2021 TCA Award winners

Today The Television Critics Association (TCA) announced the winners of the organization’s 37th Annual TCA Awards, honoring exceptional programs and performances from the 2020-2021 television season.

Winners were selected by the TCA’s membership of more than 200 professional TV critics and journalists from across the United States and Canada, who each cast their votes to determine top standouts from a diverse roster of stars and series. Featured categories included Program of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming, Individual Achievement in Drama, Outstanding Achievement in News and Information, Outstanding Achievement in Variety, Talk or Sketch, and Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming, as well as the prestigious Heritage Award and Career Achievement Award, among others. 

Apple TV+’s first-year soccer sitcom “Ted Lasso''was the year’s biggest winner at the 2021 TCA Awards, netting three of the ceremony’s highest honors in its debut season. Fueled by heartfelt and hilarious performances from a gifted cast led by 2021 TCA nominees Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham, the fish-out-of-water favorite scored impressive wins for Outstanding New Program and Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, capped off by the Program of the Year Award.

HBO with HBO Max took four wins at this year’s TCA Awards. “I May Destroy You” creator, writer, executive producer and star Michaela Coel earned Individual Achievement in Drama, while the Kate Winslet crime drama “Mare Of Easttown” won Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries, or Specials; “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” won Outstanding Achievement in Variety, Talk or Sketch for the third consecutive year; and Jean Smart took home Individual Achievement in Comedy for her portrayal of legendary Las Vegas diva-comedienne Deborah Vance in the HBO Max dramedy “Hacks.

Other notable winners include FX/FX On Hulu’s headlines-grabbing popstar profile “Framing Britney Spears,” which nabbed Outstanding Achievement in News and Information. Showtime’s visceral relationship exposé Couples Therapy” shared Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming honors with the insightful Netflix docuseries “Deaf U.” Netflix added to its tally with Outstanding Achievement  in Youth Programming for “The Baby-Sitters Club,and Outstanding Achievement in Drama for “The Crown.”

Additionally, the TCA was proud to recognize beloved NBC sitcom “The Golden Girls”with the Heritage Award. Running from 1985 to 1992, the series — which boasted an all-star ensemble featuring Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, and Estelle Getty — revolutionized the landscape with its focus on four hilarious and headstrong older women, using its relatable approach and deft sense of humor to tackle a wide range of issues such as elder care, homelessness, sexism, and ageism. During its tenure, the series won 11 EMMY® Awards and four Golden Globes®, and even caught the attention of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother who requested that the four stars perform for the royal family.

The TCA also presented multi-talented actress and entertainer Jean Smart with the Career Achievement Award, celebrating the three-time EMMY® winner’s acclaimed body of work which began with her starring role as Charlene Frazier on “Designing Women,” and includes roles and appearances on landmark series such as “24,” “Frasier,” and “Fargo,” as well as “Legion,” “Watchmen,” “Mare Of Easttown,” and “Hacks.”

“Television came through in a big way this year, serving up some much-needed entertainment that was a welcome distraction from the real-life dramas of the real world,” said Melanie McFarland, TCA President and TV Critic for Salon. “The fact that comedic shows reigned supreme at the 2021 TCA Awards is a testament to this. From the folksy humor of ‘Ted Lasso’ and the sharp takes of ‘Hacks’, to the timeless laughs of ‘The Golden Girls’, this season’s offerings gave us plenty of reasons to smile in uncertain times. We are excited to honor these outstanding programs as we celebrate 37 years of the TCA Awards, and we look forward to being together again in person in 2022.”

2021 TCA Award recipients are as follows:

  • Individual Achievement In Drama: Michaela Coel (“I MAY DESTROY YOU,” HBO)
  • Individual Achievement In Comedy: Jean Smart (“HACKS,” HBO Max)
  • Outstanding Achievement In News and Information: “FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS” (FX/FX On Hulu)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Reality Programming: TIE: “COUPLES THERAPY” (Showtime), “DEAF U” (Netflix)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Youth Programming: “THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB” (Netflix)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Variety, Talk Or Sketch: “LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER” (HBO, 2018 & 2019 Winner In Category)
  • Outstanding New Program: “TED LASSO” (Apple TV+)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Movies, Miniseries, Or Specials: “MARE OF EASTTOWN” (HBO)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Drama: “THE CROWN” (Netflix)
  • Outstanding Achievement In Comedy: “TED LASSO” (Apple TV+)
  • Program of the Year: “TED LASSO” (Apple TV+)
  • Career Achievement Honoree:Jean Smart
  • Heritage Award: “THE GOLDEN GIRLS” (NBC)
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