“Mad Men” won Best Drama from the Critics Choice Awards this afternoon, and stars Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks won Best Actor and Supporting Actress respectively. The show’s creator, Matt Weiner, and the actors told me that shooting for the next season finally begins in mid July. Does Hamm know what’s happening? “No,” he said, shaking his head. “Matt doesn’t tell me anything.” Weiner says he does know what will happen.
Remember–Weiner told me a while ago that Hamm’s Don Draper would marry secretary Megan. “He told you that?” Hamm asked me, surprised. “Maybe all you have to do is ask.” In person, Hamm and Hendricks are just as good looking as they are on TV. Outside the Beverly Hills Hotel ballroom, on the patio, they chatted like two old friends. Hendricks’s red hair shined in the sun. Hamm kept up his movie star look with a beard and matte black sunglasses. They are startled by their success.
Other winners today: “Modern Family,” Tina Fey, the cult show “Fringe” (for best supporting actor, Neil Patrick Harris. The latter actor appeared in the press area clutching his crystal award, and shouted to Hamm. “You won! So did I!” It was kind of nice. Jane Lynch from “Glee” went around the room and chatted up Neil Flynn, late of “Scrubs,” who plays the husband on “The Middle.” He looked lonely, and Lynch–very much not like her character on “Glee”–is the epitome of gracious.
Lots of other interesting people, in an intimate room–very relaxed, sort of a throwback to old awards show. Of course Joey Berlin, who runs the Broadcast Critics, knows this will turn into a bigger deal every year. But for now, we savor the low key feel–and talked to Zoe Deschanel, Ioann Gruffudd, DannyDeVito–whose Lifetime Achievement Award speech may prove raunchy even for the Reelz Channel when the show is broadcast in two days, a dazzling Katey Sagal, Michael C. Hall, Scott Bakula. etc.
Now watch as the winners start advertising–and using their wins as publicity to influence the Emmy Awards. The Critics Choice TV Awards are quickly going to become a player in the Emmy race.
PS I am told that my old pal, Lisa Albert, has left the “Mad Men” writing staff to work on a pilot for a new show. But Matt Weiner says it’s a good thing, and that Albert may very well return part time. No scandals.