'30 Rock,' 'Mad Men' take top Emmys
By Alex Ben Block
No single program was overwhelmingly dominant at the 61st annualPrimetime Emmy Awards, but the NBC comedy "30 Rock" and the AMCdrama "Mad Men" were repeat winners for outstanding series.
The BBC/PBS miniseries "Little Dorrit" led all shows with acombined seven trophies, including last week's Creative Arts EmmyAwards.
"Mad Men" main man Matthew Weiner accepted the show's secondconsecutive outstanding drama series award by saying they had"worked very hard to have it not stink the second year."
The first drama series from AMC only won one other award out of 16nominations. In accepting that award for writing a drama series --he was named in four of the five nominations -- Weiner thanked AMCand producer Lionsgate for letting him be "the only person in thisroom on some level who has complete creative freedom."
Although "30 Rock" managed only five wins out among its 16nominations, it moved into rarefied company by winning outstandingcomedy series for the third year in a row: Only "Taxi," "The MaryTyler Moore Show," "All in the Family" and "Frasier" have turnedthe trick. "Frasier" holds with record with five wins, allconsecutive; "Family" and "Cheers" each earned four nonconsecutiveEmmys for outstanding comedy.
Fey, who lost out as lead actress in a comedy in a surprise to ToniCollette for "United States of Tara" on Showtime, used heracceptance speech to thank NBC's executives "for keeping us on theair even though we are so much more expensive than a talkshow."
As widely anticipated, Alec Baldwin won the lead actor in a comedyEmmy for "30 Rock," his second in a row. Baldwin dedicated his winto producer Lorne Michaels, who he said is "the greatest boss andhas believed in me all these years."
"Little Dorrit," the British drama that was the top winner lastweek at the Creative Arts Emmys, continued to perform, picking upthree more awards Sunday for outstanding miniseries, directing andwriting.
The most honored TV movie was HBO's "Grey Gardens," which wonoutstanding made-for-TV movie, a supporting nod for Ken Howard andone for lead actress Jessica Lange. "This part was a gift," said anemotional Lange, "and they don't come around that often for me anymore." She thanked co-star Drew Barrymore, calling her "the otherhalf" for her "great, great heart, which made it allpossible."
It was the first Emmy nomination for veteran actor Howard. The SAGpresidential hopeful said "actors are so thrilled with the amazingsuccess of cable television and the advent of new media and canbarely wait to renegotiate."
"Grey Gardens" producer Michael Sucsy thanked HBO -- which againtook home the most overall honors with 21 -- "for still making thiskind of film. There are very few outlets for this thesedays."
Two impressive streaks were kept alive. CBS' "The Amazing Race" wonits seventh consecutive Emmy for best reality competition andremains the only show ever to win in the category.
"I don't know what to say anymore," producer Bert Van Munster said.He didn't thank exec producer Jerry Bruckheimer in his acceptancespeech but immediately handed the statuette to Bruckheimer, who wasstanding beside him among a group associated with the show.
The other streak belongs to "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,"which also won for the seventh year in a row. After host Stewartpaused to tell host Neal Patrick Harris what a great job he wasdoing, he quipped, "I just thank you for giving me the opportunityto come up here and then go backstage and watch a football game."
That was a reference to the Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants game onNBC, which aired against the Emmys and was widely expected to winthe ratings race for the evening.
"Survivor" Jeff Probst won his second consecutive Emmy asoutstanding reality competition host. It was his third overall,having shared the 2001 award for outstanding nonfiction program.
There were some mild surprises to go with the expected wins.Kristin Chenoweth won as supporting actress in a comedy for thecanceled ABC series "Pushing Daisies," beating out favorites JaneKrakowski of "30 Rock" and Vanessa Williams of "Ugly Betty."Surprised and teary-eyed, she used her rambling acceptance speechto make a plea for work.
In another mild surprise, Jon Cryer took the supporting actor in acomedy Emmy in his fourth consecutive nomination. He thankedco-star Charlie Sheen and "my old agents who got me this job and mynew agents."
Another surprise winner was Shohreh Aghdashloo as supportingactress in a miniseries for "House of Saddam."
The win for first-time nominee Cherry Jones as supporting actressin a drama for "24" also was a mild surprise. She said she wantedto share it with her fellow cast members and promised "it will beon the craft services table tomorrow."
HBO emerged with a leading 21 wins, followed by NBC with 16, ABCwith 11 and Fox with 10. CBS and PBS had nine each.