There is a lot to celebrate about Saturday night’s Television Critics Association Awards, a smarter, lower-key alternative to the Emmys, whose nominees and winners are decided by the 200 journalists who make up the TCA. For one thing, we were thrilled to see Nick Offerman — who the Emmys didn’t even deign to nominate — share an Individual Achievement in Comedy Award for his hilarious portrayal of Ron Swanson. It was also gratifying to see the TCA name dearly departed drama Friday Night Lights Program of the Year.
The critics’ choices do raise one interesting question, though: In addition to FNL‘s award, the TCA bestowed Outstanding Achievement in Drama honors on Mad Men – so, will the real Emmy drama competition turn out to be between those two series? It’s pretty obvious that we’re in love with both shows here at Flavorpill, but while the criminally underrated FNL just finished a masterful final season and has never been nominated before, Mad Men has taken home the trophy for each of the past three years. That’s enough to place us firmly in the Dillon Lions’ corner for 2011. Take a look at the complete list of TCA Awards winners after the jump and tell us where you stand on Mad Men vs. Friday Night Lights.
2011 Television Critics Association Awards winners:
• Individual Achievement in Drama: Jon Hamm (Mad Men, AMC)
• Individual Achievement in Comedy: Ty Burrell (Modern Family, ABC) and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, NBC)
• Outstanding Achievement in News and Information: Restrepo (National Geographic Channel)
• Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: Amazing Race (CBS)
• Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: Sesame Street (PBS)
• Outstanding New Program: Game of Thrones (HBO)
• Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials: Masterpiece: Sherlock (PBS)
• Outstanding Achievement in Drama: Mad Men (AMC)
• Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: Modern Family (ABC)
• Career Achievement Award: Oprah Winfrey
• Heritage Award: The Dick Van Dyke Show
• Program of the Year: Friday Night Lights (DirecTV/NBC)