'Wounded Knee' tops Creative Emmys

HBO takes home 15 statues

The HBO movie "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" topped the winners list Saturday at the 59th annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards, taking home five statues including makeup, picture editing, sound mixing and editing and cinematography.

Complete list of winners (PDF)

HBO also was dominant during the ceremony, which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The premium cable network received a total of 15 Emmys, followed by NBC with 12 and CBS with nine.

Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth" and NBC's "Tony Bennett: An American Classic" followed with four wins apiece.

Regarding the Emmy recognition for "Bury," executive producer Dick Wolf said after the show: "I'm both honored and humbled by the academy's recognition of 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.' This project has been both a labor of love and a labor of conscience for everyone who worked on it. I thank the incredible team of professionals who made the dream a reality."

Overall, "Bury" is this year's most-nominated program, with a total of 17 Emmy noms.

Elaine Stritch provided one of the night's highlights with her acceptance speech for her win as best guest actress in a comedy series for her role on NBC's "30 Rock."

"I think it's kind of obvious how long I've been this profession," said Stritch, who was carrying a walking cane after having recently broken her foot. "And I can't get over that I still feel the way I do, it's un-fucking-believable," the three-time Emmy winner said to applause from the audience.

"I'm a recovering alcoholic, a riddled diabetic and I've got laryngitis," Stritch added, "but I just won an Emmy."

Leslie Caron won her first Emmy for her guest role in NBC's drama series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

"In 1951, I was named most promising newcomer; I'm glad I finally realized my potential," quipped the actress, who made her debut in the film "An American in Paris."

"It was enormously thrilling to play this part," she added. "I've done many musicals and comedies, and this part had real drama in it and real humanity. It's also the subject of violence against women, a subject most of us feel very strongly about."

Backstage, Caron -- dressed in a brightly colored green and pink dress of her own design -- said she's been a fan of "L&O" and can still do 10 minutes on the dance floor with a good partner.

In the guest actor categories, John Goodman won for NBC's now-canceled drama series "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," while Stanley Tucci won for USA Network's comedy series "Monk."

Other programs taking home awards in top categories included "Planet Earth" for best nonfiction series, Bravo's "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" for reality program and Nickelodeon's "Nick News With Linda Ellerbee: Private Worlds: Kids and Autism" for children's program.

Griffin drew laughs in her acceptance speech, saying: "Can you believe this shit? Hell has frozen over. Suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now."

On a more serious note, Spike Lee took home the statue for nonfiction programming direction for HBO's "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," which also tied in the juried category of exceptional merit in nonfiction filmmaking with PBS' "A Lion in the House."

Onstage, Lee paid tribute to the people who lived through Hurricane Katrina two years ago.

"We were able to show the spirit and humanity of the great people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast," Lee said.

In the animated categories, Comedy Central's "South Park" won for programming under an hour, while Cartoon Network's "Where's Lazlo?" won for programming one hour or longer. HBO's "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" was named best nonfiction special, while CBS' telecast of the 60th annual Tony Awards won in the special class program category.

Bringing to mind last year's Oscar recognition of the song "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," the song "Dick in a Box" from NBC's "Saturday Night Live" won the Emmy for original music and lyrics. "Box" was performed by "SNL" host Justin Timberlake and series regular Andy Samberg, both of whom also helped write the song.

"I think it's safe to say when we first set out to make this song, we were all thinking Emmy," Samberg joked onstage.

Asked backstage whether there might be a sequel, Samberg quipped: "We talked about 'Balls in a Bucket,' but I just don't think it's as catchy," before adding that if Timberlake were to host the show again, they might try another song, "but I don't think we'll necessarily try to capitalize on this one." (Timberlake was not present at the ceremony as he is on tour.)

Also during the awards show, Governors Awards were handed out to HBO's "The Addiction Project" and the "American Idol" special "Idol Gives Back" on Fox, which raised $76 million for charity.

Executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz, who is CEO of "Idol" production company FremantleMedia North America, said backstage that there is a similar special in the works for the show's upcoming seventh season.

"We are planning on doing something in the same vein but something slightly different, maybe called 'America Gives Back,'" she said. "It will be on the 'Idol' platform but in a slightly different way. We're still working on it."

Meanwhile, Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger presented veteran entertainment industry executive and former Academy of Television Arts & Sciences president Rich Frank with the Syd Cassyd Founders Award.

"As a kid, I would sit in front of the television set 12 inches from the screen and my mother tried to pry me away," Frank said. "I still remember her saying, 'Nobody's going to pay you to watch television.' Little did she know."

He went on to tout the power of TV in a changing industry, saying television is everywhere and more important than ever. "It's still the best way to reach a mass audience instantaneously; it's still the most powerful medium in the world."

The Creative Arts ceremony, hosted by Carlos Mencia, will air as a two-hour special at 8 p.m. Saturday on E! Entertainment Television.
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