"Breaking Bad" won Program of the Year at the Television Critics Association Awards Saturday as comedians Key & Peele and "All in the Family" veterans Norman Lear and Rob Reiner brought down the house by impersonating presidents.
Accepting the TCA's Heritage Award, Lear and Reiner read from authentic, recently released transcripts of President Nixon griping about "All in the Family."
"Key & Peele" stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele hosted the show, opening with their routine featuring President Obama and his "anger translator," Luther. Luther, played by Key, wondered why they were "hosting an award show that isn't even televised."
From there they took on subjects like Netflix's refusal to release its viewership numbers. He also wondered why "Key & Peele" wasn't nominated for any TCA Awards.
"Let's not get too meta here," said Peele, as Obama.
The low profile of the TCA Awards relative to other, televised ceremonies was a subject of frequent jokes.
"I'd never heard of TCA -- I'm in the movie business -- until about six months ago," said producer Jerry Weintraub, accepting the award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials.
"Louie" star Louis C.K. appeared in person to accept the award for Individual Achievement in Comedy. C.K. thanked critics for helping small, quality shows along as they establish themselves. He also praised Lear and Reiner.
"Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan also thanked critics for supporting his show in its low-rated first season. Star Bryan Cranston recalled how 40 or 50 people on the crew shaved their heads in solidarity with him when his character, Walter White, shaved his.
"There was an infestation of head lice," he joked.
Incoming TCA president Scott Pierce defended the quality of the awards as he gave the Heritage honor to "All in the Family."
"Clearly there are people in this room who would be surprised at how much these things cost," he said.
After "Parks" star Amy Poehler danced onstage, Lear "did an Amy Poehler" by dancing as well. He recalled that one critic said 40 years ago said his show should be flushed down a toilet.
Here are the nominees, with the winners in bold:
Individual Achievement in Comedy
Individual Achievement in Drama
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" (AMC) Vera Farmiga, "Bates Motel" (A&E) Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black" (BBC America) Monica Potter, "Parenthood" (NBC) Matthew Rhys, "The Americans" (FX)
News and Information
"Anderson Cooper 360." CNN "Central Park Five," PBS "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Comedy Central "The Rachel Maddow Show," MSNBC "60 Minutes," CBS
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming
"Adventure Time," Cartoon Network "Bunheads," ABC Family "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," PBS "Sesame Street," PBS "Switched at Birth," ABC Family
Outstanding New Program
"The Americans," FX "Elementary," CBS "House of Cards," Netflix "The Mindy Project," Fox "Orphan Black," BBC America
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials
"American Horror Story: Asylum," FX "Behind the Candelabra," HBO "Downton Abbey," PBS "Rectify," Sundance Channel "Top of the Lake," Sundance Channel
Outstanding Achievement in Drama
"The Americans," FX "Breaking Bad," AMC "Game of Thrones," HBO "Homeland," Showtime "Mad Men," AMC
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy (tie)
"The Big Bang Theory," CBS "Louie," FX "New Girl," Fox "Park and Recreation," NBC "Veep," HBO
Career Achievement Award
James L. Brooks James Burrows Jay Leno William Shatner Barbara Walters
"All In the Family," CBS "Lost," ABC Saturday Night Live," NBC "Star Trek," NBC "Twin Peaks," ABC
Program of the Year
"The Americans," FX "Breaking Bad," AMC "Game of Thrones," HBO "House of Cards," Netflix "The Walking Dead," AMC