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It was a night of surprises at the 35th annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards as the younger shows shoved aside the veterans to take home the top prizes.
“Rachael Ray,” “The Tyra Banks Show” and “Cristina’s Court” were surprise winners in the categories of best talk show — entertainment and informative — and best legal/courtroom program Friday night at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. All are new categories this year (talk show had never been split into two divisions before).
“Rachael Ray,” which debuted in 2006, won over “The View” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which had won best talk show for the previous four years. DeGeneres, however, still walked away with her fourth consecutive trophy for best talk show host. While DeGeneres said backstage that it felt odd to be carrying only one statue this year, she was a good sport, hijacking the microphone to announce Ray and her crew.
Banks, whose show beat out “Dr. Phil” and PBS’ “A Place of Our Own,” said backstage that she had submitted the infamous “kiss my fat ass” episode — in which she responded to criticisms of an unflattering photo of her in a bathing suit that ran in several tabloid magazines — to academy voters.
Referencing the episode onstage, Banks said: “I just have a message for everybody out there: When you have a dream, there are going to so many people that tell you that you cannot do it, that you are not good enough. And I want you to tell them to kiss your dimply, flat, juicy, bootylicious, skinny, jiggly, saggy fat ass!”
“Cristina’s Court,” now in its second season, beat out long-running gavelers “Judge Judy” and “The People’s Court,” among other contenders. Of beating “Judy,” “Cristina’s” executive producer Peter Brennan quipped backstage, “I’m scared to death!”
Meanwhile, ABC’s “General Hospital” took home its 10th Daytime Emmy for best drama series, while best drama series writing and directing honors went to ABC’s “One Life to Live.”
“GH’s” Anthony Geary was named best lead actor in a drama series, and Jeanne Cooper — who has been on “The Young & the Restless since 1973 and the longest-tenured actor on the show — took home her first Daytime Emmy for lead actress.
Also during the ceremony, Jimmy Kimmel presented “Live With Regis and Kelly” co-host Regis Philbin with the Lifetime Achievement Award, joking that Philbin had “wasted over 30 billion hours of (viewers’) time” during his TV career.
A humble Philbin — who backstage was welcomed with a “Regis! Regis!” chant from the “Rachael Ray” contingent — told the audience that he “can’t figure out why” he was chosen for the award.
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