Costas-hosted Int'l Emmys focusing on programs

NEW YORK There were — mercifully some would argue — no Rumanian folk dancers, Dutch magicians or loudly dressed Italian pop singers to regal the 1,000 guests, so the 31st Intl. Emmy gala came off more expeditiously than usual Nov. 24 at the Hilton.

Sportscaster Bob Costas emceed with panache, keeping the pace lively and the presenters to the prepared script.

The event used to be staged as a TV spectacular (though only aired around the world in the wee hours), but the Intl. Academy organizers have scaled it back to focus on the programs and the people being honored. (For the first time a red carpet welcomed the guests at the Hilton entrance.)

The Danes took home the best drama trophy, for the second time, exuding the kind of enthusiasm usually reserved for Oscar winners, while the Germans, whose locally made shows have largely supplanted American imports in recent years, walked away with the best miniseries and best doc nods.

The Brits, who have a long history of winning such awards, pocketed the other four program prizes.

However, American paybox HBO, recipient of the Founders trophy, got the warmest applause for its clip. “Now, if we could just make shows like that, may be they would travel wider,” sighed one wistful Euro producer.

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