TCA Awards Nominees include ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘The Walking Dead’ & ‘House of Cards’

The Television Critics Association just sent its members the list of the shows we nominated for the 2013 TCA Awards, which will be presented on August 3, midway through this summer’s TCA press tour.

It’s a list filled with some familiar names – whether from the Emmys or from TCA nominations past – including “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Louie” and “Game of Thrones,” as well as some people and shows that seem likely to get attention from the Emmys later this summer, like “House of Cards” and “The Americans.”

But there are also some quirkier choices. “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany and “Parenthood” co-star Monica Potter, for instance, were both nominated for the Individual Achievement in Drama award, and we showered love on series from Sundance Channel (“Rectify,” “Top of the Lake”) and Cartoon Network (“Adventure Time”) as well as more traditional powers like HBO, AMC or FX.

As a group, I think we may have to disqualify ourselves from ever mocking the Emmys, Golden Globes or other TV award that has trouble identifying what is and isn’t a miniseries, since we nominated two ongoing shows – “Rectify” and “Downton Abbey” – in our movies and miniseries categories. Because of the strange nature of the balloting – though there are five nominees per category, TCA members are only allowed so submit two nominations – there are the usual inconsistencies throughout the ballot. “The Walking Dead” and “House of Cards” aren’t nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Drama,” for instance, but they’re both up for Program of the Year(*), while “Bunheads” and “Rectify” weren’t nominated for New Program, but appear elsewhere (Youth Programming and that pesky miniseries category, respectively).

(*) Fienberg would argue that this is not inconsistent, nor does he have an issue with “TWD” being up for that award. When I expressed surprise at the nomination, he said, “The first cable series in history to win the season in the key demo? Sure. Zero problem with that.” Similarly, I can see the groundbreaking nature of “House of Cards” – the first Netflix-produced original drama, and the trailblazer for the services all-at-once distribution model – getting it a nod there, even if I preferred a whole bunch of shows to it.

I also suspect the nominating process had something to do with Jay Leno’s nomination for Career Achievement, given that the TCA, by and large, tends to be very pro-Conan/Dave/Johnny/anyone-but-Jay. But a few votes can be enough to secure a nomination (see last year, when “Smash” was up for New Program).

Happy to see us recognize Jake Johnson, disappointed we couldn’t throw a nomination to Michael Cudlitz, or to “Hannibal,” but there’s never room for everything.

Here’s the full list. Voting’s open for the next week. I have a pretty good idea what I’m going to do in most categories, but will think for a few days before voting.

Individual Achievement in Drama

Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”

Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel”

Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”

Monica Potter, “Parenthood”

Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”

Individual Achivement in Comedy

Louis C.K., “Louie”

Lena Dunham, “Girls”

Jake Johnson, “New Girl”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”

Outstanding Achievement in Drama

“The Americans,” FX

“Breaking Bad,” AMC

“Game of Thrones,” HBO

“Homeland,” Showtime

“Mad Men,” AMC

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy

“The Big Bang Theory,” CBS

“Louie,” FX

“New Girl,” FOX

“Parks and Recreation,” NBC

“Veep,” HBO

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

News and Information

“Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN

“Central Park Five,” PBS

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central

“Rachel Maddow Show,” MSNBC

“60 Minutes,” CBS

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

New Program

“The Americans,” FX

“Elementary,” CBS

“House of Cards,” Netflix

“The Mindy Project,” FOX

“Orphan Black,” BBC America

Career Achievement Award

James L. Brooks

James Burrows

Jay Leno

William Shatner

Barbara Walters

The Heritage Award

“All in the Family”


“Saturday Night Live”

“Star Trek”

“Twin Peaks”

Program of the Year

“The Americans,” FX

“Breaking Bad,” AMC

“Game of Thrones,” HBO

“House of Cards,” Netflix

“The Walking Dead,” AMC

What does everybody else think? How’d the TCA do as a nominating body?