Television critics showered Showtime’s CIA drama “Homeland” with love as they unveiled their nominations for their 2012 awards.
The premium-cable thriller, based on an Israeli series, landed four TV Critics Association Awards nominations — the most of any program — including best drama, best new series and new program of the year, as well as an acting nom for star Claire Danes, who plays a pill-popping CIA officer who thinks a war-hero Marine (Damian Lewis) was turned by al-Qaeda while in captivity.
By and large, critics appear not to have thought much of the recently concluded TV season. Across 12 categories, only a handful of freshman series were mentioned: “Homeland,” the HBO comedies “Girls” and “Veep,” FX’s Ryan Murphy-created “American Horror Story,” NBC’s let’s-put-on-a-Marilyn-Monroe-musical drama, “Smash,” ABC’s campy soap opera “Revenge” and Fox’s goofy Zooey Deschanel comedy, “New Girl.”
Notice the lack of any new CBS shows on that list. CBS finished the season as the country’s most popular television network — among people of all ages — by a hefty margin. That included the country’s most popular new comedy, “2 Broke Girls,” and America’s most-watched new series of any genre, “Person of Interest.”
But critics really hated “2 Broke Girls.” In January, at Winter TV Press Tour 2012, they nearly brawled with exec producer Michael Patrick King over gags they found to be racist. Although the critics seemed to like “Person of Interest” a lot better — with it being a J.J. Abrams show and all — it’s noticeably missing from the nominees.
“The Big Bang Theory” is the only CBS series that critics deigned to notice when nominating; the show scored one nom for best comedy series and another for star Jim Parsons. (In the best comedy race, “The Big Bang Theory” faces NBC’s “Community” and “Parks and Recreation,” FX’s “Louie” and ABC’s “Modern Family.”)
CBS gets the last laugh, however — it owns “Homeland”-network Showtime.
There’s also a shocking lack of zombies and vampires on this year’s list.
Meanwhile, after several years in which critics tossed a drama-nom bone toward broadcast TV — a “Good Wife” here, a “Friday Night Lights” or “Lost” there — critics noted only cable fare in this year’s drama race.
TV critics have long preferred their dramas on cable, where programs are not subject to FCC knuckle-rapping over language, sex and violence. Besides “Homeland,” this year’s list of best drama nominees includes AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men,” FX’s “Justified” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
Yes, ABC’s “Revenge” and NBC’s “Smash,” as mentioned, are both up for TCA awards – just not in the best drama derby. Instead, critics nominated those two shows for best new program of the year; they will compete with “Homeland,” “Girls” and “New Girl.”
The broadcast series “Downton Abbey” is also nominated, but not in the drama derby. Instead, the PBS program is up for best miniseries and program of the year.
No, we cannot explain it.
To win the program-of-the-year statuette, “Downton Abbey” will have to climb over “Homeland,” “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones” and “Mad Men.”
FremantleMedia, which produces “America’s Got Talent,” has apologized for airing a photo of Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone as though it were a photo of auditioning “Talent” competitor Timothy Poe.
The photo was shown during Monday’s broadcast in a taped video bit, as country singer Poe explained to judges Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel that he stutters due to an injury he suffered from a blast in Afghanistan in 2009. Questions arose not long after the broadcast, when no records of his injury turned up. After that, a report surfaced that the photo of the soldier on patrol in Afghanistan was Bone.
The production company says the photo was provided by Poe.
“We sincerely apologize to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone for using a photo of him in our story on Tim Poe,” a FremantleMedia spokesman said in a statement. “It was supplied to us by Tim and used on the show in good faith. It has now been removed and will not be used again.”
“Talent” exec producer Jason Raff said in a radio interview this week that the show doesn’t screen those who try out because they get “thousands of people who audition” and “we have to take them on their word.”
On the other hand, he also said in the interview that the show is achieving series-high ratings. The show is actually not achieving those ratings in households or among 18-to-49-year-olds — the two parameters he mentioned. That’s partly because for this edition, NBC debuted the show in the heat of the May sweep — when it faced stiff competition — rather than waiting for summer, as it had with past seasons.
During the interview, Raff said he can’t speak to where Poe is in the competition “because he hasn’t been eliminated on TV yet.” But he promised “viewers will find out what has happened to him.”
To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/