The Fourth Annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards was a night to remember, both for the big winners as well as the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, for this one marked the first time the awards presentation was telecast live (on the CW Network), on June 19, 2014.
Cedric the Entertainer hosted and set the irreverent mood by saying, “Welcome to the show that celebrates diversity; well, not that much diversity. I see white people in the audience, white people, people from ‘Scandal,’ white people, black people in a show about prison, and more white people!”
Despite his comedic vision, the winners turned out to be a diverse group, with “Orange Is the New Black” (the prison show) winning the CCTA trophy for best comedy and star Uzo Aduba taking home best guest performer in a comedy series. Absentee winners of color included Andre Braugher won for supporting actor in a comedy series (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Neil deGrasse Tyson for best reality series host.
But hands down the funniest winner of the night took home a record two awards, as Allison Janney scored first as best guest performer in a drama series for her work in “Masters of Sex” and tied for best supporting actress in a comedy in “Mom.”
“I just . . . came,” she laughed as she accepted her “Sex” prize, then followed up with “This is the climax of my career!” upon receiving her second CCTA trophy of the evening.
The gala show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills brought out some of Hollywood’s most famous faces, from television and beyond. Presenters included Christina Applegate, Christian Slater, Laura Prepon, Angie Harmon, Isaiah Washington, Demian Bechir, Diane Kruger and Jim Parsons, who also took home the prize for best actor in a comedy series. Billy Bob Thornton scored for best actor in a movie or mini-series for “Fargo,” and an absent Jessica Lange won for best actress in the same category, for “American Horror Story: Coven.”
The audience was packed with power players, too, from Jon Voight ad beau Bridges to Keri Russell, Minnie Driver, and Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey added the CCTA for best actor in a drama series (in “True Detective”) to the Oscar, Globe and CCMA (the sister critics’ organization to the CCTA) best actor (in a movie) awards he won earlier this year for his astonishing work in “Dallas Buyers Club.”
“Television is raising the bar on character-driven stories,” McConaughey said happily in his acceptance speech, “and I am proud to be a part of it, especially on HBO, which leads the way.”
Other big winners were “Breaking Bad” for best drama series, “Fargo” for best mini-series and “The Normal Heart” for best made-for-television movie.
Follow Jenny Peters on Twitter at @jennpeters.