Backstage at the Emmys

'Wing' castmates in Spencer's 'corner'

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Backstage Notes


Winners, Part I
Winners, Part II
Winners, Part III



Full Coverage

“Everybody Loves Raymond” star Ray Romano, who won for lead actor in a comedy series, says the comedy categories are a real crapshoot.

“You can never tell who’s going to win because comedy is so subjective,” he said. “Look at how different the shows are. There’s no sex and no city in our show.”

He also shot down any suggestion of competition between himself and Patricia Heaton, who plays his wife on “Raymond.”

“Patti is alright with me winning. She just wants my dressing room.”

* * *

“Friends” star Jennifer Aniston, who picked up the statuette for lead actress in a comedy, deferred to exec producer David Crane in describing the show’s success in its eighth season: “David put it best when he said this is just the icing on an already delicious cake. And if possible, it even tastes better now.”

And she didn’t completely dismiss the possibility of “Friends” continuing past this season. “Who knows?” she offered.

* * *

John Spencer said the three “West Wing” castmates he beat out when he picked up the Emmy for supporting actor in a drama were “blessedly in his corner.” “That’s a sign of the machine we have at Warner Bros. Television on this show,” he said. “(Fellow nominees) Richard (Schiff) has one, Brad (Whitford) has one, and hopefully next year Dule (Hill) will have one.”

* * *

“Everybody Loves Raymond’s” Brad Garrett credited his episode choice as part of the reason he took away his first trophy as supporting actor in a comedy series. He and Doris Roberts (supporting actress in a comedy) both one for the seg “The Lucky Suit,” which focused on the duo’s interplay, as Garrett’s character Robert went for a job at the FBI.

“I remember when we read the script thinking this was a great Robert script,” Garrett said. “On a great ensemble show like this you wait for your episode.”

* * *

The first thing that “Sex and the City” helmer Michael Patrick King did when he arrived backstage was plead to anyone who knew his mother and sisters: “Please call them and let them know how sorry I am that I forgot to thank them.” King, who nabbed the Emmy for directing in a comedy series, was regretful that he forgot to thank “the ladies who first inspired him.” “I know women because I know them,” he said.

When asked if he thinks the show sets the pace for women today, or merely reflects it, King said: “We reflect what is almost the pace. We are just a bit ahead of the average woman, saying out loud the thoughts that are already forming in their heads.”

* * *

“Bernie Mac” scribe Larry Wilmore says the creative tension that fuels the show is in the material itself, not between the personalities at work on the laffer. That’s not to say star Mac hesitates to push Wilmore. “He’ll say we’re not here to hit a single; we’re here to hit a homerun,” Wilmore says.

Wilmore, a parent of two, says he writes completely from his own point-of-view. “But Bernie says it better than I could ever say it,” he added.

* * *

Has Steve Kmetko been X’d from E?

According to sources, Friday was his last day at the basic cabler, and he spent the day saying goodbye to co-workers.

The E! Entertainment news personality was scheduled to work on Sunday, co-hosting a two-hour countdown show centered on the Emmys, as well as a post-Emmy show. On Friday night, producers of the coverage were told Kmetko would not be working Sunday.

One source at E! speculated whether all this is a contract negotiation; however, Kmetko has another year left on his pact.

He has been co-anchor of “E! News Live” (and its previous incarnation, “E! News Daily”) for the past eight years.

“I don’t know why Dave’s not here, let’s get that out of the way,” quipped one of the gaggle of writers of Gotham-based “The Late Show With David Letterman,” which won the writing Emmy in its category for the fifth consecutive year. The scribes won for the Sept. 17, 2001 episode, the first original seg of the show following the terrorist attacks earlier that month.

“We always relied on Dave,” added another “Letterman” writer. “That horrible week Dave was out of town, and we were trying to figure out what to do. The day of the show, he decided, after the mayor, the president, everyone was saying get back to work, to show everybody what we have. It was Dave’s decision to do it.”

* * *

Oprah Winfrey, who was given the inaugural Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, said she experienced a rare moment of fame when she accepted the kudo.

“It’s not something that I consciously think about , that I’m a famous person or a celebrity,” Winfrey said. “To listen to the tape, for just a moment I felt it. For just a minute I was overwhelmed by it. For the first time I’m just chilling and having a good time. When Tom (Hanks) did the intro, I thought this is a big deal.

“This is a high point. You know why? Because nobody usually gets to hear someone saying this kind of thing about you until you’re in a casket. I’m glad that I’m here to listen to it and fit in this dress.”

Winfrey called her TV show a “foundation for a voice to speak to the world” and that this award will reaffirm her commitment to always do better.

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