Emmys nod to mob, get 'Arrested'
This article was updated at 11:25 p.m.
Score two for the critics, as media darlings “The Sopranos” and “Arrested Development” walked away with the top Emmy prizes Sunday night.
The HBO mob drama won its first-ever outstanding drama Emmy after five tries, while the low-rated but highly praised Fox laffer stunned the Shrine Auditorium — and probably most viewers watching the 56th Annual kudofest — by scoring the outstanding comedy statuette.
Meanwhile, TV Academy members were rewriting the history books this year, as HBO scored 32 Emmys overall (including last week’s Creative Arts Awards) — the most ever for the cabler, and the top tally for any network, period, in the cable era.
The broadcast nets weren’t even close. In another semi-upset, Fox (fueled by “Arrested Development”) earned 10 Emmys, the most of any non-HBO network — dethroning longtime broadcast champ NBC (which won eight). ABC was next, with seven wins, followed by PBS (7) and A&E (4).
Besides “The Sopranos,” HBO’s huge score came courtesy miniseries “Angels in America,” which shattered records by becoming the first program ever to win in every major longform category.
“Angels” won 11 Emmys overall, beating 1977’s “Roots” (which previously held the miniseries record, at 9 wins) and tying the 1976 telepic “Eleanor and Franklin” for most Emmys won in a single year.
Emmy also rewarded critical darlings “The Amazing Race” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” both of which earned their second consecutive outstanding series Emmys (in reality/competition and variety/comedy, respectively).
Other winners included HBO’s “Something the Lord Made,” which won top telepic prize.
But no program will probably benefit more from this year’s Emmy Awards than “Arrested Development.”
For a show that barely avoided cancellation this year, momentum has been building for “Arrested Development” in recent months. Producers 20th Century Fox and Imagine TV launched an aggressive Emmy campaign to get the show noticed by Academy voters.
Clearly, the effort paid off. An Emmy win could provide some juice for “Arrested Development,” as it launches its second season on Fox.
“This is a huge thing for us,” said exec producer/creator Mitch Hurwitz. “This is outrageous.”
Meanwhile, it was a long time coming for “The Sopranos,” which finally broke “The West Wing’s” stranglehold (four consecutive wins) in the outstanding drama category. The show had been previously nommed in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003 (show wasn’t eligible in 2002).
But a sweep wasn’t in the cards for “The Sopranos,” as “The Practice” star James Spader won in the drama actor category, while “The West Wing’s” Allison Janney pocketed the actress in a drama Emmy. That meant last year’s winners, “Sopranos” stars James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, weren’t in for a repeat.
It was the fourth Emmy win in five tries for Janney, who told the audience she had promised to hand over her Emmy to fellow nominee Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: SVU”) — but decided to recant.
Besides Hargitay and Falco, Janney beat out “Alias’ ” Jennifer Garner and “Joan of Arcadia” newcomer Amber Tamblyn.
The Spader win was good news for ABC, which is basing the new series “Boston Legal” around his “Practice” character, Alan Shore. It was the first Emmy win — off his first-ever nom.
Meanwhile, “Angels” went into this year’s competish with 21 noms. Not only did it score the outstanding miniseries Emmy, but Mike Nichols won for outstanding directing in a mini/movie, while Tony Kushner won for outstanding writing in a mini, movie or special.
It was the second TV directing win for Nichols, who took home two Emmys in 2001 (for directing and producing the HBO longform “Wit”).
Al Pacino scored his first ever Emmy, off his inaugural nom, for portraying Roy Cohn in “Angels.”
Meryl Streep won her first Emmy since 1978’s longform “Holocaust,” as Hannah Pitt and the Rabbi in “Angels.”
Wright kicked off the longform’s sweep, winning the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie (off his first-ever Emmy nom).
Keeping the streak going, Mary-Louise Parker beat out four actresses who probably didn’t have a chance: None of them (Julie Andrews, Anne Heche, Anjelica Huston and Angela Lansbury) appeared in “Angels in America.” But Parker did, and her role in the HBO mini earned her the Emmy for outstanding actress in a movie or mini — the actress’s first win.
Comedy voters played up the nostalgia factor, handing out Emmys to stars of retiring laffers “Sex and the City” and “Frasier.”
“Frasier’s” Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce took home one more Emmy apiece, while “Sex’s” Sarah Jessica Parker landed another statuette and co-star Cynthia Nixon won her first TV prize.
Grammer beat out sentimental favorite John Ritter (the late star of “8 Simple Rules”), as well as “Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” Larry David, “Friends’ ” Matt LeBlanc, and last year’s winner, “Monk’s” Tony Shalhoub.
Parker, meanwhile, won her first Emmy for “Sex,” beating out Jennifer Aniston, Patricia Heaton, Bonnie Hunt and Jane Kaczmarek.
Pierce — who scored his fourth Emmy as Niles Crane — expressed surprise at the award (“It’s not the way I would have gone, but okay”), but thanked his “Frasier” cohorts one more time.
“I’ve been acting for 25 years, since I was 12, and I hope to act for another 50,” Nixon said. “But I don’t think I will ever have another job like this one.”
Pierce took back the Emmy from last year’s winner, Brad Garrett, as well as from Peter Boyle, Sean Hayes and Jeffrey Tambour.
Grammer’s and Pierce’s haul upped “Frasier’s” total Emmy haul over its 11 years to 37 altogether — by far the most of any program in TV Academy history. (Second-place “Mary Tyler Moore” won 29 total during its run.)
Emmy also recruited quite a few first-timers to its club Sunday night, including three HBO players: “The Sopranos’ ” Michael Imperioli and Drea de Matteo as well as Nixon.
In the case of de Matteo, that was probably one instance where NBC execs were cheering as loud as their HBO rivals. Now the star of the Peacock’s “Joey,” de Matteo won the outstanding supporting actress in a drama series statuette for her final season on “The Sopranos.”
De Matteo was too shaken to give a speech, promising to say her thanks later.
“If I even try to thank any of them right now, I might puke, choke, cry or die, and you’ve already seen me do that,” she said. “I’m just going to say thank you and go have ten drinks.”
It was the first nom for de Matteo; her co-star and on-screen love interest, Michael Imperioli, won his first after three noms.
“Something the Lord Made” won the only longform category in which “Angels in America” wasn’t represented — the outstanding TV movie Emmy.
“It took us eight years to get to the screen, but it was worth the wait,” said exec producer Robert Cort.
“The Amazing Race” — long considered the cream of the reality crop by crix — scored its second consecutive Emmy for reality/competition show.
The “Race” win was even more impressive this year, which marked the first time the reality shows actually competed head to head. (Up until this year, the category was considered an “area award,” which meant that any, all or none of the nominees could win.)
In a year where its pop culture influence grew tenfold, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” won its second consecutive Emmys for both outstanding variety/music/comedy series, as well as writing for a variety, music or comedy program.
Elaine Stitch gave the most spirited acceptance speech of the evening, as she beat out Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, Tracey Ullman and Bill Maher for the outstanding performance in a variety or music program Emmy.
Stritch won for her HBO special “Elaine Stritch: At Liberty.” It was Stritch’s second win in three noms; the performer also scored an Emmy for a guest spot on “Law & Order.”
“Look at the company I’m in,” said the entertainer. “Just look at it. And I’m so glad none of them won. Listen, I can hardly take a compliment. I’ve got a problem. Tonight, be my guest.”
And in the closest thing the Emmys had to a “wardrobe malfunction” moment, producers had to pull Stritch off stage when she proclaimed, “I’m not moving from here until somebody comes and gets me. You’ll just never “F”-ing know.”
Academy members began showing their love for Fox’s “Arrested Development” early in the evening, as creator/exec producer Mitch Hurwitz scored an upset in the outstanding writing for a comedy series category.
Hurwitz won for writing the pilot to the laffer. Hurwitz cracked up the crowd by offering to sing his acceptance speech, as the orchestra began to interrupt.
“This is such a huge honor and, I fear, a giant mistake,” Hurwitz said.
Also scoring Emmys for the Imagine TV/20th Century Fox TV sitcom sensation were Joe and Anthony Russo, who scored the prize for outstanding directing for a comedy series.
As usual, the quickest way to an Emmy was either directing or writing a pilot. The Russos won for directing the pilot to “Arrested Development,” while helmer Walter Hill won for directing the pilot to HBO’s David Milch drama “Deadwood.”
The outstanding directing in a drama series nod was Hill’s first ever Emmy.
Meanwhile, it’s probably no surprise “The Sopranos” won the Emmy for outstanding drama writing — HBO series held down four of the five noms (the fifth was for “Deadwood”).
Winner Terence Winter (who won for the episode “Long Term Parking”) even beat himself out; Winter was also nommed in the category for a script he wrote with Matthew Weiner.
Louis Horvitz accepted his Emmy for outstanding directing for a variety, music or comedy program (for his work on “The 76th Annual Academy Awards”) while directing Sunday night’s Emmycast. Horvitz took the opportunity to throw the camera (“take 15!”) to a shot of his parents in the audience.
“Arrested Development” – Fox – Imagine Television, The Hurwitz Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Brian Grazer, Executive Producer
Ron Howard, Executive Producer
David Nevins, Executive Producer
Mitchell Hurwitz, Executive Producer
John Levenstein, Co-Executive Producer
Richard Rosenstock, Co-Executive Producer
Chuck Martin, Supervising Producer
Barbie Feldman Adler, Producer
Victor Hsu, Produced by
“The Sopranos” – HBO – Chase Films/Brad Grey Television in association with HBO Original Programming
David Chase, Executive Producer
Brad Grey, Executive Producer
Robin Green, Executive Producer
Mitchell Burgess, Executive Producer
Ilene S. Landress, Executive Producer
Terence Winter, Executive Producer
Henry J. Bronchtein, Co-Executive Producer
Matthew Weiner, Supervising Producer
Martin Bruestle, Producer
“Angels In America” – HBO- An Avenue Pictures production in association with HBO Films
Cary Brokaw, Executive Producer
Mike Nichols, Executive Producer
Mike Haley, Co-Executive Producer
Celia Costas, Producer
Made For Television Movie
“Something The Lord Made” – HBO – Cort/Madden Productions in association with HBO Films
Robert W. Cort, Executive Producer
David Madden, Executive Producer
Eric Hetzel, Executive Producer
Michael Drake, Producer
Julian Krainin, Producer
“The Amazing Race” – CBS – Amazing Race Productions Inc. and Touchstone Television productions, LLC in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television and WorldRace Productions, Inc.
Jerry Bruckheimer, Executive Producer
Bertram van Munster, Executive Producer
Jonathan Littman, Executive Producer
Jon Kroll, Co-Executive Producer
Hayma ‘Screech’ Washington, Co-Executive Producer
Amy Chacon, Supervising Producer
Anthony Dominici, Supervising Producer
Rick Ringbakk, Supervising Producer
Evan Weinstein, Senior Producer
Elise Doganieri, Producer
Brady Connell, Producer
Julian Grimmond, Producer
Shannon McGinn, Producer
Michael Norton, Producer
Michael Noval, Producer
Bob Parr, Producer
Phil Keoghan, Host
Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Kelsey Grammer, “Frasier”
Lead Actor In A Drama Series
James Spader, “The Practice”
Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Al Pacino, “Angels In America”
Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Sarah Jessica Parker, “Sex and the City”
Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Allison Janney, “The West Wing”
Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Meryl Streep, “Angels In America”
Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
David Hyde Pierce, “Frasier”
Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Michael Imperioli, “The Sopranos”
Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Jeffrey Wright, “Angels In America”
Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Cynthia Nixon , “Sex and the City”
Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Drea de Matteo, “The Sopranos”
Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Mary-Louise Parker, “Angels In America”
Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program
Elaine Strich, “Elaine Strich: At Liberty”
Directing For A Comedy Series
“Arrested Development” (Pilot) Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Directing For A Drama Series
“Deadwood” (Pilot), Walter Hill
Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program
“The 76th Annual Academy Awards,” Louis J. Horvitz
Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special
“Angels In America,” Mike Nichols
Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” – Show #8037- Comedy Central- Central Productions LLC and Hello Doggie, Inc.
Jon Stewart, Executive Producer
Ben Karlin, Executive Producer
Stewart Bailey, Co-Executive Producer
Kahane Corn, Supervising Producer
David Javerbaum, Supervising Producer
Writing For A Drama Series
“The Sopranos” (Long Term Parking)
Terence Winter, Writer
Writing For a comedy series
“Arrested Development” (pilot)
Mitchell Hurwitz, Writer
Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” – Comedy Central – Central Productions LLC and Hello Doggie, Inc.
David Javerbaum, Head Writer
Rich Blomquist, Writer
Steve Bodow, Writer
Tim Carvell, Writer
Stephen Colbert, Writer
Eric Drysdale, Writer
J.R. Havlan, Writer
Scott Jacobson, Writer
Ben Karlin, Writer
Rob Kutner, Writer
Chris Regan, Writer
Jason Reich, Writer
Jason Ross, Writer
Jon Stewart, Writer
Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special
“Angels In America,” Tony Kushner