The Handmaid’s Tale, Atlanta and This Is Us Win TCA Awards

Big Little Lies and Speechless were also honored

Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale was honored for program of the year and outstanding achievement in drama.
George Kraychyk/Hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale picked up the first of what will surely be a large number of critical awards during the show’s run on Saturday night, winning two Television Critics Awards. At the ceremony in Los Angeles, Hulu’s critically acclaimed drama, which is nominated for 13 Emmys, was honored as both program of the year—the evening’s top honor—and for outstanding achievement in drama.

Another breakout freshman series, FX’s Atlanta, also picked up two awards: outstanding achievement in comedy and individual achievement in comedy for its star and creator, Donald Glover. The year’s other most-acclaimed newcomer, NBC’s This Is Us, was a winner as well, for outstanding new program.

The 2017 TCA Awards, which honor the top TV shows and actors of the past season, recognized some programs and stars overlooked by Emmy voters, including Carrie Coon, who won for individual achievement in drama for her performances in both The Leftovers (which did not receive an Emmy nomination) and Fargo (which did). Speechless, honored for outstanding achievement in youth programming, was also passed over in the Emmy voting.

The Handmaid’s Tale, Atlanta, This Is Us and several other of the evening’s TCA Awards winners will also be competing for Emmys next month. That list also includes Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (outstanding achievement in reality programming) and Big Little Lies (outstanding achievement in movies, miniseries and specials).

Each year, the TCA also recognizes a classic TV series with its a heritage award, which is its version of a lifetime achievement award for TV shows. This year’s award went to Seinfeld, which ran on NBC from 1989-1998. Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, whose impressive output includes Baseball, The Civil War, The Central Park Five, Jazz and next month’s The Vietnam War, won this year’s career achievement award.

American Gods and Hairspray Live! actress Kristin Chenoweth hosted the ceremony for the 33rd annual TCA Awards, which are voted on by the more than 220 critics and journalists (including this writer) from the U.S. and Canada who make up the Television Critics Association. The event at L.A.’s Beverly Hilton hotel isn’t televised and doesn’t have a red carpet, which leads to a more laid-back event than most TV awards shows.

The complete list of 2017 TCA Award winners:

  • Individual Achievement in Drama: Carrie Coon (The Leftovers, HBO, and Fargo, FX)
  • Individual Achievement in Comedy: Donald Glover (Atlanta, FX)
  • Outstanding Achievement in News and Information: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming: Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (A&E)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: Speechless (ABC)
  • Outstanding New Program: This Is Us (NBC)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials: Big Little Lies (HBO)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Drama: The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Comedy: Atlanta (FX)
  • Career Achievement Award: Ken Burns
  • Heritage Award: Seinfeld (NBC)
  • Program of the Year: The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)