9:16 PM PDT 9/22/2013 by Rebecca Ford, Sophie Schillaci
The 2013 Emmys broadcast was full of surprises, from upsets in several categories to an interesting interpretive dance number and show-stealing moments from Bob Newhart. THR revisits what worked and what fell flat.
Neil Patrick Harris' show opener was a star-studded affair. Kicking things off with an early cameo from CBS chief Les Moonves, Harris was joined onstage by hosts of the past Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien,and Golden Globes favorites Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for a lively bit on who had (and hadn't) been asked to return. House of Card's Francis Underwood (aka Kevin Spacey) made a memorable appearance from his seat in the audience, declaring that everyone was going precisely according to his plan -- to host the show himself.
Merritt Wever was a woman of few words after winning her first Emmy on Sunday night.The Nurse Jackie co-star, a surprise winner in the best supporting actress category for her role as Zoey Barkow on the Showtime comedy series, seemed visibly stunned to hear her name called -- so much so that she didn't seem to know what to say during her acceptance speech. "Thank you so much," she said, pausing for a moment. "I gotta go. Bye."
Bob Newhart was the show’s surprise comedic relief. He appeared twice early on in the show, not saying a word as he stood next to the people from Ernst & Young. He then presented the nominees for outstanding writing for a variety series. While onstage, he received a standing ovation for his win for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for his work on The Big Bang Theory.
Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad were among the dramas that received musical treatment during the telecast, with the oft-overlooked nominees in the choreography category tasked with creating an over-the-top musical number paying tribute to a select few of top nominated programs. Among the other series included in the act were Boardwalk Empire, American Horror Story: Asylum, and in a lone (obligatory) nod to CBS' slate, The Big Bang Theory.Neil Patrick Harris began the number with a swinging rendition of "Luck Be a Lady Tonight," which transitioned into each show's respective themes. Midway through the number, Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" made its entrance.
Edie Falco on James Gandolfini
Falco got a bit teary while speaking about the late James Gandolfini during a special tribute. “You all knew James Gandolfini the actor. I was lucky enough to know Jim the man,” she said, her voice cracking. “It’s Jim the man, the very dear man, that I will miss most of all.”
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris started off his hosting duties with a strange binge-watching bit that didn’t exactly work, but then went into an onstage number featuring plenty of great guests. He showed off his singing and dancing skills with a musical number in the middle of the show and wasn’t afraid to have his How I Met Your Mother co-stars make fun of him for being a prolific awards host.
Elton John performed at the Emmys for the first time ever, debuting a new song, "Home Again," dedicated to Liberace. Michael Douglas and Matt Damon introduced the iconic singer, who wore a very sparkly blue suit in tribute to Liberace, whose life was the basis for HBO’s Behind the Candelabra.
Michael Douglas brought a little spark and energy back to the stage when he accepted the award for his work on Behind the Candelabra. His innuendo-filled speech called the performance "a two-hander," and he said Matt Damon deserved half of the award. "Do you want the bottom or the top?" he said to plenty of laughs.
Shemar Moore Backstage
If there was one bit that made many go, "Huh?" it would probably be the backstage appearances from Shemar Moore. From the greenroom, Moore was supposed to give the audience a behind-the-scenes look at all the action. But for some reason, whenever an actor joined him for a segment, the actor didn’t speak. Flanked by Anna Faris and Allison Janney, Moore teased their appearance on the show while the two women smiled awkwardly. The whole shtick came off as very strange.
Intros for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series
From NSA spoofs to Muppets to OPRAAAHHHHHH -- the variety show writing clips proved a highlight of the broadcast's second half. The winner? Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report dethroned Jon Stewart's Daily Show. In his remarks, Colbert mused: "Wow, the Emmys are so good this year!"
This year’s Emmys was one of the most unpredictable shows in recent memory. The list of upsets included wins by Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale, The Newsroom’s Jeff Daniels, Nurse Jackie’s Merritt Wever, Veep's Tony Hale and The Voice for reality TV series. See the complete list of winners here.