Observed and overheard at the Emmys

Backstage notes from TV's big night

OBSERVED 3:58 p. m . “Daily Show” correspondents just made their way through the carpet. Wish they would cover the Emmys the same way they do political conventions.

OVERHEARD 4:19 p.m. Spoiler alert! Showrunners have put fear of God into actors, everybody’s clamming up on plot points.

OBSERVED 4:22 p.m. History’s Nancy Dubuc promotes “Project Runway,” wearing a dress designed by contestant Victor Luna .

OVERHEARD 4:32 p.m. ABC’s Josh Elliott officially lost all ESPN cred when he asked Ju lianne Moore who she was wearing on the red carpet.

OBSERVED 4:34 p.m. Big hug between Matt Weine r and Zooey Deschanel . He’s helping her with her train.

OVERHEARD 4:42 p.m. Julie Bowen and Kaley Cuoco wearing very similar frocks. They’re making light of it in the “Access Hollywood” booth.

OBSERVED 4:48 p.m. Ellen Degeneres being whisked down the red carpet. You’d think she was hosting.

OBSERVED 5:08 p.m. For a guy who usually kills it at hosting industry events, thought Jimmy Kimmel was good but not great in the openin g monologue.

OBSERVED 5:19 p.m. Is the TelePrompTer 100 miles away or something?

OBSERVED 5:23 p.m. I’m no Tim Gunn, but that is not a good dress for Kat Dennings .

OBSERVED 5:28 p.m. Clips from past Emmy shows play in theater during commercial breaks: this time, “Mary Tyler Moore,” Kermit-Miss Piggy, Julia Child.

OBSERVED 5:40 p.m. No Ashton Kutcher thank you from Jon Cryer ? Interesting.

OVERHEARD 5:50 p.m. In backstage press room, Julie Bowen says she’s never missed an episode of “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men.”

OBSERVED 5:54 p.m. During this commercial, stagehands are pounding down dozens of nails on the stage. The same ones that caught Julia Louis-Dreyfus ‘ dress.

QUOTED 5:55 p.m. “If our show can contribute to having people be more open and understanding, we would be very proud of that.” — Steven Levitan (“Modern Family”)

OBSERVED 6:07 p.m. Aaron Paul ‘s raw emotion sends a nice jolt into a telecast floating on too much glibness.

QUOTED 6:10 p.m. “She was hatched in the Disney labs in Burbank.”

— Jon Cryer on upcoming “Two and a Half Men” guest Miley Cyrus

OBSERVED 6:25 p.m. FYI, we were just as confused by Jeremy Davies ‘ hair on the red carpet as you are in your living room.

OBSERVED 6:29 p.m. Damian Lewis’ win was a shocker, but honestly, he showed so much depth and so many subtleties in “Homeland.”

OBSERVED 6:33 p.m. Not sure what Jon Hamm has to do to win an Emmy.

QUOTED 6:56 p.m. Aaron Paul says he doesn’t want a happy ending to “Breaking Bad.” “I think the fans would be disappointed.”

QUOTED 7:06 p.m. Claire Danes on President Obama being a “Homeland” fan: “It’s hugely validating. It speaks to the relevancy of the show.”

OBSERVED 7:23 p.m. Steve Jobs makes the In Memoriam montage. Nice touch.

OBSERVED 7:39 p.m. Kinda cool at this point in the show to look out across the aud and see all the gleaming Emmys sitting in laps.

OVERHEARD 7:49 p.m. “I gotta rewrite my lede.” — just about any reporter backstage, scrambling after “Homeland” captured the top drama prize.

OBSERVED 7:54 p.m. This night only underscores my belief that “Homeland” is a broadcast TV show that happens to be on cable. Moonves, rerun it on CBS Saturdays!

OBSERVED 8:09 p.m. Entire Grey Goose bar made of ice. Where was this on the red carpet at arrivals?

QUOTED 8:39 p.m. “I forgot that you can have a job and be really, really proud of it; this is all serendipitous.” — Modern Family writer Danny Zuker