Award Show and No Shows

It stands to reason that an awards show for television show would begin to be dominated by thanks delivered by video.

So it was for Louis C.K., thanking the Television Critics Association for his two awards Saturday night, in messages taped earlier in the day, when he stopped at a studio (or a law office from the looks of it) for an FX panel, en route to pick up his daughter at sleepaway camp in the Adirondacks, he explained three times.

That was also the case for David Letterman, who hilariously taped a thank you for his career achievement award following a recent New York taping saying he’d really like to have been there, “but as my friends know, this is the night I eat glass.”

He also told a long story about a woman with a monkey coat and eventually sent out a David Letterman impersonator to pick up the award in person.

Though a full contingent of cast and creators for “Downton Abbey” were at the hotel a week earlier as part of press tour, they too had to send in a video by winning outstanding miniseries (a category in which it is not featured for Emmy purposes).

Some recipients actually appeared for the low-key event at the Beverly Hilton ballroom, which has a considerably better celebrity turnout rate when the Golden Globes are held there.

A full contingent were there from “Homeland,” named best new show, and its Claire Danes, given an individual achievement in drama. Also the cast and creators of “Breaking Bad” named outstanding drama, were on hand and grateful, as were a contingent from ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth,” named outstanding achievement in youth programming, though as the recipients noted, it isn’t a children’s show at all.

A producer from “60 Minutes” seemed chagrined it took 44 seasons to finally get the first TCA Award for outstanding achievement in news and information.

But there was scrambling to find anybody associated with “Cheers” to accept a heritage award (they got a writer and its casting director).  And with production going on in Ireland, there were few around to accept (and no video) to acknowledge the program of the year award for “Game of Thrones.”

Nigel Lythgoe was busy with his own charity Saturday and didn’t show up to get the award for reality show, though his fellow judge from “So You Think You Can Dance,” Mary Murphy, was there.

The list of people who were not attending was also the basis of the opening monologue by “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, who said for example that the cast of “The Killing” couldn’t be there; they were on suicide watch).

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