TV critics honor Quinta Brunson, ‘Abbott Elementary,’ Mandy Moore


Hat tip to the Television Critics Association, which has bestowed some much-deserved laurels on a distinctive new comedy while also offering at least a partial counterweight to an egregious snub by the Television Academy.

The TCA, whose more than 200 members cover television for US and Canadian publications, announced Saturday that ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” won four awards, more than any other program, for work produced in the 2021-2022 season.

A sitcom about teachers coping with challenges in an under-resourced Philadelphia public school, “Abbott Elementary” was created by Quinta Brunson, who also produces, writes for, and stars in the series as idealistic new teacher Janine Teagues. Brunson was honored for individual achievement in comedy, and the series also notched victories in the categories of outstanding new program, outstanding achievement in comedy, and program of the year.

Meanwhile, in another heartening development, the TCA named Mandy Moore, who played Rebecca Pearson on NBC’s just-concluded “This Is Us,” the winner for individual achievement in drama.

Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia in “This Is Us.” Ron Batzdorf

When the Television Academy, which hands out Emmy Awards, announced Emmy nominations last month, Moore’s name was inexplicably missing. Given the caliber of Moore’s work as she took us deeper and deeper into Rebecca’s journey through Alzheimer’s disease in the series’ final season, the omission was a head-scratcher.

For my money, Moore was underrated throughout the entire run of “This Is Us,” so it’s nice to see her get this recognition from the Television Critics Association. Her skill in navigating the many time shifts in the series was consistently impressive, especially as she transitioned back and forth from radiant young Rebecca to elderly, failing Rebecca.

Other winners at Saturday’s 38th annual TCA Awards included the epic Disney+ documentary “The Beatles: Get Back,” which won for outstanding achievement in news and information; Hulu’s wrenching opioid drama “Dopesick,” winner in the category of outstanding movie, miniseries, or special; HBO’s “Success,” named outstanding achievement in drama; and “I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson,” crowned for outstanding achievement in variety, talk, or sketch.

For the second year in a row, Netflix’s “The Baby-sitter’s Club” won for outstanding achievement in youth programming. In the category of outstanding achievement in reality programming, there was a tie between CBS’s “The Amazing Race” and HBO Max’s “Legendary.”

Speaking of legendary, a couple of guys named Ted Danson and Steve Martin each received a career achievement award that can be added to what are, it seems safe to assume, their very crowded mantelpieces.


Don Aucoin can be reached at donald.aucoin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeAucoin.

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