An Emmy beachhead

HBO's 'The Pacific' tops Creative Arts awards with seven

“The Pacific” has momentum going into Sunday’s Emmycast, having stormed the Creative Arts kudos with seven wins.

HBO’s 10-part WWII epic led the winner’s circle at the weekend’s ceremony at the Nokia Theater with victories in tech and craft categories including longform casting, visual effects and art direction. “The Pacific” also topped the list of this year’s Emmy nominees with 24 bids.

The rivalry between “Modern Family” and “Glee” picked up steam after Saturday’s marathon ceremony, which left the former with three trophies and the latter with two. “Modern Family” wins included casting for a comedy series (Jeff Greenberg). “Glee” snared the guest comedy actor nod for Neil Patrick Harris’ visit to the show.

Harris also shared in the Emmy win for last year’s Tonycast, which won for special class program. “This is craziness,” a buoyant Harris said when he came backstage toting two trophies.

The ABC animated spesh “Disney Prep and Landing” made a strong showing with four wins, including the nod for animated program.

“Pacific’s” haul put HBO in the lead among nets, with 17, followed by ABC with 15 and Fox with nine.

The reality program category yielded a surprise winner as ABC’s little-watched “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” beat out such higher-profile competish as CBS’ “Undercover Boss” and Bravo’s “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.” (Still to be revealed on Sunday, Aug. 29, is the winner reality-competish program category; CBS’ “The Amazing Race” has scored seven consecutive victories.)

Moments after Ryan Seacrest, a producer of “Food Revolution,” collected his Emmy, he lost out in the reality host category for the third consecutive year to “Survivor’s” Jeff Probst.

Ann-Margret kept “Law and Order: SVU’s” streak going in the guest drama actress category, prevailing for her role as a troubled woman wrapped up in a decades-old murder. “SVU” has taken the guest drama actress five out of the past six years. Ann-Margret got a standing ovation as she accepted her first Emmy win after six noms.

The most memorable moment of the night came from John Lithgow, who made a faux pas in accepting his trophy for guest actor in a drama series for Showtime’s “Dexter.”

“I’m glad to have every chance to thank Matt Blank and Bob Greenblatt of HBO,” Lithgow said.

Lithgow didn’t realize that he’d mixed up his pay cablers until reporters informed him of the gaffe when he came backstage. He gasped. “Oh my god. I’ll never live that down. They’ll probably be taking this back now,” he joked, nodding to the Emmy statuette he held.

Betty White added a seventh Emmy to her trophy case, winning guest actress in a comedy series for her guest host turn on “Saturday Night Live.” (White did not attend the ceremony.) Helmer Don Roy King won the variety/comedy series directing award for her “SNL” seg.

On the lensing front, CBS’ “CSI” won cinematography for an hourlong series; Showtime’s “Weeds” won for half-hour series. Longform honors went to PBS” “Return to Cranford, Part 2.” Lensing for nonfiction programming went to Discovery’s “Life.”

The cutters of ABC’s “Lost” (Stephen Semel, Mark Goldman, Christopher Nelson, Henk Van Eeghen) won drama series picture editing for their round-the-clock work on the show’s 2½-hour finale seg. Ryan Case won for comedy series picture editing for the pilot of “Modern Family.”

Visual effects for a series went to the mothership “CSI.”

In the tuner categories, Dave Pierce won music direction for his work on the Opening Ceremonies in NBC’s coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Sean P. Calley won music composition for a series for his work on the final season of Fox’s “24.” Alex Wurman took the longform tune trophy for HBO’s “Temple Grandin.”

Randy Newman scored the original music and lyrics win for “When I’m Gone” from the finale of USA Network’s “Monk.”

Main title theme music went to Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” for tunesmiths Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, who were teary-eyed when they came backstage. Melvoin noted that they were the first femmes to win in the category, and she pointed out that there had been talk of eliminating the theme music category altogether.

Mia Michaels of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” sashayed away with the choreography trophy. She was asked backstage about the prospect of “SYTYCD” judge and exec producer Nigel Lythgoe going back to “American Idol” next year.

“Nigel is a superhero,” she said, matter of factly. “He can do both.”

The commercial winner got a big reaction from the femme reporters backstage, as the blurb honor went to Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” spots, from Wieden & Kennedy and MJZ.

Emmy darling “Mad Men” took home two trophies, one for hairstyling and one for casting in a drama series.

PBS’ Ken Burns docu “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” was recognized for nonfiction series. Disney Channel’s “The Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie” won for children’s program.

Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” won variety/comedy writing for its stint of shows in Iraq.

John Leverence, the TV Acad’s awards guru for the past 30 years, was feted with the org’s Syd Cassyd Founders Award.

Governors Awards were presented to the Ad Council and to WMA stalwart Norman Brokaw, in recognition of his role in bringing to the screen series ranging from “Make Room for Daddy” to “I Spy” to “The Cosby Show.”

Highlights will air Friday on E!

Complete list of winners

Network scorecard

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