Will 'Community' and 'Homeland' Critics Choice Television Awards Upset Wins Mean Big Things For Emmy?

“The Emmy win was more like a high school popularity contest. This is from the critics!,” said Julie Bowen, the Critics’ Choice Television Awards’ newly named Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series winner — who also happens to be the reigning Emmy winner in the same category. But she seemed to be placing more importance on this award than even the Emmy when we talked right after Monday night’s ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. When I repeated her opinion to her Modern Family co-star and fellow Critics Choice winner — and reigning Emmy winner for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy — Ty Burrell, he agreed, saying the recognition from the critics has enormous meaning for him.

Related: Critics’ Choice TV Awards: ‘Homeland’, ‘Community’ & ‘Sherlock’ Double Winners

Of course it doesn’t hurt that these awards, now in their second year, are strategically positioned to happen right smack dab in the middle of Emmy voting, so tonight’s impressive turnout of nominees, winners and presenters was not suprising. Exposure at this crucial time in the process is everything, and unlike movie awards season there aren’t nearly as many opportunities for a photo op or acceptance speech as the Broadcast Critics Association offers with their nascent TV awards. If attention is as much the prize itself then these awards could not have been better for the Emmy chances of third-season critical favorite Communitywhich was the big surprise winner over favored Modern Family for Best Comedy Series, and Showtime’s first-season drama Homelandwhich won Best Actress in a Drama for Claire Danes and Best Drama Series over favored vets like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. The latter did win Actor in a Drama for three-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for Giancarlo Esposito, while Mad Men’s sole win was for repeat victor Christina Hendricks in Supporting Drama Actress. Does this relative shocking showing for two new, not widely viewed shows outside of critical circles mean a potential earthquake at the Emmys, where Mad Men has won the Best Drama Series award for all four of its seasons and Modern Family has done the same in the comedy category for its first two years on ABC?

Their voting counterparts at the Critics Choice Movie Awards have consistently had one of the best track records going for matching eventual Oscar winners, and obviously that’s what the BFCA is aiming for with the TV spinoff. Unlike the movie awards this one does not have a broadcast partner and was essentially a show just for those in the room Monday night. I am told however that network reps were in the audience checking it out (in its first year, ReelzChannel carried it for broadcast). Almost all the winners in the lead drama and lead comedy categories (Cranston, Danes, Louis C.K., Amy Poehler) were no-shows (save for a spirited Zooey Deschanel, who couldn’t seem to believe her luck in winning — she tied actually with Parks And Recreation‘s Poehler). Still, many winners were  there and seemed thrilled by the opportunity to rev up their Emmy speeches in front of this crowd — even though lots of cracks were made about the fact that this doesn’t exactly draw the level of Emmy celebrity participation organizers would like. But hey, it is only their second year, and it has already turned into a seeming must-attend event for Emmy hopefuls. Nevertheless, KTLA’s Sam Rubin opened the show saying, “This is the only awards show that makes the Golden Globes look legitimate.”

No one seemed to care. Winners of Best Animated Series Archer were extremely grateful for their recognition, thanking the critics by saying, “We’d like to thank the TV Critics for being the only ones watching us for two seasons”.  Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries winner Julianne Moore (Game Change) also seemed ecstatic and even managed to thank the Republican Party for making her portrayal of Sarah Palin possible.

Hands down the best presenter of the evening was 85-year-old Cloris Leachman, who slowly ran through a history of her own numerous talk show appearances before presenting an absent Jimmy Fallon (who accepted on tape) with his Best Talk Show award.

As for the evening’s big upset — the Best Comedy award to NBC’s weakly rated Community, which just hang on for a half-hearted renewal — it is interesting to note that recently jettisoned creator Dan Harmon was not in attendance for the big award but star Joel McHale called it “vindication”. He went on to thank NBC “for keeping us on the air” (and even Hitler for something or other), ending with the line, “We are proud to be in a room that is way more crowded than the Golden Globes”.

Judd Apatow, who was in attendance for his nominated HBO comedy series Girls, told me his December movie This Is 40, which he also wrote and directed, is completely done and will undergo an extensive marketing campaign with early screenings in hopes it can carve out a niche for itself. “This is what you have to do these days to get any attention at all,” he said. A late -ear release means Universal is likely planning an Oscar campaign for the film that is essentially a sequel to Knocked Up.

At the pre-reception, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan told me he is very excited about the upcoming season of the show and AMC’s extensive campaign leading up to its July 15 debut. Emmy-winning and Critics Choice-nominated co-star Aaron Paul went one step further, saying, “this is the craziest bad-ass season yet”. Sounds like fun.

With Emmy voting continuing until June 28, the 2nd Critics Choice Television Awards just might have a significant impact in pointing Emmy voters to shows they should probably take a look at before they vote. As one of those voters, I can say it’s daunting trying to get through the piles of DVDs sent for consideration. There seem to more every year, and that’s not even taking into account the daily emails form the Academy pointing to shows available online. But it is awards ceremonies like the CCTAs that attempt to trim the field and influence Emmy. We’ll see if this one does. Remember that Homeland is just a first-year show and the quirky, offbeat Community has not been Emmy-nominated to date. Is this the year? Stay tuned.

  1. I doubt Community will get any Emmy attention but Homeland has a good shot at winning Drama Series, though I’m pulling for Breaking Bad to win.

    1. I’m right there with you Anna. I wouldn’t be upset to see Homeland win Best Drama but Breaking Bad deserves it. No matter what happens Homeland is pretty much guaranteed at least one Emmy: Lead Actress in a Drama for Claire Danes. What an amazing performance.

    2. Homeland was great. I’d be happy if that won, but I’ll be pulling for Breaking Bad to win as well. Or if Game of Thrones somehow upset that’d be okay too (Thrones will have a good chance for either Season 3 or 4 — book readers will know why)

    3. MAD MEN is reaching for its historic fifth consecutive Outstanding Drama with its strongest string of episodes ever, yet the reaction this year was mixed.

      BREAKING BAD is excellent and worthy, but notably lacks the polish / distinct production values of its contenders.

      HOMELAND will win the statue, which was surprisingly excellent and a career best from Claire Danes.

  2. Community ? really ? Have they seen it? Theres no way in hell thats the best comedy on TV . I best it doesn’t even get a emmy nomination

    1. Yep, because no Emmy nominations equals a bad show. Just like that crapfest called The Wire.

  3. Last year Anna Torv was voted best lead drama actress, this was tweeted afterwards by some involved then , she did not get the award as a group behind these socalled critics only wanted to give one award to Fringe, and that had to be Noble, as they are on his campaign.

    This year not nominating Anna Torv, who was by far the outstanding actor on Fringe, but Noble, is more of the same.

    It says something about how these people work.

  4. Please don’t tease me with thoughts of Community actually winning something. It’s only going to make the heartache worse.

  5. No Emmy consideration for Hugh Laurie for 8 years of wonderful
    acting, with an American accent & a limp? Is it because he makes
    acting look so easy when we know it is not. He should have won at
    least 4 times. What happened. Perhaps he never won because he
    does not promote himself.

    Blair of Queens

  6. With the exception of Outstanding Drama Series, which will once again go to “Mad Men”, the Emmys will repeat the CCTAs — with a performance award finally going to “Mad Men”.

    As for the comedy categories, it’s still up in the air but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were several repeats there as well. “Modern Family” will three-peat as will Jim Parsons and Ty Burrell.

  7. Isnt that rather insulting to say that these awards mean more than the Emmys when the Emmys are the oscars of television???

  8. Everyone knows Critics Choice is even bigger joke than HFPA. Do not care about these so-called awards. Bring on the Emmys!

    1. Just so people know, the people who vote on these aren’t actually critics. They are pop culture journalists. The Television Critics Association Awards are a completely different awards show that is decided by actual critics. P.S I don’t think anyone can compete with HFPA in the joke of an awards show category. They take the cake by a mile

  9. I’ve been catching up with “Homeland” and I have to confess I think it is one of the sloppiest scripted series on television. It is not only a poor man’s “24”, but Danes’ one-note, bug-eyed, neck-twitching, head-cocking performance is a disgrace.

    I can’t believe how much acclaim this show has been receiving. The plot twists are ludicrous; the acting is mediocre at best; the credibility of CIA/FBI operations is next to nil; the characters are inconsistent in their motives/actions.

    I will finish the first season, but I doubt I will continue watching this show in the future. I was right in my judgment, when I chose to skip it during its original run, but I had to find out what all the excitement was about . . . well, I’m still searching . . . .

    1. Actually, you were not “right” in your “judgement” at all, and given your laughable comments about Homeland’s outstanding writing and acting, I’d say it is best you stick with watching less challenging fare, like CSI: NY.

  10. “Best Comedy” is something that I think is defined differently by many people, and it is really hard to say what “funny” is, I think. So everything has to be taken with your own interpretation.

    Here’s MY reason for calling Community the best comedy on TV right now: I find myself laughing hysterically more frequently when watching Community than I do when watching Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, 30 Rock, and all other comedies that I watch COMBINED. I can name several episodes each season that were incredibly memorable to me, and that I almost didn’t stop smiling and laughing from start to finish.

    While watching other comedies I will laugh, sometimes uncontrollably for a minute or two, but it has never been at the same level. Yes, the first half of Community’s 3rd season wasn’t as good, and I was worried that the shows writing had started to fall apart and would lead to another “Alias” scenario (2 good seasons, then mostly a waste of time), but when Community returned in the spring, the second half of the season was fantastic.

    For ME, that’s why it gets my (unimportant) vote.

  11. The only people who watch Community are the critics. That’s why the ratings are so low. Homeland should win the Emmy this year. Man Men is overrated. Why do shows like Parenthood and NCIS never win? The writing and acting are 1st class? Erika Christensen should win best actress for the adoption storyline. She was amazing.

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