Skip to Content

A tie! Deaf U and Couples Therapy both won TCA Awards. Here are all the winners.

A tie! Deaf U and Couples Therapy both won TCA Awards. Here are all the winners.
Deaf U star Rodney Burford, and Couples Therapy's Dr. Orna Guralnik (Photo composite; photos by Netflix and Showtime)

For the first time in the 11-year history of the Television Critics Association’s Outstanding Achievement in Reality Television award, there are two winners in the category, because there was an actual tie.

Both Netflix’s Deaf U and Showtime’s Couples Therapy won TCA Awards; it was the first time each show was nominated, and they were up against six other excellent reality TV shows.

Nyle DiMarco, an executive producer of Deaf U and former America’s Next Top Model winner, said in a video message, “This is a historic moment for our Deaf community. Besides the fact that Deaf U broke the mold by showcasing that deaf people are not a monolithic group, over 50 percent of our crew members were deaf. Deaf talent on screen and behind the camera is a rare combination, and I’m optimistic that we can be a symbol for change and further inclusion.”

The 200+ members of the TCA vote for both nominees and, later, winners, and because of the relatively small number of voters, votes are often very close, and ties have happened in the past. For example, in 2010, the drama award went to both AMC’s Breaking Bad and ABC’s Lost.

The FX documentary Framing Britney Spears won the TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement In News and Information.

As if those outstanding unscripted shows winning TCA Awards wasn’t good enough news, The Golden Girls won the TCA’s heritage award, and that’s perfect timing, considering how much Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, and Betty White kept me company and made me laugh these past 18 months.

Winners in scripted TV categories include the individual achievement in drama award going to Michaela Coel for I May Destroy You; Jean Smart winning the individual achievement in comedy award for Hacks, and the TCA’s lifetime achievement award; plus three awards for Ted Lasso.

The full list of winners is below, and you can see some of them talk about their awards here, in this virtual backstage video:

Full disclosure: I am a voting member of the TCA, and as secretary of the organization, I help administer the awards. But like all members, I get just one vote.

2021 TCA Award winners

The Golden Girls, clockwise from left: Rue McLanahan, Betty White, Estelle Getty, and Bea Arthur
The Golden Girls, clockwise from left: Rue McLanahan, Betty White, Estelle Getty, and Bea Arthur

Heritage Award

  • “The Golden Girls” – NBC

Career Achievement

  • Jean Smart

Individual Achievement in Drama

  • Winner: Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You” – HBO
  • Ethan Hawke, “The Good Lord Bird” – Showtime
  • Thuso Mbedu, “The Underground Railroad” – Amazon
  • Elizabeth Olsen, “WandaVision” – Disney+
  • Mj Rodriguez, “Pose” – FX
  • Omar Sy, “Lupin” – Netflix
  • Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit” – Netflix
  • Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown” – HBO

Individual Achievement in Comedy

  • Bo Burnham, “Bo Burnham: Inside” – Netflix
  • Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant” – HBO Max
  • Maya Erskine, “Pen15” – Hulu
  • Renee Elise Goldsberry, “Girls5Eva” – Peacock
  • Charlotte Nicdao, “Mythic Quest” – Apple TV+
  • Winner: Jean Smart, “Hacks” – HBO Max
  • Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso” – Apple TV+
  • Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso” – Apple TV+

Outstanding Achievement in News and Information

  • “Allen v. Farrow” – HBO
  • “City So Real” – NatGeo
  • Winner: “Framing Britney Spears” – FX/FX On Hulu
  • “Frontline” – PBS
  • “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” – HBO
  • “Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special” – CBS
  • “The Rachel Maddow Show” – MSNBC
  • “60 Minutes” – CBS

Outstanding Achievement in Reality Television

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming

  • Winner: “The Baby-Sitters Club” – Netflix
  • “Bluey” – Disney Jr.
  • “Donkey Hodie” – PBS Kids
  • “Emily’s Wonder Lab” – Netflix
  • “Odd Squad” – PBS Kids
  • “Sesame Street” – HBO
  • “Waffles + Mochi” – Netflix
  • “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” – PBS Kids

Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries, or Specials

  • “Bo Burnham: Inside” – Netflix
  • “The Good Lord Bird” – Showtime
  • “I May Destroy You” – HBO
  • “It’s a Sin” – HBO Max
  • Winner: “Mare of Easttown” – HBO
  • “The Queen’s Gambit” – Netflix
  • “The Underground Railroad” – Amazon
  • “WandaVision” – Disney+

Outstanding Achievement in Drama

  • “Bridgerton” – Netflix
  • Winner: “The Crown” – Netflix
  • “For All Mankind” – Apple TV+
  • “The Handmaid’s Tale” – Hulu
  • “Lovecraft Country” – HBO
  • “The Mandalorian” – Disney+
  • “Pose” – FX
  • “P-Valley” – Starz

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy

  • “The Flight Attendant” – HBO Max
  • “Girls5Eva” – Peacock
  • “Hacks” – HBO Max
  • “Mythic Quest” – Apple TV+
  • “Pen15” – Hulu
  • “Superstore” – NBC
  • Winner: “Ted Lasso” – Apple TV+
  • “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” – NBC

Outstanding Achievement in Variety, Talk, or Sketch

  • “The Amber Ruffin Show” – Peacock
  • “A Black Lady Sketch Show” – HBO
  • “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” – Comedy Central
  • “Desus & Mero” – Showtime
  • Winner: “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” – HBO
  • “Late Night with Seth Meyers” – NBC
  • “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – CBS
  • “Saturday Night Live” – NBC
  • “Ziwe” – Showtime

Outstanding New Program

  • “Bridgerton” – Netflix
  • “The Flight Attendant” – HBO Max
  • “Hacks” – HBO Max
  • “I May Destroy You” – HBO
  • “Mare of Easttown” – HBO
  • “P-Valley” – Starz
  • Winner: “Ted Lasso” – Apple TV+
  • “WandaVision” – Disney+

Program of the Year

  • “Bridgerton” – Netflix
  • “Hacks” – HBO Max
  • “I May Destroy You” – HBO
  • “Mare of Easttown” – HBO
  • “The Queen’s Gambit” – Netflix
  • Winner: “Ted Lasso” – Apple TV+
  • “The Underground Railroad” – Amazon
  • “WandaVision” – Disney+

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More great stories

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

Comment rules: My goal is for us to be able to share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space. That’s why I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to them.

Happy discussing!