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Afterward, it’s party time

Emmy fetes try to outdo each other, satisfy all

Nothing beats a gold statuette, but a sparkling glass of Moet & Chandon, a Maine lobster salad and a Wolfgang Puck handshake sure aren’t bad consolation prizes.

That’s exactly what the evening has in store Sept. 12, when Hollywood heavies end their nervous Emmy night with parties that try to out-schmooze each other.

And, of course, it’s all in the name of competition. Cable nets, newsmags and studios will pat their “families” on the back with as many shrimp puffs as possible, and each will tell you that their party is the best party.

The festivities will begin only 20 feet from the Shrine Auditorium, where the Governors Ball will welcome up to 2,750 guests for it’s annual post-Emmy bash.

“We started preparing for this when the final person left last year’s party,” says Cheryl Cecchetto of Sequoia Prods., producer for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences event. “It’s a full-time job and there’s only one chance to get it right.”

With a supper club motif, 20 bartenders on two floors and a full orchestra, the party certainly will seek to satisfy every taste, and its menu will do the same; from kosher plates to fruit platters to rich dessert spreads, nobody will be slighted.

“This is not the time to explain why we don’t have something,” Cecchetto says. “It’s not the time for excuses.”

And just in case anyone is planning to ignore the invitation, Cecchetto promises a gift that’s worth their arrival.

“It’s a secretive, four-year present,” she says. “Everyone will be reminded of the evening well into the next century.”

If Emmy winners, nominees, studio execs and agents still have any energy left after the Governors Ball, there are plenty of places ready to welcome them.

For the second year in a row, Cicada will play host to “Entertainment Tonight’s” gala, which has been the unofficial “Frasier” home during the NBC skein’s recent best comedy win streak.

“We created this for the industry,” says an “ET” spokesman. “Studios and networks have their own parties, but there was nothing that could tie everyone together, from winners on different networks to producers at rival studios. We want to do for the Emmys what Swifty Lazar did for the Oscars.”

With TV monitors placed strategically throughout the site for partygoers to glance at their friends and fellow noms — the show will be tape-delayed in Los Angeles — “ET” will be offering up an Italian influence and has reserved its spotlight for something inedible.

“Our centerpiece will, literally, be overflowing,” the spokesman says. “We are going to have a crystal champagne pyramid placed in the center of the room that will be quite an achievement.”

The fountain o’ booze may be hard to top, but HBO is going to try.

The pay cable web, which boasts 74 nominations, will invade Spago in Beverly Hills and the restaurant’s owner, Wolfgang Puck, will be there to help.

With 300-400 people planning to attend, the cabler hopes to show that it doesn’t take a back seat when it comes to showbiz glamour.

“Last year we had Angelina Jolie and Tom Hanks,” said one HBO insider. “It feels like an Oscar atmosphere because of the projects we have in competition, and we want our presentation to reflect that.”

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