopranos (HBO)
24 (Fox)

Tube Talk Girl's analysis: As mesmerizing as Lost is, Grey’s Anatomy deserves this prize. It’s consistent every episode and introduced terms such as va-jay-jay and McDreamy into our vernacular.

OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Big Love (HBO)
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
Everybody Hates Chris (UPN)
My Name Is Earl (NBC)
Prison Break (Fox)

Tube Talk Girl’s analysis: The premise is unlike anything done on television before, and Earl’s weekly quest to make his way down his list of wrongs spawns enough laughs to keep viewers coming back week after week.

HERITAGE AWARD
"Hallmark Hall of Fame" (CBS)
"The West Wing" (NBC)
“Will & Grace" (NBC)

Tube Talk Girl's analysis: The West Wing achieved what few television dramas ever do: quality until the bittersweet end. It gave us an idealistic version of American politics and managed to make us watch even in the last season.

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