HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- If HBO executives had to pick three words to describe this year's Television Critics Association Awards, these might be the ones: "Alright, alright, alright!"
The premium cable network dominated the field of trophy-getters at the 30th annual TCA Awards gala, which took place Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. HBO grabbed a pair of TCA Awards for its gritty limited-run drama True Detective, with the series being honoured for outstanding achievement in movies, miniseries and specials and star Matthew McConaughey getting the nod for individual achievement in drama.
It wasn't just serious business that HBO was celebrating, however -- Veep took home a TCA Award for outstanding achievement in comedy, in a top-laughs tie with FX's Louie, and Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus was recognized for individual achievement in comedy.
The ceremony took place during the second week of the U.S. networks' semi-annual press tour in Los Angeles. The TCA is comprised of more than 220 critics and reporters who cover television for print and online publications in the U.S. and Canada. Saturday's gala event marked the 30th anniversary of the TCA Awards.
The star-studded evening, which included appearances by McConaughey, Louis-Dreyfus, Bryan Cranston and legendary TV director James Burrows, featured an opening monologue by athlete turned actor/comedian Terry Crews of the rookie-hit Fox sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
"This was truly a monumental year -- not just for television, but for our organization as a whole," said TCA president Scott D. Pierce, TV critic for The Salt Lake Tribune. "These winners truly are the absolute best of the best, and they could not be more deserving of the awards they've earned tonight."
The field of TCA Award winners for the 2013-14 TV season stretched across many networks and multiple platforms as critics recognized the expanding universe of TV-viewing options available to consumers.
The ambitious Fox/National Geographic Channel series COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey received the TCA Award for outstanding achievement in news and information, while the campy fan favourite RuPaul's Drag Race was a surprise winner for outstanding achievement in reality programming. ABC Family's The Fosters was recognized for outstanding achievement in youth programming.
The Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black was named outstanding new program, and CBS's The Good Wife was a popular choice in the category of outstanding achievement in drama. For the second consecutive year, TCA members chose AMC's Breaking Bad as program of the year.
Legendary TV-comedy director James Burrows, whose career has spanned five decades, earned 10 Emmy wins, and included behind-the-camera work on such titles as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Taxi, Cheers, Friends, Frasier, Will & Grace, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly and 2 Broke Girls, received the TCA's career achievement award.
The critics' association's Heritage Award, which is given to programs that have had a lasting cultural and social impact on society, went to the long-running NBC weekend comedy Saturday Night Live.