The Emmys were first awarded in 1949 and are still going strong after 57 years. So relax in your favorite chair, grab a bowl of popcorn and read up on this past years’ Emmy Awards night.
The Primetime Emmy Awards are presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of excellence in America primetime television programming. The 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards committee decided on late night talk show host, Conan O’Brien, to host the extravagant event. The viewers did not know what was in store for them with this man as the master of ceremonies.
As the lights dimmed and the curtain rose, a video was shown with O’Brien aloft a jetliner heading for the show in Los Angeles, which made a crash landing on the island where the television show “Lost” unfolds. This stunt would later cause mixed feelings with many critics. His voyage to make it to the Emmys took him though “The Office,” after which he interrupted a rescue attempt on “24.” He eventually arrived in the hospital room of Dr. House pleading for help and then transformed to an animated character from “South Park.” If this ensemble was not already enough, he went right on with song and dance numbers from “Trouble” and “The Music Man.”
After the opening scenes, it was time to break into the envelopes and release the names of the trophy winners. It was a long-awaited year, with many predictions on who the big night victors would be. The moment came and the top category winners are as follows: Outstanding Drama Series, “24”; Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Kiefer Sutherland, “24”; Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Mariska Hargitay, “Law and Order SVU”; Outstanding Comedy Series, “The Office”; Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Tony Shalhoub, “Monk”; and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”
One of the special guest stars of the night resulted in the audience giving a standing ovation. This guest was Dick Clark. He was saluted as a television pioneer and a show-biz original. In his familiar voice, just a little slurred from his 2004 stroke, he offered sincere thanks, and then introduced Barry Manilow, who sang the by-now-classic “American Bandstand” theme.
As the 53rd Annual Primetime Emmys came to a close, there was already controversy brewing behind the scenes due to the flight segment that Conan O’Brien was in earlier. It just so happened that when the mock flight crash skit was televised, a plane actually crashed in Kentucky. NBC put out the statement: “Our hearts and prayers go out to the many families who lost loved ones in the plane crash in Kentucky on Sunday, and to the entire community that has suffered this terrible loss.”
On a much lighter note, the evening seemed to go very smoothly with laughs, triumphs and tears. Kiefer Sutherland commented on his night with his father in the audience: “Tonight this was between a father and a son, a father who is happy for his son. I was happy he was here tonight. We’re going to have a nice dinner tonight.”