Jean Smart’s career has reached a multi-universe: She’s being honored for her past AND her present.
Smart has won the Television Critics Association’s annual Career Achievement award. At the same time, she’s won the Individual Achievement in Comedy award, for her work in “Hacks” (shown here). The awards, announced at 2 p.m. ET today, were led by “Ted Lasso” for program of the year.
This is the 37th year for the awards and the second straight in which the ceremony was canceled because of COVID concerns. However, Smart could still have her public moment: At the Emmy awards (8-11 p.m. Sunday, CBS), she’s nominated for lead actress in a comedy (“Hacks”) and supporting actress in a movie or mini-series (“Mare of Easttown”).
The TCA has 200-plus professionals in the U.S, and Canada. “Ted Lasso,” the amiable Apple TV+ show, which was also named the top comedy and new program. “The Crown” was named best drama and “Mare of Easttown” was best mini-series.
The awards include only one repeat winner. (“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” won its third award as best variety, talk or sketch show.) “The Crown” had been nominated three previous times, without winning.
The career award sometimes comes late in a career. Rita Moreno and Betty White were each 87 when they won; Alex Trbek, last year, was 80.
But Smart, 70, has remained busy, from an early run of comedies (led by five years of “Designing Women”) to recent acclaimed shows in cable (“Watchmen,” “Legion,” “Mare”) and now streaming. In HBO Max’s “Hacks,” she plays an older comic, getting fresh material from a young writer.
Her three Emmys are all in comedy – two for “Frasier” guest roles, one in support on “Samantha Who?” She had five other nominations, prior to this year, all in dramas. The TCA winners:
– Program of the Year: “Ted Lasso,” Apple TV+.
– Drama: “The Crown,” Netflix.
– Comedy: “Ted Lasso.”
– Variety, talk or sketch: “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” HBO.
– Movie, miniseries or special: “Mare of Easttown,” HBO.
– News and information: “Framing Britney Spears,” FX and FX on Hulu.
– Reality shows: Tie with “Couples Therapy,” Showtime; and “Deaf U,” Netflix.
– Youth programming: “The Baby-Sitters Club,” Netflix.
– New show: “Ted Lasso.”
– Individual in drama: Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You,” HBO.
– Individual in comedy: Jean Smart, “Hacks,” HBO Max.
– Career achievement: Jean Smart.
– Heritage Award: “The Golden Girls,” NBC.