Freshman nabs top drama as departing fave gets last laugh

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After looking lost and desperate at this time last year, ABC capped its turnaround by claiming the top dramatic Emmy for “Lost,” though the web’s fellow freshman sensation “Desperate Housewives” lost out to CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond,” the sentimental favorite in its the swan-song year.

Voters at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences spread the wealth around in the 57th annual nighttime Emmy Awards, presented at the Shrine Auditorium.

ABC led all broadcast nets with 16 Emmys overall, including a half-dozen Sunday, which should provide the Alphabet web some momentum heading into the fall campaign.

ABC’s twin first-year titans, “Lost” and “Housewives,” tied with six awards each (including four apiece at the earlier Creative Arts ceremony).

Overall, nine nets won in Sunday’s 27 categories, though traditional heavyweight NBC was a notable non-factor this year. Latenight host Conan O’Brien pounded the point home, joking that the comedy actress nominees had jointly helped push his network “into the ratings toilet.”

Based on last Sunday’s tallies, many predicted “Housewives” would become the second hour-long program to be feted as best comedy, after “Ally McBeal” in 1999. But Sunday night provided plenty of surprises.

Despite ABC’s impressive push, the overall tally by network was never really in doubt: HBO entered the evening with 20 Emmys from the Creative Arts ceremony a week ago compared to 10 for nearest rival ABC.

HBO’s salty western “Deadwood” was shut out Sunday, despite five technical Emmys at the previous event.

Yet even with a diminished presence in the series voting, the pay service remained a formidable presence with 27 prizes in all — a fact that has consistently nettled the broadcast nets.

In addition to best drama, series co-creator J.J. Abrams was recognized for directing the “Lost” pilot, while “Housewives’ ” Felicity Huffman and fellow first-time nominee Patricia Arquette of NBC’s “Medium” nabbed lead actress honors. Huffman thanked her co-stars, including fellow nominees Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross.

By contrast, the drama and comedy men were both repeats: James Spader for ABC’s “Boston Legal,” and Tony Shalhoub as USA net’s “defective detective,” “Monk.”

Reality TV took its place in the Emmy spotlight by joining the main telecast this year, having until now been relegated to the Creative Arts event. The results, however, remained unchanged, as “The Amazing Race” ran off with its third consecutive trophy in the competition balloting.

Fox’s ratings-challenged “Arrested Development” used one of its three writing nominations to edge out Marc Cherry’s “Housewives” pilot script, prompting series creator Mitchell Hurwitz to put in a pitch for the public to embrace the past best-comedy winner. “The academy has twice rewarded us for something you people won’t watch,” he quipped to the TV audience, reminding viewers about the show’s new Monday timeslot.

Following its parade of Emmys for “Angels in America” in 2004, HBO’s longstanding dominance of the longform arena continued. Only the best miniseries nod to PBS’ “Masterpiece Theatre presentation “The Lost Prince” prevented an on-air sweep by the Time Warner-owned pay service in that realm.

“Warm Springs,” the Franklin D. Roosevelt biography, was anointed best movie — something of a jolt given that “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” had already collected Emmys for star Geoffrey Rush, writing and directing, in addition to its previously amassed six technical honors. The nine wins fell just two short of the 11 statuettes bestowed on “Angels.”

In a night with few spontaneous moments, an obviously stunned S. Epatha Merkerson earned her first Emmy for HBO’s “Lackawanna Blues” and professed to have dropped her acceptance speech down the front of her dress. Supporting players Paul Newman and Jane Alexander were also winners for “Empire Falls” and “Warm Springs,” respectively.

Adding to “Raymond’s” second win in the last three years, Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts won third and fourth supporting actor Emmys, respectively. Garrett’s victory means that co-star and fellow nominee Peter Boyle was the only member of the show’s principal ensemble not to win an Emmy for the sitcom during its historic nine-year run, while Roberts dubbed her award “the icing on the cake.”

Blythe Danner parlayed her trio of nominations into an Emmy for the little-seen Showtime drama “Huff,” a coup for the pay channel.

When William Shatner was announced as taking his second Emmy for “Boston Legal,” meanwhile, the camera caught Alan Alda — up for “The West Wing” — tearing up what was presumably his acceptance speech.

Among the various tributes, the usually award-reclusive David Letterman ventured out on the CBS-carried Emmycast to say farewell to the late Johnny Carson. “You were not really a comedian unless you appeared on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Johnny Carson,” Letterman said, calling his mentor “a true magician.”

Despite Letterman’s presence, late-night honors for both outstanding series and writing went to media darling “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” The Comedy Central host doffed his cap to Letterman, saying that he is to Stewart’s generation of comics what Carson had been to Letterman’s contemporaries.

The broadcast also featured an extended ovation for former nightly news anchors Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, as well as the late Peter Jennings. Brokaw spoke of their shared devotion for being reporters foremost, while Rather implored networks to sustain their commitment to broadcast journalism. That statement happened to follow an audience shot of CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves, who has been outspoken about his network’s need to reinvent the traditional evening news.

In one of the more peculiarly structured categories, Hugh Jackman earned an Emmy for hosting the Tony Awards, in a field that included Jay Leno and Jon Stewart for their regular late-night series.

And the winners are…

COMEDY SERIES
“Everybody Loves Raymond” CBS, HBO Independent Production and Worldwide Pants in association with Where’s Lunch. Philip Rosenthal, Ray Romano, Rory Rosegarten, Stu Smiley, Lew Schneider, Tucker Cawley, Steve Skrovan, Jeremy Stevens, Mike Royce, Aaron Shure, exec producers; Lisa Helfrich Jackson, Tom Caltabiano, Leslie Caveny, co-exec producers; Ken Ornstein, Holli Gailen, producers.

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DRAMA SERIES
“Lost” ABC, Touchstone Television. J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Bryan Burk, Carlton Cuse, Jack Bender, exec producers; David Fury, Jesse Alexander, co-exec producers; Javier Grillo-Marxuach, supervising producer; Sarah Caplan, Leonard Dick, producers; Jean Higgins, produced by.

MINISERIES
“The Lost Prince” (Masterpiece Theatre)” PBS, a Talkback Production in association with BBC Films and WGBH Boston. Peter Fincham, David Thompson, Rebecca Eaton, Joanna Beresford, exec producers; John Chapman, producer.

MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE
“Warm Springs” HBO, a Mark Gordon Co. Production in association with HBO Films. Mark Gordon, Celia Costas, exec producers; Chrisann Verges, producer.

REALITY COMPETITION
“The Amazing Race” CBS, Amazing Race Prods. and Touchstone Television Prods. in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television and WorldRace Prods. Jerry Bruckheimer, Bertram van Munster, Jonathan Littman, Hayma “Screech” Washington, exec producers; Amy Nabseth Chacon, Evan Weinstein, co-exec producers; Elise Doganieri, John Moffet, Mark Vertullo, supervising producers; Julian Grimmond, Nancy Gunn, Alex Rader, Glenn Stickley, senior producers; Jennifer Basa, David Brown, Patrick Cariaga, Jarratt Carson, Allison Chase, Curtis Colden, Al Edgington, Barry Hennessey, Michael Norton, Michael Noval, Giselle Parets, Bob Parr, Bill Pruitt, Matt Schmidt, Rebekah Fry, Richard Hall, Scott Owens, producers; Phil Keoghan, host.

ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Tony Shalhoub, “Monk” USA, NBC

ACTOR IN A DRAMA

James Spader, “Boston Legal” ABC

ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE

Geoffrey Rush, “The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers” HBO

ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Felicity Huffman, “Desperate Housewives” ABC

ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

Patricia Arquette, “Medium,” NBC.

ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE

S. Epatha Merkerson, “Lackawanna Blues” HBO

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Brad Garrett, “Everybody Loves Raymond”

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA

William Shatner, “Boston Legal” ABC

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Paul Newman, “Empire Falls” HBO

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Doris Roberts, “Everybody Loves Raymond” CBS

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Blythe Danner, “Huff” Showtime

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Jane Alexander, “Warm Springs” HBO

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE IN A VARIETY OR MUSIC PROGRAM

Hugh Jackman, “58th Annual Tony Awards (2004)” CBS

DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY

Charles McDougall, “Desperate Housewives” (Pilot) ABC

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA

J.J. Abrams, “Lost” (Pilot, parts 1 & 2) ABC

DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY PROGRAM
Bucky Gunts, “The Games Of The XXVIII Olympiad – Opening Ceremony” NBC, NBC Olympics

DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A DRAMATIC SPECIAL

Stephen Hopkins, “The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers” HBO

VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” Jon Stewart, Ben Karlin, exec producers; Stewart Bailey, co-exec producer; Kahane Corn, David Javerbaum, supervising producers.

WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
“Arrested Development” (The Righteous Brothers), Mitchell Hurwitz, Jim Valley

WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
“House” (Three Stories), David Shore

WRITING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY PROGRAM
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” David Javerbaum, head writer; Rich Blomquist, Steve Bodow, Tim Carvell, Stephen Colbert, Eric Drysdale, J.R. Havlan, Scott Jacobson, Ben Karlin, Rob Kutner, Chris Regan, Jason Reich, Jason Ross, Jon Stewart, writers.

WRITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
“The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, screenplay.

See the list of Creative Emmys winners

See the full list of Emmy nominees

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