The pay-TV channel won 27 of the 81 awards for outstanding programming on cable TV; "The Larry Sanders Show," with four, was the most honored program. Among its honors were its fourth consecutive CableACE as best comedy series and its third in a row for director Todd Holland.
Shandling won four CableACE awards himself--as best actor in a comedy series, as a producer and as a writer (with Drake Sather and Peter Tolan) on "Larry Sanders" and as best entertainment host for "HBO Comedy Hour: The 1995 Young Comedians Special."
As if to keep the honors in perspective, however, Shandling jokingly began one of his acceptance speeches Saturday night as if he had won the Emmy Award for which his show had been nominated. The Emmys cover all of television programming, while these are restricted to cable, and his series lost in September to NBC's "Frasier."
The CableACEs, honoring cable fare between Sept. 1, 1994, and July 31, 1995, were handed out by the National Academy of Cable Programming in three batches: at non-televised ceremonies on Nov. 8 and Friday, and at a ceremony Saturday at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles that was televised live on TNT. Mary Tyler Moore was the hostess.
No program except "The Larry Sanders Show" won more than two awards this year. One of those double winners was HBO's movie "The Burning Season," which garnered honors for its late star, Raul Julia, and for director John Frankenheimer, both of whom also won Emmys for the same work.
But another HBO film, "Citizen X," won the CableACE as best movie or miniseries, despite having lost to "The Burning Season" in that Emmy category.
Showtime's "The Outer Limits" was named best dramatic series, and the pay-channel captured six other CableACEs to take distant runner-up honors to HBO. Comedy Central and ESPN each won five; the Disney Channel, the Learning Channel and TNT collected four apiece.
Many of the recipients paid tribute in their acceptance speeches to Michael Fuchs, the longtime HBO chairman who was ousted from his job Nov. 16 in a corporate power struggle within parent Time Warner.
Shandling said Fuchs' "vision and support" had been a major contribution to his series, and comedian Bill Maher, accepting the award for best talk show series, invoked the spirit of the 1968 Olympics by raising a fisted glove "to honor our fallen hero, Michael Fuchs."
Three special awards also were presented. Kay Koplovitz, founder and president of USA Networks, received the Governors Award, honoring an individual for outstanding achievements in advancing the development of cable programming; A&E;'s "Biography" series took the Creators Award; and the Learning Channel's "KNOWTV: Changing What, Why and How You Watch" won the Golden CableACE Award.
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Among the winners:
Comedy series: "The Larry Sanders Show," HBO.
Dramatic series: "The Outer Limits," Showtime.
Variety special or series: "Dennis Miller Live," HBO.
Movie or miniseries: "Citizen X," HBO.
Talk show series: "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," Comedy Central.
Dramatic or theatrical special: "Cosmic Slop: Space Traders," HBO.
Animation special or series: "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist," Comedy Central.
Children's special or series--6 and younger: "Dr. Seuss' Daisy-Head Mayzie," TNT.
Children's series--7 and older: "The Adventures of Pete and Pete," Nickelodeon.
Children's special--7 and older: "Eagle Scout: The Story of Henry Nicols," HBO.
Children's educational or informational special or series: "Beakman's World," Learning Channel.
Performing arts special or series: "South Bank Show: Marilyn Horne," Bravo.
Public affairs special or series: "The Transplant Trade," Discovery Channel.
Documentary series: "Desmond Morris' The Human Animal," Learning Channel.
Documentary special: "Anne Frank Remembered," Disney Channel.
Music special or series: "Eagles Hell Freezes Over," MTV.
News special or series: "Rwanda: Cry Justice," CNN International.
Comedy special: "Kathy & Mo: The Dark Side," HBO.
Magazine special or series: "National Geographic Explorer," TBS.
Sports information series: "MTV Sports," MTV.
Sports information special: "Sonny Liston: The Mysterious Life and Death of a Champion," HBO.
Sports news series: "NFL Game Day," ESPN.
Actor in a comedy series: Garry Shandling, "The Larry Sanders Show," HBO.
Actress in a comedy series: Wendie Malick, "Dream On," HBO.
Actor in a movie or miniseries: Raul Julia, "The Burning Season," HBO.
Actress in a movie or miniseries: Linda Hamilton, "A Mother's Prayer," USA.
Actor in a dramatic special or series: John Hurt, "Picture Windows: Two Nudes Bathing," Showtime.
Actress in a dramatic special or series: Paula Jai Parker, "Cosmic Slop: Tang," HBO.
Supporting actor in a movie or miniseries: Jeffrey DeMunn, "Citizen X," HBO.
Supporting actress in a movie or miniseries: Jean Marsh, "Fatherland," HBO.
Program interviewer: Jane Wallace, "Under Scrutiny With Jane Wallace," FX.
Performance in a music special or series: Elton John, "A Special Evening With Elton John," Disney Channel.
Newscaster: Leon Harris, Donna Kelley, "CNN Morning News," CNN.
Sports host: Keith Olbermann, "SportsCenter," ESPN.
Sports play-by-play announcer: Marv Albert, "New York Knicks Basketball," Madison Square Garden Network.
Sports commentator/analyst: Dick Schaap, "The Sports Reporters," ESPN.