And the winner is … basic-cable television.
The industry continued to make strides against its broadcast competitors as
cable programming and actors landed significant statues at the
55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony Sunday night in Los
Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart copped a pair of
statues -- for best variety, musical or comedy series and for writing on the
show. The Daily Show topped NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien,
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Saturday Night Live, as well as
CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman.
Tony Shalhoub took home best actor in a comedy series for his
obsessive-compulsive turn as a quirky detective in USA Network’s hit skein,
In all-cable competition, Turner Network Television triumphed in the
made-for-television-movie category with Door to Door, which bested
Lifetime Television’s Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story and a
trio from Home Box Office: Live from Baghdad, Normal and MyHouse in Umbria.
William H. Macy won the Emmy for best actor for his portrayal of Bill Porter,
a salesman with cerebral palsy. Door to Door was based on Porter’s true
story. Steven Schachter was named top director and writer for miniseries, movie
or dramatic special for his work on Door.
Sci Fi Channel grabbed the award for miniseries with Stephen Spielberg
Presents Taken, a 10-part alien-abduction saga. Taken beat out CBS’
Hitler:The Rise of Evil and A&E Network’s
Basic cable’s collective bounty compared most favorably to last year, when
only FX took home a primetime statue for Michael Chiklis’ lead role in gritty
cop-drama series The Shield.
Home Box Office, which led all networks with 109 nominations -- awards in the
creative arena were doled out a week ago -- had a mixed evening.
Mob dramedy The Sopranos and family funereal series Six Feet
Under came up short in the best drama series to NBC’s The West Wing,
which, in winning for the fourth time in a row, also topped Fox’s 24 and
TV’s most-watched show, CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Six Feet Under, which led the way with nominations overall, copped just
one statue for a technical award.
However, The Sopranos’ James Gandolfini and Edie Falco won for best
actor and best actress in a drama series for their portrayals of mob boss Tony
Soprano and his disillusioned wife, Carmella. And Joe Pantoliano -- whose Ralph
Cifaretto character wounding up losing his life and then his head in a fight
with Tony Soprano -- brought home the best supporting actor award.
Series creator David Chase, along with Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess, won
the best writing award for "Whitecaps," the finale of the show’s fourth
Curb Your Enthusiasm was rewarded with a best director statue for the
"Krazee-Eyez Killa" episode. But the Larry David vehicle and Sex and the
City trailed CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond for best comedy series.
Elsewhere, Maggie Smith was honored with a best actress role in a miniseries
or movie for her work in Umbria. The premium network also received
laurels for supporting actor and supporting actress as Ben Gazzara’s and Gena
Rowlands’ performances were celebrated in original film Hysterical
All told, HBO, which led all networks with 109 nominations, finished first in
the statuefest with 18 Emmys. CBS was second with 16.