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The CBS soaps “Guiding Light” and “The Young and the Restless” tied for best daytime drama series, while “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” took top honors in the talk show category during the 34th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
But the real king of the night Friday might have been Bob Barker.
Barker, whose last day on the air as host of CBS’ “The Price Is Right” was Friday, received a nice parting gift that night with a trophy for best game show host during the ceremony at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland.
“Bob Barker, come on down,” DeGeneres said, using his game show’s trademark phrase when announcing him as the winner.
In accepting his 18th Daytime Emmy, Barker joked that “this proves that the judges have sympathy for an old man who doesn’t have a job.”
He ended his remarks by expressing his appreciation for the viewers.
“I want to thank the TV viewers across the country for inviting me into their homes for 50 years — half a century; I’m so grateful,” he said, ending his remarks the same way he ended episodes of every show: “Remember: Help control the pet population — have your pet spayed or neutered.”
Later in the show, Phil McGraw presented a tribute to the retiring game show host, who received a standing ovation inside the Kodak.
Backstage, Barker said it had been an emotional day for him and that he was humbled and touched. In retirement, Barker said, he plans to spend more time on his animal-welfare charity, the DJ&T Foundation, and that there’s been discussions about him possibly doing some “Price” specials in the future that would likely feature clips from the show and maybe some guests.
As for Rosie O’Donnell, who has expressed her desire to be the next host of “Price,” Barker said: “I do believe they are going to have a meeting with her.”
Meanwhile, DeGeneres won her third consecutive Daytime Emmy for talk show host for Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution/Telepictures Prods.’ syndicated “Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
In her remarks, she gave a shout-out to fellow nominee O’Donnell, who recently departed as co-host of ABC’s talker “The View.”
“I thought that Rosie brought a lot of new viewers to daytime television, and it was interesting and you talked about important things, and I thought it was great,” she said.
“What you did was fantastic. I know people like topics and controversy, so next year I’m going to be more topical and controversial. … (Starting now by saying that) I think Bob Barker is a quitter,” DeGeneres joked.
Her talk show beat out a field of competitors that also included “View” for best talker, meaning her show has won in each of its four seasons on the air.
Backstage, DeGeneres said that she really thought this was going to be “View’s” year to win in the talk show host category. She added that she’d welcome O’Donnell on her own show.
“Any time she wants to come on she can, and I’m just going to sit back and let her talk because I’m not going to argue with her,” she joked.
DeGeneres added that her show will be tweaked a bit next year. For example, “when Mel Gibson was arrested last year, I didn’t have him on the show, and I would now,” she said. “As much as I want the show to be the same, it will be a little more layered and deeper.”
Meanwhile, it’s believed that this year marks the first time that two daytime dramas have tied in the top category.
“Restless” also tied with CBS’ “As the World Turns” for most awards received Friday night, with each show taking home three trophies.
As for the individual drama series awards, Genie Francis, who originated the role of Laura on ABC’s “General Hospital” at age 14 in 1977, won her first Daytime Emmy — for supporting actress.
“I’m overwhelmed,” she said onstage. “I’ve waited 31 years for this moment.”
Backstage, she continued that line of thought. “Who would have thought a little four-week visit after I wrapped up there would have produced an Emmy after years and years of working year-round,” she said, expressing optimism that she might return for another arc on the daytime drama.
Francis’ colleague on “Hospital,” Rick Hearst, won the statuette for supporting actor in a drama series, his third Daytime Emmy win.
In the leading actress category, Maura West of “As the World Turns” took home her first Daytime Emmy, and Christian LeBlanc of “Restless” earned his second statuette for best leading actor in a drama series.
Jennifer Landon took home the trophy for younger actress in a drama for the second year in a row for her role on “Turns,” while Bryton McClure notched his first win for younger actor in a drama for “Restless.”
“Turns” took home top honors in the category for drama series directing team, with “Light” taking home the trophy for drama series writing team.
There was a tie in the category of outstanding performer in a children’s series, with two “Sesame Street” performers taking home trophies: Kevin Clash, who portrays Elmo on the PBS series, and Caroll Spinney, last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, for his portrayal of Oscar the Grouch.
This year’s Daytime Emmy ceremony aired on CBS from 9-11 p.m. Friday. The telecast was cut back from three hours to two this year and didn’t contain any musical numbers or have a host, changes designed to improve over last year’s low-rated telecast.
A complete list of winners follows can be found at www.hollywoodreporter.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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