Update: Emmy Takes Up 'Lost' Cause; 'Raymond' Ends Up on Top19 Sep, 2005 By: Andrew Wallenstein
ABC's freshman sensations "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" shined Sunday at the 57th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, but it was the veteran CBS sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond" that enjoyed one last laugh.
"Raymond" beat "Housewives" to win comedy series, one of three awards it took home to cap its ninth and final season. But ABC's dynamic duo topped the field with six wins apiece, and other rookie winners emerged, including NBC's "Medium" and Fox's "House."
Although CBS, NBC and ABC all topped last year's Emmy hauls, HBO remained dominant, leading all networks with 27 wins. It marked the third consecutive year HBO scored more wins than any other network.
The most decorated program of the evening was the premium cable channel's original movie "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," which won nine awards. "Sellers" and another HBO movie, "Warm Springs," went into the awards with the most nominations, 16 apiece.
The second-most-honored program of the night was "Lost," which won drama series in its first season on the air. Co-creator J.J. Abrams also won for directing for a drama series.
"Raymond" also earned matching statues for Brad Garrett in the supporting actor category (his third) and Doris Roberts (her fourth) for supporting actress. Accepting the award for comedy, executive producer Phil Rosenthal mocked the conventional wisdom that the situation comedy is a dead art form.
"The end of the sitcom?" Rosenthal mused rhetorically from the stage. "I want to say yes. Beyond that, I think it's the end of laughing. And soon the end of smiling."
With its triumph Sunday -- which marked "Raymond's" second win for best comedy, the first one coming in 2003 -- "Raymond" became the third series in TV history to win either comedy or drama series in its final season. "Barney Miller" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" went out on similar high notes.
"Housewives" lost to "Raymond," but Felicity Huffman collected her first Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series. She thanked the "women of Wisteria Lane," which included two of her fellow nominees in the category, Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross. "Housewives" also won for directing for a comedy series.
With "Housewives" and "Lost" hot, ABC took home 16 awards, a distant second to HBO among the networks. CBS followed with 11, while NBC and PBS each took home 10.
ABC also was helped by two wins for "Boston Legal," with James Spader repeating his win from last year in the lead actor in a drama series category, and William Shatner taking home supporting actor honors.
In addition to Spader, "Arrested Development" emerged as a repeat Emmy winner, with Mitchell Hurwitz and Jim Vallely winning writing for a comedy series for the second consecutive year. Hurwitz used the win to appeal to viewers to watch the ratings-challenged series, which opens its third season tonight.
"We'd be remiss if we didn't point out the fact that the academy has twice rewarded us for something that you people won't watch," Hurwitz said.
In the competition for best reality program with a competitive element, CBS' "The Amazing Race" won the top prize for the third straight year.
Another repeat winner was Tony Shalhoub, who collected his second lead actor in a comedy series for his USA detective vehicle "Monk."
With such veteran series as "Friends" and "The Sopranos" in retirement or not in contention this time, other first-year series grabbed top awards, too. Patricia Arquette may have scored the shocker of the evening by knocking off veterans like "Six Feet Under's" Frances Conroy to win lead actress in a drama series for the NBC midseason entry "Medium."
Apparently not even an actress who plays a psychic on TV could predict she would win: Arquette jokingly told the audience upon accepting her Emmy, "They really did say my name, right? I'm not hallucinating?"
Fox's first-year medical drama "House" also took home a big award, with executive producer David Shore grabbing honors for writing in a drama series.
"Warm Springs," a biographical film about President Franklin D. Roosevelt's battle with polio, won five awards, including made-for-television movie. But HBO did not win any awards in the series arena for the first time since 2002. Although "Deadwood" collected five awards last week at the Creative Arts Emmy ceremony, it was shut out in primetime, as were "Entourage" and "Six Feet Under."
HBO stayed strong in the longform programming categories. Geoffrey Rush was named lead actor in a miniseries or movie in the title role of "Sellers." Stephen Hopkins took the director award for a miniseries, movie or a dramatic special, and the writers award went to Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Paul Newman got the first Emmy win of his career for supporting actor in a miniseries or movie for his turn in the HBO miniseries "Empire Falls." He had been nominated twice before.
Comedy Central scored two statues for variety, music or comedy series and writing for a variety, music or comedy program for "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart." "Daily Show" had pulled off wins in both categories last year as well.
Late-night icon David Letterman put in an appearance during a heartfelt tribute to "The Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson, who died in January at age 79. Of the new generation of viewers unfamiliar with Carson's 30 years at NBC, Letterman lamented, "It is unlikely they will ever know television that provides such wit, charm, intelligence and grace."
Stewart chimed in later that comedians of his own generation looked up to Letterman the way Letterman looked up to Carson.
In what may have been the night's funniest bit, Stewart addressed the widespread criticism aimed at all levels of government in the wake of Hurricane Katrina with a clever, pretaped commentary he jokingly warned might have to be edited in fear of FCC scrutiny. As Stewart's commentary was played, it was evident that editing and a dubbed-in voice-over completely neutered his criticism.
Also lightening up the proceedings were intermittent performances of "Emmy Idol," which matched TV celebrities with theme songs of yesteryear. Viewers voted at home for their favorite performance. "Will & Grace" star Megan Mullally and "The Apprentice" star Donald Trump won for their stirring revival of the "Green Acres" opener.
Hurricane Katrina was not far from the minds of those in attendance at the Emmys, many of whom wore magnolias on their lapels to acknowledge the recent tragedy. Host Ellen DeGeneres set the tone early in her opening remarks, noting, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected."
The night was not without its moments of political consciousness. Upon collecting her award for supporting actress in a drama, "Huff" actress Blythe Danner commented quickly on Iraq, exclaiming, "Let's get the heck out of there."