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Empire, Better Call Saul take top Critics Association Awards

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.—“Cookie. That’s my name. Take a bite.”

Fox’s hit hip-hop drama Empire won program of the year in its first season at the Television Critics Association Awards.

The show about a family dynasty has been a ratings phenomenon in the United States. It has also made a star out of Taraji P. Henson, who plays tough ex-con and music executive Cookie.

“We wanted to do Dynasty, and we gave you a black Dynasty,” creator Lee Danielssaid Empire creator Lee Daniels at the awards.

Breaking BadspinoffBetter Call Saul earned the award for Outstanding New Program.

Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer won Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. Schumer, also won Individual Achievement in Comedy.

The TCA gave sentimental nods to favourites, including a send off to Late Night with David Letterman which ended in May after 33 years. It also presented Emmy-winning producer James L. Brooks (The Simpsons, Taxi, Mary Tyler Moore) a career achievement award.

Mad Men’s Jon Hamm won in his final year for his portrayal of ad man Don Draper. Draper joked that in the first three seasons people thought the show was on A+E network, not AMC.

“You critics allowed it to rise above the noise,” he said.

Held at the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel, the show was hosted by James Corden, star of The Late Late Show.

Corden joked that “Keeping up with the Kardashians was shamefully snubbed” and painfully reminded the association that they had given Bill Cosby a “lifetime achievement award.”

Results were determined from votes cast by the TCA’s membership, comprising more than 220 professional TV critics and journalists from the United States and Canada.

2015 TCA Award recipients

Individual Achievement in Drama: Jon Hamm (Mad Men, AMC)

Individual Achievement in Comedy: Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer, Comedy Central)

Outstanding Achievement in News and Information: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: The Chair (Starz)

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: The Fosters (ABC Family) — second consecutive year

Outstanding New Program: Better Call Saul (AMC)

Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials: The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (HBO)

Outstanding Achievement in Drama: The Americans (FX)

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)

Career Achievement Award: James L. Brooks

Heritage Award: Late Show/Late Night with David Letterman (CBS/NBC)

Program of the Year: Empire (Fox)


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