In the run-up to the Emmys, the Evening Before bash benefiting the Motion Picture and Television Fund has become a must-stop for the smallscreen set. With a bare minimum of photogs present Saturday night, the tube community could relax and mingle, pointed out MPTF CEO Ken Scherer at Century Park.
“This is the sixth year we’ve done it and as you can see it’s hugely popular,” said Scherer. “We’ve raised millions, it’s for a good cause.” He noted that the Evening Before event started after the success of a similar party on the eve of the Oscars.
Guests at this year’s fete, which raised $1.6 million for the fund, played a game at the HP booth, matching TV theme songs to shows, with NBCU’s Lauren Zalaznick among the high scorers.
Jeffrey Katzenberg arrived with family, and took congrats for all his MPTF work and his Governor’s Award from the Academy.
Tina Fey and husband Jeff Richmond held court in a group that included Will Arnett, while in another corner Kunal Nayyar and Archie Panjabi and their spouses discussed where to get good Indian food in L.A.
Several shows’ casts and creators made the scene. They included “Mad Men’s” Matt Weiner, Jon Hamm, Jared Harris, Christina Hendricks and Elisabeth Moss; “Downton Abbey’s” Julian Fellowes, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery and Joanne Froggatt, who hoped her character’s love life improved in the coming season; “The Big Bang Theory’s” Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Nayyar; and “Modern Family’s” Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen, who complimented “Project Runway” winner Anya.
Other thesps at the gathering included Aziz Ansari, Connie Britton, Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston, Kristin Davis, Zooey Deschanel, Joel McHale, Julianne Moore, Amy Poehler and Danny Pudi.
But performers didn’t quite outnumber behind-the-scene folks. Also spotted in the crowd were TV Acad’s Bruce Rosenblum; Barry Diller; NBCU Cable’s Bonnie Hammer; ABC Studios’ Barry Jossen and Patrick Moran; 20th TV’s Gary Newman; Universal Cable’s Beth Roberts; Warners’ Peter Roth; Disney’s Anne Sweeney; USA’s Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber; WME’s Richard Weitz and Lisa Harrison; UTA’s Jay Sures and Mike Jelline; J.J. Abrams; Nigel Lythgoe; helmers Paris Barclay and Thomas Schlamme; Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady; and Variety toppers Brian Gott and Timothy Gray. Power couples like Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, as well as Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson, also joined the party.