There was a Hank Moody sighting Monday in NY City. But the aptly named novelist and protagonist of Showtime’s Californication, seemed more upbeat than normal. Also he was better dressed, clad in designer jeans and a suede jacket. And, heaven forbid, he was clean shaven.

Actually the Golden Globe-winning actor who portrays Moody, David Duchovny, was on hand at the Grand Hyatt as a surprise guest to honor Showtime Networks’ chief Matt Blank, who was inducted into CableFAX’s Programming Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place during CableFAX’s 3rd Annual Program Awards, which also saluted CableFAX’s Top Operators.

To see all the winners and finalists please click here.

But while clearly it was Duchovny and not Moody, there was some Moody in Duchovny. During his on-stage tribute to Blank, whom he correctly called a philanthropist and a great supporter of talent, Duchovny couldn’t resist a very Moody-like irreverence. My show hasn’t been renewed for another season yet, he joked. “I know you will have the microphone in a minute,” you could make the announcement, Duchovny said to roars from the crowd. Incidentally, attendees at the Showtime table were doubled over in laughter, including Blank.

While Blank gave one of his usual witty acceptance speeches—he joked that fellow Hall of Famer SpongeBob Squarepants and he have a past together that neither of them would care to discuss—he wouldn’t commit news this day. Californication returns to Showtime in January, was all Blank would say on the subject.

Yet there was plenty said during the course of the afternoon, as CableFAX presented nearly 40 programming awards and special guest Fred Armisen repeatedly grabbed awards off the loaded trophy table. The SNL cast member told the crowd about his upcoming IFC series Portlandia and showed an hilarious clip from the sketch comedy piece where a pair of Portland shopkeepers put birds on everything (don’t ask). Portlandia premieres on IFC in 2011.

Back to the awards, Scripps took home the most, with 6 (Travel Channel led all networks with 5 awards). Other winners included FX, with Rescue Me grabbing a platinum award as Best Cable Show (co-creator and star Denis Leary was on hand to accept the award, along with exec producer Jim Serpico). FX also picked up 2 other platinums, for best actor (Sons of Anarchy’s Ron Perlman accepted his award with a gracious speech and accepted a platinum on behalf of Anarchy’s writer Kurt Sutter). Other platinum winners included best actors Edie Falco (Showtime’s Nurse Jackie) and Claire Danes (HBO’s Temple Grandin); Discovery’s Life and HBO’s The Pacific (best new cable program); and director Barry Levinson, for The Band That Wouldn’t Die, one of ESPN’s 30 for 30 films.

Other multiple winners included ESPN (3 awards) and History (3 awards). Larger networks were not the only winners. HDNet took home two awards, including one each for Dan Rather Reports (Mr Rather thanked his producers and HDNet chief Mark Cuban in his acceptance speech) and HDNet’s Concert series (best music show); RLTV got one for a Walter Cronkite series; Military Channel won in the animal category for No Dog Left Behind; and Hallmark won for family-friendly film Christmas in Canaan.

On the operator side, Cablevision president John Bickham accepted the MSO of the Year award, while Jim Gleason of NewWave accepted the Independent Operator of the Year award. Several executives from the MSO, system, independent and vendor communities were on hand to accept awards, including Cable One chief Tom Might, Eagle Communications President/CEO Gary Shorman and itaas chief Viba Rubstagi. Lifetime Achievement honors were presented by Dan Rather to Time Warner Cable’s Bonnie Hathaway, NewWave’s Tom Gleason and RBC Daniels’ Pat Thompson.

To see all the winners and finalists please click here.

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