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Following awards, winners celebrate

With Fox and Diller, after-parties have snowballed

As one of the Four Horsemen of major L.A. award nights (the Oscars, the Grammys and the Golden Globes being its brethren), the Emmys is one of the full-employment-for-caterers evenings.

In years past, the Emmys hadn’t been such a big night for after-parties; the Governors Ball was the only major event. But in the last decade, at least since the years when Fox took over broadcasting rights and topper Barry Diller threw money at the kudocast, the Emmys have come into its stride. Maybe not in the same league as Oscar, but certainly a night with a seriously amplified social life.

As always, the big parties will be after the show. But there’s at least a couple of events a few days before: The previous Wednesday, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will have its annual Performer Nominee Reception at the Sunset Room. The guest list is limited (as the title implies) to nom’d performers, plus Acad governors, some execs and other VIPs. Roughly 250 guests are invited.

When it Reigns …

The following day, the Writers Guild of America West is hosting a reception honoring nominees at Reign. Roughly 200 guests are expected. “We want to recognize the Emmy-nominated writers,” says a WGA spokeswoman. “We want to give the writers a chance to celebrate with their peers.”

On Sunday, the big event will — as always — be the Governors Ball. It’s held in the Shrine’s mammoth Exposition Hall, where 2,750 guests will attend the black-tie, post-Emmys bash.

“We’re working on a cutting-edge, high-tech design for the ball this year,” says Cheryl Cecchetto of Sequoia Prods., which is putting together the post-awards gala. “The look we’re developing is completely original since the hardware — the table and chairs — have been manufactured specially for the ball.”

With this futuristic motif designed by Poko art director Armand Gharabegian, 25 bartenders on two floors, a full orchestra, 400 waiters, 235 tables, 5,000 roses, and a menu from Patina’s Joachim Splichal, the ball promises to be an especially extravagant party.

Out of the ordinary

“I want the guests to experience this event and not believe it was possible,” says Cecchetto. “This is definitely not the norm. This is the kind of party you’d usually see for maybe 100 people. No one has ever done it on this scale before.”

Once again, HBO is taking over Spago BevHills, and then adding to the space by blocking Canon Drive at Wilshire Boulevard, erecting an enormous tent and covering the street in purple carpet.

“HBO has a long tradition of throwing great parties,” says a spokeswoman for the cabler. “We want our people to come and have a good time. We have a feeling they’re going to have a lot to celebrate.”

This year, Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” party will have a change in venue, with its fifth annual Emmy bash set for Barneys in Beverly Hills. They’re taking over the store for a “chic and glamorous” affair, which will celebrate the show’s upcoming 20th season.

Last year, Showtime filled the elegant L’Orangerie restaurant with 200 guests. Plans haven’t been set yet for this year, but with the cabler garnering 11 noms, it’s likely they’ll be looking for a place to celebrate.

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