The fifth “day” was the charm for Fox’s “24,” while NBC’s “The Office” established that it is more than just the U.S. branch of a hit British comedy at the 58th annual Emmy Awards.
Fox’s gritty thriller became that net’s first drama champ, edging a tough field that included past winner “The Sopranos” and red-hot “Grey’s Anatomy.” Star Kiefer Sutherland also locked up his first Emmy as CTU agent Jack Bauer, and the show won for direction.
Meanwhile, “The Office,” the second-year comedy adapted from an acclaimed BBC franchise, capped a strong showing overall for NBC, which won six.
In a night that saw repeat winners and canceled series pick up Emmys, Julia Louis-Dreyfus — a past honoree for “Seinfeld” — received what should be a promotional boost for her sitcom “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” which joined CBS’ Monday lineup in March.
“Curse this, baby,” she said, alluding to the so-called “‘Seinfeld’ curse” that has plagued the show’s co-stars, who, among them, have previously starred in four quickly axed series.
Befitting Emmy royalty, HBO’s “Elizabeth I” was crowned for outstanding miniseries, directing, Helen Mirren’s portrayal of the virgin queen and supporting actor Jeremy Irons. Added with five tech awards, the four-hour project’s nine golden girls by far surpassed all other programs.
With 26 total Emmys (one less than last year), HBO has now ranked as the most-decorated network six consecutive years and seven of the last eight go-rounds, including back-to-back ties with NBC in 2001 and ’02.
Despite inroads by other cable nets — which have sought to emulate HBO’s footprint in original programming with fare like TNT’s “Into the West,” this year’s most-nominated entry — the Time Warner pay channel has remained preeminent, fueled by a mix of series, movies and documentaries. (“The Sopranos,” which claimed outstanding drama in 2004 and wasn’t eligible last year, nabbed a lone win for writing.).
By collecting six honors during the primary showcase, NBC — coupled with its earlier tech awards — placed second to HBO at 14, followed by ABC’s 11, though the Alphabet net was limited to a single Emmy Sunday night — for its telecast of the Academy Awards. Fox closed with 10, as “24” accounted for all its hardware Sunday, and CBS nine.
Mariska Hargitay took home a rare Emmy for a crime procedural — in this case, NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” The actress previously snagged a Golden Globe for the show but emotionally celebrated her first acknowledgement from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which orchestrates the Emmys.
As lead in a comedy, Tony Shalhoub’s defective detective “Monk” unearthed his third accolade in four tries for that hourlong USA network show. Andre Braugher’s Emmy for FX’s “Thief,” meanwhile, involved a bit of procedural sleight of hand, since he was submitted as lead actor in a miniseries for a show initially presented as a series but discarded after its limited run.
HBO’s triumphs also included outstanding movie for “The Girl in the Café” — an unlikely romance set against the G8 Summit, whose principal competition included two 9/11-themed basic cable films.
With that victory, the channel has claimed that category a dozen times in the last 14 years — its string interrupted only by TNT’s “Door to Door” in 2003 and ABC’s “Tuesdays With Morrie” in 2000.
“Girl” writer Richard Curtis and co-star Kelly Macdonald were also recognized, though star Bill Nighy, notably, submitted himself for another film and wasn’t nominated.
HBO’s Emmy-season total was elevated by 17 trophies at the earlier Creative Arts Emmys, including a quartet each for the period drama “Rome” and sobering documentary “Baghdad ER.”
Although HBO continued its top-network streak, the channel fell short of its high of 32 awards in 2004, when it soared on the wings of “Angels in America,” which flew off with a record 11 awards.
Not surprisingly given this year’s glut of nominations for series either canceled or that have finished their runs, several Emmy wins amounted to nostalgic sendoffs for departed shows.
In the supporting actor categories, only first-time winner Jeremy Piven — as the hyperkinetic agent in HBO’s “Entourage” — comes from a program that will be seen again in anything but reruns.
Megan Mullally won her second supporting trophy for “Will & Grace,” with Blythe Danner earning back-to-back prizes for the axed Showtime drama “Huff.” And while Alan Alda’s “The West Wing” character might have lost the election, the actor (who didn’t attend) won his sixth Emmy overall for the NBC drama’s swan-song.
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” extended its domination of the comedy, music or variety series to a rather presidential four-year term, and doubled its pleasure with writing in that category. And despite the ratings juggernaut that is “American Idol,” CBS’ “The Amazing Race” elongated its roll among reality-competition fare to four consecutive years.
Although no first-year series garnered top-program nods, NBC’s “My Name is Earl” enjoyed some good Karma by sweeping comedy writing and directing for its pilot episode.
Combined with the early pre-Labor Day date for this year’s telecast, the many winners from programs that won’t return — or in the case of “24” and “The Sopranos,” won’t be back until 2007 — could diminish the always hard-to-measure promotional benefits associated with such recognition.
As for this year’s much-debated and derided rules changes, which yielded several glaring omissions in the nomination process, academy officials privately say they are likely to tweak those procedures after evaluating results from this year’s awards.
O’Brien drew a huge laugh by saying that the Emmy statuette is heavy because it “contains the shattered dreams of four other people.”
Virtually devoid of political speeches, the show’s tributes included a standing ovation for Dick Clark, who is grappling with the after-effects of a stroke; and the late Aaron Spelling, culminating with a reunion of the original “Charlie’s Angels.”
“I (have) accomplished my childhood dream, to be in show business,” Clark said. “Everybody should be so lucky.” Barry Manilow performed to honor Clark and later picked up an Emmy for his PBS special, prompting a mock tirade from presenter/nominee Stephen Colbert about losing to the singer.
“The Office”, NBC, Deedle Dee Productions, Reveille, LLC in association with NBC Universal Television Studios
“24”, FOX, Imagine Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television in association with Real Time Productions
“Elizabeth I”, HBO, Company Pictures and Channel 4 in association with HBO Films
MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE
“The Girl In The Café”, HBO, Tightrope Pictures and BBC Wales in association with HBO Films
REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM
“The Amazing Race”, CBS, Amazing Race Prods. and Touchstone Television Prods. in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television and WorldRace Prods
ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Tony Shalhoub, “Monk,”
ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Kiefer Sutherland, “24”
ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Andre Braugher, “Thief”
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “The New Adventures Of Old Christine”
ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Helen Mirren, “Elizabeth I”
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Jeremy Piven, “Entourage”
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Alan Alda, “The West Wing”
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Jeremy Irons, “Elizabeth I”
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Megan Mullally, “Will & Grace”
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Blythe Danner, “Huff”
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Kelly Macdonald, “The Girl In The Café”
INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE IN A VARIETY OR MUSIC PROGRAM
Barry Manilow, “Barry Manilow: Music And Passion”
DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY
Marc Buckland, “My Name Is Earl,” (Pilot)
DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA
Jon Cassar, “24,” (7:00 AM – 8:00 AM)
DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY PROGRAM
Louis J. Horvitz, “78th Annual Academy Awards”
DIRECTING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Tom Hooper, “Elizabeth I”
VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SERIES
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central, Central Prods. and Hello Doggie
WRITING FOR A COMEDY
“My Name Is Earl,” (Pilot), Greg Garcia
WRITING FOR A DRAMA
“The Sopranos,” (Members Only), Terence Winter
WRITING FOR A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY PROGRAM
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” David Javerbaum, Rachel Axler, Kevin Bleyer, Rich Blomquist, Steve Bodow, Tim Carvell, Stephen Colbert, Eric Drysdale, J.R. Havlan, Scott Jacobson, Ben Karlin, Rob Kutner, Sam Means, Chris Regan, Jason Reich, Jason Ross, Jon Stewart, writers
WRITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR A DRAMATIC SPECIAL
“The Girl In The Café,” written by Richard Curtis