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TCA Nominations: 'True Detective' Labeled a Miniseries, But Lands Program of the Year Nod with 'Breaking Bad'

Photo of Ben Travers By Ben Travers | Indiewire May 27, 2014 at 1:22PM

Despite landing a nomination for Program of the Year, "True Detective" was shut out from the Best Drama race and instead nominated for Best Miniseries.
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True Detective, season finale

'True Detective' landed a coveted nod for Program of the Year from the Television Critics Association today, along with "Breaking Bad," "Game of Thrones," "The Good Wife," and "Orange is the New Black." But HBO's hit new series was also slapped with the miniseries label it's desperately trying to distance itself from during the Emmys race. 

Though no information was given in the press release, and no direct stipulation given to members to exclude "True Detective" from the Outstanding Achievement in Drama category, the program's strong showing -- four total nominations, including Outstanding New Program, Program of the Year, and Matthew McConaughey for Individual Achievement in Drama -- indicates the show has fans in the TCA, but not ones ready to label it a series.

READ MORE: Emmys Shocker: HBO to Submit 'True Detective' as Best Drama Series, Not Miniseries

This could mark trouble for the smash HBO show when it comes to the Emmys. After announcing it was submitting the freshman crime thriller as a drama series and not a miniseries back in March, the premium cable company has seen little evidence in regard to public support until now. The Emmys don't have as many precursor awards as the Oscars do, making it harder to judge whether or not risky placement maneuvers will be accepted by voters. That being said, the TCA awards are not the most accurate predictors of what Emmy voters will nominate, just as the various awards handed out by film critics don't always reflect the Oscar nominees. 

"True Detective's" inclusion in the Program of the Year race along with last year's winner "Breaking Bad" sets up an appealing smackdown between two hot shows, one just getting started and the other already out the door. It's a compelling Emmys race, as well, with predictions for both shows to walk away victorious.

Other notable exclusions include last year's co-winner for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, "Parks and Recreation," from the same category this time around. Amy Poehler nabbed a spot for Individual Achievement in Comedy -- a field with three women and two men, the same as 2013 -- but her show was edged out by newcomers "The Mindy Project" (which also earned Mindy Kaling an individual achievement nod) and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (which landed a spot for Outstanding New Program, as well). 

Last year's nominees for Outstanding Drama "Mad Men" and "Homeland" were also shut out in 2014. Both shows received markedly mixed reviews for their 2013-2014 seasons, and both have received multiple wins in the past. 

"These nominations are generated by the TCA membership, and choosing the best in television is not an easy task," said TCA President Scott D. Pierce in a press release. "Not because good television is hard to find, but because there are so many deserving shows from which to choose."

This year will mark the 30th Annual TCA Awards. Eligibility for nominees ran from May 15, 2013 through May 15, 2014.  Awards will be handed out July 19th. Here's the full list of nominees:

Individual Achievement in Comedy

Louis C.K., "Louie" (FX) [2013 winner in category]

Mindy Kaling, "The Mindy Project" (Fox)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep" (HBO)

Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation" (NBC)


Individual Achievement in Drama

Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" (AMC)

Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife" (CBS)

Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black" (BBC America) [2013 winner in category]

Matthew McConaughey, "True Detective" (HBO)

Matthew Rhys, "The Americans" (FX)


Outstanding Achievement in News and Information

"CBS Sunday Morning" (CBS)

"Cosmos" (Fox)

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" (Comedy Central)

"Frontline" (PBS)

"60 Minutes" (CBS)


Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming

"The Amazing Race" (CBS)

"RuPaul's Drag Race" (Logo)

"Shark Tank" (ABC) [2013 winner in category]

"Survivor" (CBS)

"The Voice" (NBC)


Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming

"Adventure Time" (Cartoon Network)

"Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" (PBS)

"The Fosters" (ABC Family)

"Sesame Street" (PBS)

"Switched at Birth" (ABC Family)


Outstanding New Program

"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Fox)

"Fargo" (FX)

"Orange Is the New Black" (Netflix)

"Sleepy Hollow" (Fox)

"True Detective" (HBO)


Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials

"American Horror Story: Coven" (FX)

"Broadchurch" (BBC America)

"Fargo" (FX)

"The Returned" (SundanceTV)

"True Detective" (HBO)


Outstanding Achievement in Drama

"The Americans" (FX)

"Breaking Bad" (AMC)

"Game of Thrones" (HBO) [2013 winner in category]

"House of Cards" (Netflix)

"The Good Wife" (CBS)


Outstanding Achievement in Comedy

"The Big Bang Theory" (CBS) [2013 winner in category - tied with "Parks and Recreation"]

"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Fox)

"Louie" (FX)

"The Mindy Project" (Fox)

"Veep" (HBO)


Career Achievement Award

Mark Burnett

James Burrows

Valerie Harper

Jay Leno

William Shatner


Heritage Award

"Lost" (ABC)

"Saturday Night Live" (NBC)

"South Park" (Comedy Central)

"Star Trek" (NBC)

"Twin Peaks" (ABC)


Program of the Year

"Breaking Bad" (AMC) [2013 winner in category]

"Game of Thrones" (HBO)

"The Good Wife" (CBS)

"Orange Is the New Black" (Netflix)

"True Detective" (HBO)

This article is related to: TCA Awards, Television Critics Association, Television Critics Association Awards, Television, Game of Thrones, True Detective, Emmys