Home Box Office swept cable television’s 12th Annual ACE Awards on Sunday night with 25 top honors, including four collected by Billy Crystal’s “Midnight Train to Moscow” and three for “Tales From the Crypt.”
Eleven of HBO’s awards were presented at a live ceremony at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles. The rest were part of 56 other ACE trophies announced Friday in a non-televised ceremony.
Sunday’s presentations in 28 categories continued HBO’s reign as the No. 1 recipient of ACE awards.
Horror program “Tales From the Crypt” won three honors, including best drama series and best drama directing. Crystal’s “Midnight Train to Moscow” captured four, including best comedy special, direction and writing.
Actor James Woods was the host for Sunday’s ceremony, which also featured appearances by James Earl Jones and boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
The National Academy of Cable Programming awarded 84 ACE honors during Friday’s and Sunday’s ceremonies. The academy’s previously announced Golden Ace Award to The Weather Channel for its Hurricane Hugo coverage and its Governor’s Award to MTV’s Tom Freston were officially bestowed Sunday.
The Arts & Entertainment network and Showtime tied for second place with eight awards each. Showtime’s “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” which ceased production last year, earned half of the pay channel’s honors with trophies for comedy series, actor, actress and writing.
“Heat Wave,” Turner Network Television’s docudrama about the 1965 Watts riots, won best movie or miniseries and an acting honor for Cicely Tyson.
Jones, who joined Ali in a tribute to boxing, won awards for best dramatic series actor for “American Playwrights Theater: Third and Oak--The Pool” on A&E; and best supporting actor in a movie or miniseries for TNT’s “Heat Wave.”
Multiple wins by other cable networks were ESPN with seven; six each for TNT, The Disney Channel and CNN, four each for The Discovery Channel and Lifetime; and two each for Bravo, MTV, VH-1.
CNBC, the Financial News Network, USA and Turner Broadcasting System each received one ACE award.
Blair Brown of the recently canceled “Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” on Lifetime was judged best actress in a dramatic series.
Best supporting actress in the movie or miniseries category went to Colleen Dewhurst for The Disney Channel’s “Lantern Hill.”
The best children’s programming trophy was given to “Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme” on The Disney Channel.
Arlene Sanford was named best comedy series director for HBO’s “Dream On.” The award for best drama series directing went to Howard Deutch for “Tales From the Crypt.”
Peter Werner won the award for best movie or miniseries directing for HBO’s “The Image.”
Shandling was named best comedy series actor for “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.” The program also earned a win for Jessica Harper as best comedy series actress.
CNN’s “Larry King Live” was judged best talk show special or series. The best sports news series was ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
Wins for basic cable’s A&E; station included “Frontiers” for documentary series and “John Prine and Lyle Lovett” for international music special or series.
The Awards for Cable Excellence were established in 1978 to honor programming that was then excluded from Emmy consideration. Although cable shows have been eligible for Emmys since 1988, cable officials have chosen to maintain their separate honors.