The Washington Post

TV critics honor ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Orphan Black,’ ‘The Americans’

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. — AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” the much-acclaimed, manic meth-lab drama about to begin its final season, won best TV program for the 2012-13 season at the annual Television Critics Association awards show here Saturday night.

The awards, given at the TCA’s summertime press tour, salute the shows and performances that most delighted the reporters and critics who write about TV. More than 200 journalists who are members of the TCA were eligible to vote.

Tatiana Maslany, who plays several different clones in BBC America’s original action-adventure series “Orphan Black,” won the TCA’s award for individual achievement in drama; Louis C.K., a previous winner, won for individual achievement in comedy for his FX show “Louie.”

“The Central Park Five,” a documentary by Sarah Burns, David McMahon and Ken Burns, about the miscarriage of justice in the 1989 “Central Park jogger” case that aired on PBS, won for outstanding achievement in news and information.

And “The Americans,” FX’s early-1980s spy drama set in and around Washington, won the award for outstanding new program.

The awards show was held at the Beverly Hilton, where network executives show producers, actors and critics meet each summer for two weeks of fall season previews and panel discussions.

The TCA gave this year’s Heritage Award, which salutes an influential series from the past, to Norman Lear’s “All in the Family,” which ran on CBS from 1971-79. The association’s career achievement award this year went to TV journalist Barbara Walters, 83, who announced earlier this year that she’ll retire from TV in 2014.

Other winners:

•Outstanding drama series: “Game of Thrones” (HBO).
•Outstanding comedy series (tie): “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS); “Parks and Recreation” (NBC).
•Outstanding achievement in reality TV: “Shark Tank” (ABC).
•Outstanding achievement in youth programming: “Bunheads” (ABC Family).
•Outstanding movie, miniseries or special: “Behind the Candelabra” (HBO).

The TCA’s press tour continues Sunday with presentations of new fall shows from ABC. The conference will wrap up this week with PBS’s presentations, including a panel with members of the season 4 cast of “Downton Abbey,” which returns to PBS in January.

Hank Stuever has been The Post's TV critic since 2009. He joined the paper in 1999 as a writer for the Style section, where he has covered an array of popular (and unpopular) culture across the nation.

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