23rd Annual TCA Awards
TCA announces award winners
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Sopranos creator David Chase was able to poke fun at himself at the 2007 Television Critics Association Awards on Saturday night.
Chase, whose groundbreaking series The Sopranos ended controversially with a black screen last month, cracked wise not once, not twice, but three times as he accepted TCA awards for outstanding achievement in drama, and also the heritage award.
“Here’s another clue for you all ... the Walrus was Paulie,” Chase said, referencing the Beatles song Glass Onion.
Addressing a reporter from New Jersey (where The Sopranos was set), Chase said, “Would you please explain to all these people that it’s very possible to be sitting in a restaurant in New Jersey and everything just stops?”
And finally, Chase recalled the first time he saw the classic film Planet of the Apes: “When the movie was over, I said to my wife, ‘Wow, so they had a Statue of Liberty, too.’ So that’s what you’re up against.”
The 23rd annual TCA Awards ceremony took place at the historic Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, with an opening monlogue by comedian John Oliver from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Actor Michael C. Hall, who plays secret serial-killer Dexter Morgan on the acclaimed series Dexter, was recognized for individual achievement in drama. Ridiculously, Hall did not get an Emmy Award nomination this year.
The TCA’s individual-achievement-in-comedy trophy went to Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock.
Both Hall and Baldwin were on hand to accept their awards in person.
Other 2007 TCA winners were:
Program of the year - Heroes; outstanding new program - Friday Night Lights; outstanding achievement in comedy - The Office; outstanding achievement in news and information - Planet Earth; outstanding achievement in movies, mini-series and specials - Planet Earth; outstanding achievement in children’s programming - Kyle XY; career achievement - Mary Tyler Moore.
Others on hand for the ceremony included Sopranos cast-mates Lorraine Bracco and Edie Falco, and Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, Adrian Pasdar, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Zachary Quinto from Heroes.
Founded in 1978, the Television Critics Association is composed of 220 TV colunnists and reporters from Canada and the United States.
TV Press Tour: TCA Awards: David Chase
Sopranos creator David Chase made his phalanx of writers (such as Matthew Weiner, soon to be of Mad Men fame) and actors ("the girls" of the cast, Edie Falco and Lorraine Bracco) follow him up on stage both times he was presented with an award for The Sopranos. He didn't say much the first time, disregarding all the jokes about "the ending." But during his brief speech for the second award, the "Heritage Award," which is the TCA equivalent of a lifetime achievement award, he relented and said this:
"Some people said it would be a good idea if we said something about the ending so I'll tell this story. 23 years ago, while I was at Stanford University, my wife and I went and saw Planet of the Apes. And at the end of it, I turned to her and said 'wow, so they had a Statue of Liberty, too.' So that's what you're up against."
He got the biggest laugh of the night.
David Chase on the ending of "The Sopranos"
David Chase finally had some thoughts to offer about the it-just-ends-in-a-diner finale of "The Sopranos."
"It is possible and very likely to be sitting in a restaurant in New Jersey, and everything just stops," Chase said Saturday night.
He made the comment in collecting a prize from the Television Critics Association. He drew on his past in explaining how audiences sometimes misconstrue endings. He told of being 23, attending Stanford University and seeing "Planet of the Apes," the 1968 sci-fi classic with a memorable ending.
"When the movie was over, I said, 'Wow, so they had a Statue of Liberty, too,' " Chase said as critics laughed. "That's what you're up against."
Earlier in the evening, Chase was more flip. "Here's another clue for you all: The Walrus was Paulie," he joked.
TV critics saluted "The Sopranos" as top drama of the past season. Later, the mob drama earned the Heritage Award, which honors an influential program. Edie Falco and Lorraine Bracco attended the event in Beverly Hills, Calif. Chase paid special tribute to James Gandolfini, who wasn't there.
Calling the actor "Mr. Gandolfini," Chase added, "We all know without him there would have been no show at all or a show so different I shudder to think about it."
NBC's "Heroes" earned the award for program of the year. Creator Tim Kring said the show offered a "essage of hope and interconnectivity."
Individual achievement winners were Alex Baldwin of NBC's "30 Rock" for comedy, Michael C. Hall of Showtime's "Dexter" for drama and Mary Tyler Moore for career achievement.
Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth" won two awards: top special and outstanding news program. Other winners were NBC's "The Office" for comedy, NBC's "Friday Night Lights" for new program and ABC Family's "Kyle XY" for children's program. NBC was the big winner with four awards.
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