Television celebrated its biggest annual night with the small screen’s brightest stars on hand to congratulate each other on a job well done. After the 50th annual Emmy Awards ceremony, winners and nominees alike segued smoothly to the swanky Governor’s Ball at the Shrine Auditorium — an A-lister standard.
The event, designed and catered by Along Came Mary, and produced by Cheryl Cecchetto and Sequoia Prods., was a lovely capper to Sunday night. Some 2,600 guests dined on herb- roasted chicken and schmoozed while the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra (featuring Bill’s Lucky Stars) romanced the room. The dance floor allowed for plenty of toe-tapping to old standards and “Dawson’s Creek’s” James Van Der Beek stepped out with his date, while winners Lisa Kudrow and Christine Lahti were seen clutching their new statues.
For those with a larger party appetite, there were other festivities around town as Fox, HBO, Showtime and “Entertainment Tonight” hosted their own events. The “ET” bash at Cicada feted the “Frasier” cast, fresh off their record-breaking win.
Among the guests were NBC Entertainment prexy Warren Littlefield who felt “it was a great night to celebrate television. Everybody had a lot to be proud of.” But did he expect “Frasier” to win so big? “I didn’t think there was any category that we could walk into tonight and count on, I think the competition’s awesome. … Did I hope and pray? … Absolutely.”From a fashion perspective, stylist-to-the-stars Phillip Bloch (he dressed “3rd Rock’s” Kristen Johnston in Pamela Dennis) was pleased with what he saw.As for himself, Bloch wore Richard Tyler.
HBO’s chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes, who said his network’s six wins proved “it was worth the risks” to make such high-priced fare as “From the Earth to the Moon,” filled Spago with the likes of Dennis Miller, Gary Shandling, Tracey Ullman, Ving Rhames, Angelina Jolie, Colin Callender and Tom Hanks , who still seemed awed by what a long, multi-year process his 12-film series on the space program was. “I got a kid who wasn’t even alive when I started talking about this thing,” the actor said.
Showtime CEO Matt Blank took over Pagani to celebrate the “12 Angry Men” wins with a soiree for 100 guests including Sigourney Weaver, Olympia Dukakis, Armistead Maupin and Thomas Gibson. Programming president Jerry Offsay was elated his network had doubled the number of nominees from the previous year.
Across the street, Twentieth Century Fox TV’s president Sandy Grushow filled Morton’s to celebrate the studio’s 52 nominations and 13 wins. Among the 850 guests were David E. Kelley with wife Michelle Pfeiffer, Calista Flockhart, Chris Carter, Paris Barclay, Sarah Michele Gellar, Jenna Elfman, Dylan McDermott and Dennis Franz. Grushow joked that “after four hours at the Shrine we could have thrown the party at Dennys and all of Hollywood would have shown up.”
(Bill Higgins contributed to this report.)