Top TV Talent to Be Feted at First-Ever Spring IndieWire Honors

IndieWire, the definitive outlet for creative independence in film and TV, announced on Thursday, May 16 a new edition of its IndieWire Honors event focused entirely on television. Curated and selected by IndieWire’s editorial team, IndieWire Honors is a celebration of the creators and stars responsible for some of the most stellar work of the TV season.

Hosted by “Just for Us” comedian Alex Edelman, the latest edition of the event will be celebrated at an intimate cocktail reception taking place Thursday, June 6 in Los Angeles. Exclusive editorial content, including honoree profiles, will also be featured on IndieWire beginning May 29 and will continue throughout the lead-up to the awards night, followed up video interviews and more content from the event. Other honorees are to be announced in the coming days.

More from IndieWire

“This will be another extraordinary IndieWire Honors, the awards evening that isn’t like any other,” said Dana Harris-Bridson, IndieWire’s senior VP and Editor in Chief. “It’s our first one dedicated to the best of TV and we’re proud to have opportunity to celebrate these artists.”

“When we launched IndieWire Honors we always had an eye towards celebrating great voices in TV,” said IndieWire SVP & Publisher James Israel. “We’re excited to expand the canvas of Honors to spotlight an even wider range of amazing TV work and artistry.”

The Spring 2024 IndieWire Honors honorees are:

Carol Burnett – Vanguard Award

To count the ways in which Carol Burnett has impacted television would be an impossible task. The comedy phenom has given the world 91 years and counting of laughter and love. Few stars are able to stay in business as long as she has, much less enter another renaissance with a memorable recurring role on the final season of “Better Call Saul,” a 2023 Emmy-winning variety special that was in celebration of her birthday, and now a standout performance in the new hit Apple TV+ series “Palm Royale” (even when her character Norma Dellacorte is in a coma, there are still flashes of Burnett’s physical comedy brilliance).

Quinta Brunson – Visionary Award

An admitted superfan of the sitcom genre, Quinta Brunson knew what elements from which shows she wanted to mix together to make “Abbott Elementary” on ABC, which she created and stars in. In doing so, she is now credited for proving comedy still has a place on network television, with the ripple effects of her Emmy-winning hit still ongoing. For as familiar as her workplace comedy centered on teachers at an underfunded Philadelphia public school has felt, the show often introduces viewers to new comedic voices that, similar to internet comedy icon Brunson, cut their teeth through nontraditional means. But there are even decisions the two-time Emmy winner makes offscreen that prove she is blazing a path for peers to follow, like the several charity drives the show has done, using its marketing money to help support real life public school teachers.

Issa López – Auteur Award

Best known at first for her Ariel Award nominated work in her native Mexico, including dark fairy tale “Tigers Are Not Afraid,” filmmaker Issa López has garnered a record-breaking amount of attention for her take on the beloved, then besieged HBO limited series property “True Detective.” With the chilly “True Detective: Night Country,” the writer-director reaches the core of what made the initial iteration of the show strike such a chord with audiences, and gives it a twist. Not only does the thriller boast a breakthrough performance from Kali Reis, it also builds upon the momentum of star Jodie Foster’s return to screen after her recent Oscar-nominated performance in “Nyad.”

Lulu Wang – Crossover Award

It was already a challenge to go from helming the modest yet magnetic independent cinema success story “The Farewell” to an Amazon Prime Video limited series adaptation of Janice Y. K. Lee’s sophomore novel with Oscar and Emmy winner Nicole Kidman attached to produce and star. Then the Covid-19 pandemic happened, making things just that much harder to shoot a project set in Hong Kong. And yet Lulu Wang still made her entrance into the TV space a must watch, and even got in a memorable feature-length episode that completely turns the tables on which characters’ eyes the audience sees the story through.

Matt Bomer and Ron Nyswaner – Wavelength Award

It does come as a bit of a surprise that a show like “Fellow Travelers,” that commands so much vulnerability from its creative partners, comes from a pair that had never previously worked together before. Though there are a whole team of people that made the Showtime series a success, like co-star Jonathan Bailey and director Daniel Minahan, it is the fresh relationship between actor/producer Matt Bomer and creator/showrunner Ron Nyswaner that powered the transformative queer period drama through development, and onto critical success that includes a Peabody Award win.

Riley Keough – Maverick Award

Keough has been turning heads for years in projects as diverse as “The Runaways,” “Zola,” and last year’s “Daisy Jones & The Six.” Not content just in front of the camera, the actress is building an impressive behind-the-scenes resume as well, co-directing “War Pony” and co-founding her own production company. In her moving latest, Hulu’s “Under the Bridge,” on which she’s also an executive producer, Keough is a woman searching — for answers about a murder, about the past, and about the places one once called home. Keough is thoughtful about what projects she helps bring to screens, and her stamp is an appreciated mark of approval from which we can’t wait to see more.

Dakota Fanning – Performance Award

In Netflix’s “Ripley,” many characters go along with Tom Ripley (Andrew Scott) as he ingratiates himself into high society. He makes friends with Dickie (Johnny Flynn), he charms his employer and various party guests. But Marge Sherwood (Dakota Fanning) is unconvinced. She’s suspicious of this mystery man who appears in her life out of nowhere, edging closer and closer to her boyfriend and pushing her further and further out of the loop. But Fanning doesn’t play Marge as desperate or even dogged in her distrust of Tom. She’s merely inquisitive, logical, and discerning — traits the audience is meant to embody, as well, and a demeanor that helps the exquisite season’s ending land with an extra wallop.

Bryan Lee O’Malley and BenDavid Grabinski – Spark Award

The 2010 film “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” was more an instant cult classic than a blockbuster. Given how just about every actor that appears in any frame of the film has gone on to massive success, a rewatch makes one wonder whether the people behind it would ever be able to get that cast in the same room again. Turns out, with the help of the film’s director Edgar Wright, not only did “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” creators Bryan Lee O’Malley and BenDavid Grabinski secure everyone for a new animated adaptation of the latter’s graphic novel work, but the Netflix and Universal Content Productions (UCP) series is an expansion unlike any other, approaching relatable themes with inventive set pieces, all shown via animation that looks singular.

Francesca Sloane – Breakthrough Award

Coming off of writing for “Fargo” and “Atlanta,” one of the most important FX series of the past decade, showrunner Francesca Sloane was not quite sure at first why she, or anyone, would want to be the person to make “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” into a TV show. Now, the spy series starring co-creator Donald Glover opposite “Pen15” star Maya Erskine has become a formidable contender for the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy. It is mission accomplished as far as finding a way to inject humor, heart, and a whole lot of inspired choices for guest stars into the electrifying first season of the Amazon Prime Video series.

Best of IndieWire

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.