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Tina Fey added another Emmy to her collection, this time for her hugely popular impersonation of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Surprisingly, though, PBS’ miniseries “Little Dorrit” emerged as the top winner during Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards, where Andrew Davies’ adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic collected four awards, the most of any program.
Overall, there isn’t a clear front-runner going into Sunday’s Primetime Emmys, with seven programs — including HBO’s heavily nominated “Grey Gardens” and “Generation Kill,” Fox’s “American Idol” and ABC’s canceled dramedy “Pushing Daisies” — nabbing three Creative Emmys apiece.
It was business as usual in the network tally Saturday, when HBO led the pack with 16 statuettes, followed by NBC with 11 wins and ABC and Fox with 8.
On the heels of one of its most-talked about seasons, NBC’s venerable sketch comedy series “Saturday Night Live” won both acting comedy awards.
Fey was named best guest actress in a comedy series. In her speech, she drew big laughs when she thanked the former governor for “being an inspiration to working mothers everywhere” after bailing “on her job right before Fourth of July weekend.” Fey also thanked her parents, “who are lifelong Republicans, for their patience.”
Fey is up for two more Emmys on Sunday for her NBC comedy “30 Rock,” which earned two awards during the Creative Emmys.
Justin Timberlake make history by becoming the first “SNL” host to win an Emmy for those duties in the guest actor in a comedy series category. He missed out on becoming a double winner Saturday when the original music and lyrics category, where he is a front-runner with two songs — “Motherlover” and the title song for the 2008 ESPYs — was surprisingly moved from the Creative to the Primetime Emmy ceremony.
On the drama side, Ellen Burstyn and Michael J. Fox were honored for their guest stints on NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” and FX’s “Rescue Me,” respectively.
“I’ve always wanted one of these,” Burstyn, an Oscar and Tony winner, said about landing her first Emmy after five nominations. “I wanted to complete the set.”
In the reality series category, A&E’s “Intervention” snapped the two-year winning streak of Bravo’s “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” with its first Emmy win.
The annual musical chairs in the animated series category ended with a victory for veteran “South Park,” with another perennial Emmy favorite, Fox’s “The Simpsons,” landing voice-over honors for star Dan Castellaneta.
In the battle of the tween girls’ faves, Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” won for best children’s program over Disney’s “Hannah Montana” and Nickelodeon’s “iCarly.” Joss Whedon’s Web favorite “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” also earned an Emmy in one of the special class categories.
Two variety, music or comedy special categories were moved to the Creative Emmys after the series and special categories were split during the spring.
Chris Rock won for his HBO special “Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger” in writing for variety, music or comedy special, and the directing award went to Bucky Gunts for the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. HBO Documentary Films president Sheila Nevins was presented with the Governors Award by an emotional Elaine Stritch.
In her first stint as emcee, Kathy Griffin surpassed the outrageous quotient in her acceptance speeches at the last two Creative Arts Emmys with bawdy jokes and comedy sketches featuring her rolling around naked and performing fellatio on a toy six-shooter in an act as a mock wannabe child-pageant princess.
A telecast of the ceremony will air Friday on E!
Nellie Andreeva contributed to this story.
A selected list of the winners follows:
Reality Program: Intervention, A&E
Animated Program (less than an hour): South Park, Comedy Central
Animated Program (more than an hour): Destination Imagination/Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Cartoon Network
Nonfiction Series: American Masters, PBS
Nonfiction Special: 102 Minutes That Changed America, History
Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Michael J. Fox, Rescue Me (FX)
Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Ellen Burstyn, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Children’s Program: Wizards of Waverly Place, Disney Channel
Commercial: Heist, Coca-Cola
Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie: Little Dorrit, Pt. 1, PBS
Cinematography for a One-Hour Series: The Tudors, Showtime
Cinematography for a Half-Hour Series: Californication, Showtime
Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or Special: Generation Kill, HBO
Special Visual Effects for a Series: Heroes, NBC
Costumes for a Music/Variety Program or a Special: So You Think You Can Dance (FOX)
Costumes for a Series: Pushing Daisies, ABC
Costumes for a Movie, Miniseries or a Special: Little Dorrit, PBS
Prosthetic Makeup for a Movie, Miniseries or a Special: Grey Gardens, HBO
Non-Prosthetic Makeup for a Movie or Miniseries: The Irena Sendler Story: A Hallmark Hall of Fame Presentation, CBS
Non-Prosthetic Makeup for a Single-Camera Series: Pushing Daisies, ABC
Non-Prosthetic Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series: MadTV, FOX
Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series: Mad Men, AMC
Hairstyling for a Multi-Camera Series: Dancing with the Stars, ABC
Hairstyling for a Movie or Miniseries: Grey Gardens, HBO
Main Title Design: United States of Tara, Showtime
Voiceover Performance: Dan Castellaneta, The Simpsons (FOX)
Choreography: 81st Annual Academy Awards (ABC) AND So You Think You Can Dance (FOX)
Music Direction: Streisand: The Concert, CBS
Music Composition for a Series: Legend of the Seeker, syndicated
Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score): Into the Storm, HBO
Casting for a Drama Series: True Blood, HBO
Casting for a Movie, Miniseries or Special: Little Dorrit, PBS
Casting for a Comedy Series: 30 Rock, NBC
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