Jim Parsons with his award
Jim Parsons with his award

On August 1st, the Television Critics Association marked the 25th anniversary of its awards with a ceremony, Television Critics Association Awards 2009, looking back at the history of the organization and its tradition of honoring quality television programs.

The event took place at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, and was hosted by Chelsea Handler, host of E!’s Chelsea Lately. Here are excepts from some of the recipients:


I still can’t believe that we actually get to make this show. Sometimes I look at what we’re doing and I can’t believe somebody isn’t stepping from out of a dream going, ‘Okay, it’s time to go home now.’

We have so much fun working on this show, I get to work with such an amazing cast, such amazing writers and producers, we have such a fantastic crew, it’s really a joy to go to work every day and this is the icing on the cake.


Bryan Cranston © Margie Barron
Bryan Cranston © Margie Barron

When Paul Newman won his Oscar he said that award-winning performances are not acted they are written, and he’s so right.

The writer is the most important element in performance and certainly the most important component to all creativity in Hollywood, it begins with the writer. To all the writers I’ve worked with for the past 30 years in this business, you are gods to me.

And to you, the TCA members, without your written words and critiques for our show, I truly don’t know if Breaking Bad would have gathered enough attention to make it to the second year, let alone our third year which we begin soon.

So I dedicate this to you, the writers, you are truly the architects of dreams.


Jim Parsons with his award © Margie Barron
Jim Parsons with his award ©2009 M Barron

I have the horrible feeling I’m expected to be funny up here and I will only serve you to notice how much my career depends on the writers.

I’m really surprised to win this, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. This is so specific, this group of people who are giving this, I feel I’ve spent so much time meeting each of you, and honestly I liked you very much before this, and I think I like you better now.

What you have written about us that’s the kind of thing that drives people to watch the show, and that’s really what I want to thank you for, because that’s why I still have a job.

Grey Gardens – Lucy Barzun Donnelly (Executive Producer)

Jessica Lange, Michael Sucsy & Drew Barrymore © HBO
Grey Gardens – Jessica Lange, Michael Sucsy & Drew Barrymore © HBO

I want to thank the TCA and HBO and say that Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange wanted to be with us tonight, but they had previous engagements.

The only people that wanted to be with us more that Drew and Jessica are ‘Little Edie’ and ‘Big Edie.’

I think they might be here actually, I’d check [around you] for spirits, because they would just be delighted and thrilled that you had recognized them, and thank you for recognizing our film.


Noah Wylie with his award © Margie Barron
Noah Wylie with his award © Margie Barron

I’m honored to be here tonight accepting this award on behalf of John Wells our executive producer and all the other men and women who helped to make ER come true.

ER essentially was a medical drama conceived by the late and sorely missed Michael Crichton, designed to highlight and to honor the often unsung heroes working in the American medical profession, doctors, nurses, orderlies, and you honor them by giving us this award tonight.

But you also honor something else, you honor a family that was created in 1993 on soundstage 11 at the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, California, a family that I was blissfully part of for 15 years.

And now that we’ve all scattered to the various winds having emerged from that wonderful cocoon, and we’re all engaged in trying to find other projects and ventures, we do so with the sobering knowledge that there’s no comparison, that lightning only strikes once and certain experiences are once in a lifetime, so on behalf of everyone in that family.

I thank you for this  recognition for our efforts and I thank you for helping elevate ER into the pantheon of great television series.

The Big Bang Theory – Chuck Lorre (Producer/Writer)

I’ve written down some thoughts, but I’d rather speak from the heart [long pause…], my heart was killed 20 years ago on Roseanne. [Everyone laughs]

I want to thank the TCA for this incredible honor, we are so grateful. This show is a culmination of a series of miracles. We got lucky Johnny Galacki and Jim Parsons, two guys with unbelievable chemistry and talent and intuitively knowing the right thing to do in front of the camera.

The second miracle was CBS and Warner Brothers decided we deserved a second shot when we blew the first pilot. The show was on eight weeks before the writers’ strike hit and we were off for 4 months and CBS decided we would be on at 8 o’clock and lead the night, and it looked like it could be a very quick death for the show and we were worried, and we survived and that was a miracle.

On a personal note to the television critics, I know that my relationship with you folks over the years has been somewhat contentious, one might say adversarial, but I want to take this moment to assure you that with this award I’m now and forever your slave toad sucking bitch.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY Mad Men – Matthew Weiner (Creator/Writer)

I’m one of the few people in the world who does what I do who has creative freedom and you can see it on the show. It’s a lot of responsibility but I’m supported by so many talented people and when you do it together it’s a pretty amazing thing, and I think that process is something I have to acknowledge.

I also want to say [winning] this for the second year in a row, and realizing how much I get along with you critics and I know you like my work, and that’s a big part of it, that’s one of the requirements for getting along with me!


Betty White in The Golden Girls © NBC
Betty White in The Golden Girls © NBC
Betty White after the awards © Margie Barron
Betty White after the awards © M Barron

I’ve been around for 60 years, you can’t get rid of me, I just won’t go away. I started television locally in 1949, and got my first network show in 1952, which was a big thrill.

The critics were very kind, with one exception. There was a man named Norm Crosby who was probably the most foremost critic at that time, and Norm Crosby couldn’t stand me, I didn’t just get a bad review, he didn’t like what I wore, he didn’t like my laugh, what I looked like, what I did, and I cried for three solid days.

You think that’s the end of the world when something like that happens, and it’s been such a wonderful career and I’m so lucky to still be working with such wonderful people, if I didn’t love this award so much and want to take it home, I might be tempted to suggest what Mr Crosby could do with it!

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR Battlestar Galactica –Jane Espenson (writer)

Program of the Year – Battlestar Galactica © The Sci-Fi Channel
Program of the Year – Battlestar Galactica © The Sci-Fi Channel

We have a [great] cast and crew and network support that’s second to none, which really made [this award] possible.

I want to thank the critics, if you notice we got this for Best Program, but we weren’t even nominated for Best Drama, which means that they noticed something, while we were not always the most dramatic, I think we were always the most programmy!


Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.