'Game of Thrones,' 'Homeland' take critics' top awards

Note: Updated to correct the name of the former head writer of "Cheers," Ken Levine, who was misidentified in an earlier version of this post.


HBO's “Game of Thrones” was named program of the year and Showtime's “Homeland” best new show in the 28th annual Television Critics Awards at the Beverly Hilton.

“Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston hosted the Saturday night event, held in the same ballroom where the Golden Globes are presented each year.

Our show has a bit less glitz, but it's over far sooner, after which everyone heads back to the bar. And since it's not televised, there are no Joan Rivers fashion critiques. The acceptance speeches tend to be a little looser, too.

Other honorees this year included comedian Louis C.K., who won both outstanding comedy series for his FX show, “Louie,” and individual achievement in comedy; AMC's “Breaking Bad,” drama; Claire Danes, individual achievement in drama for her role as a bipolar CIA analyst in “Homeland”; PBS' “Downton Abbey,” for movies, miniseries or specials (apparently we disagree with the Emmys over whether “Downton,” now heading toward its third season, is a series or a miniseries); CBS' “60 Minutes,” news and information; Fox's “So You Think You Can Dance,” reality programming; and ABC Family's “Switched at Birth,” youth programming.

David Letterman, this year's career achievement winner, accepted via video but sent a lookalike to pick up the actual award (after telling a number of stories about his years in Los Angeles that basically boiled down to why he wouldn't be returning anytime soon).

“Cheers,” a once struggling show that its former head writer, Ken Levine, claimed was watched mostly by TV critics in its first season (before going on to a long and immensely successful run), received the TCA's heritage award.