The 26th Annual TCA Awards, put on by the Television Critics Association, were held on this past Saturday (July 31st). The nominations were released in June and I completely missed the fact that M*A*S*H had been nominated for the Heritage Award, given “to one long-standing program that has culturally or socially impacted society.” The other programs nominated were 24, Lost, Law & Order and Twin Peaks. According to the Internet Movie Database, M*A*S*H was nominated for the Heritage Award in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
According to HitFix’s Alan Sepinwall, producers Gene Reynolds and Burt Metcalfe were at the awards ceremony as well as Mike Farrell and William Christopher. Here’s how Sepinfwall described the award’s acceptance:
Reynolds took the stage alone to accept the award, and asked Farrell and Metcalfe to join him. Both declined. Then Reynolds asked Christopher, and the 78-year-old actor positively sprinted and bounced up onto the stage, to the point where a hundred TV critics in the room all used the word “spry” at the same moment. Christopher’s display got the others to come on stage, which led to a second standing ovation, and to Farrell once and for all putting to rest any rumors (or “Simpsons” jokes) suggesting he has beef with predecessor Wayne Rogers, who left “M*A*S*H” early, starred in some other failed series, but made a fortune in real estate investments, as he said he was blessed to join the series late “thanks to the unerring business judgment of Wayne Rogers.”
Tim Goodman of The San Francisco Chronicle mentioned “a prolonged standing ovation for Gene Reynolds” while TV Squad’s Joel Keller reported that “in the lobby bar after the post-show cocktail party broke up, the ‘M*A*S*H’ contingent was sitting and laughing, outlasting most of the much younger critics, who wandered back to their rooms around midnight.” Last year, M*A*S*H was given the TV Land Awards Impact Award, similar to the TCA Awards Heritage Award.