Newcomers walk Emmy talk

Rookie 'Rachel Ray' and 'Tyra Banks' break through at daytime honors

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 talk show categories — entertainment and informative — and best legal/courtroom program Friday night at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. All are new categories this year, as the talk show competition had not been split before.

"Rachael Ray," which debuted in 2006, won over "The View" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," which had won the previous four years. DeGeneres, however, still walked away with her fourth consecutive trophy for 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 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 others. 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 nod for drama series, while 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 is the longest-tenured actor on the show, took home her first award for lead actress.

Also, 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 told the audience that he "can't figure out why" he was chosen for the award. (partialdiff)