Not much of an upset Saturday night during the first leg of the Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony as HBO's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" maintained its trophy market share with a total of five wins, followed by Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth" (wha?) and NBC's "Tony Bennett: An American Classic" with four apiece. (For a proper report on who-won-what, click here for the report from Variety's Jeff Sneider, who sacrificed his Saturday night so that you and I wouldn't have to.)
Contrary to conventional wisdom the Creative Arts ceremony isn't all craft and tech honors (though let it be said here that the below-the-line folks are not only H'wood's salt of the earth but its true artisans). NBC nearly swept the guest-star awards categories, which can be a handy career reviver for the right actor at the right moment if the sun and the moon and the stars align...
Elaine Stritch (pictured left) bagged the guest actress in a comedy trophy for her turns in "30 Rock." Leslie Caron (pictured right) took the drama trophy for her one-shot on "Law & Order: SVU." John Goodman's visits to "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" were recognized for guest actor in a drama, while Stanley Tucci (pictured above) got the nod on the comedy side for having fun with the great Tony Shalhoub on "Monk." (So if you count USA Network as one of "the networks of NBC Universal," as the Peacock likes to put it, NBC U did sweep the category. That bit of bragging rights and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee at Musso & Franks...)
(Pics of Stritch and Caron on Creative Arts Emmy red carpet by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
Emmy has a funny way of rubbing it in at times to shows that were basically snubbed by voters in the Big Kahuna categories to be televised next Sunday night at the big-kids ceremony airing on Fox. To wit, the Peacock's critical darling "Friday Night Lights" won the casting award for drama series, for the fine work by Linda Lowy, John Brace and Beth Sepko in assembling a top-notch cast. Gee if the casting was so good howcum the show was completely overlooked in the series acting categories? Casting for a comedy series went the team behind a show that was not at all overlooked, ABC's "Ugly Betty" (Libby Goldstein, Junie Lowry Johnson).
Showtime's "The Tudors," which fairly begged for nominations during the preamble to the noms announcement in July, proved its costume drama worth by nailing the costumes for a series award. It was aced out in the hairstyling heat, however, by HBO's togas-and-sandals parade "Rome."
Showtime's "Dexter" got two awards that probably come as cold comfort to Michael C. Hall and crew: Main title design for a series and editing for a single-camera series.
Fans of Sci Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica" fans whined long and hard about its Emmy snub (again! they moaned) but at least the space-opera-er mustered the honor for series fx.
For Emmy conspiracy theorists, ABC's politically charged "Path to 9/11" -- whose director and producer have bashed ABC for not beating any kind of a path to an Emmy campaign or DVD release for the much-trashed mini -- earned the award for single-camera editing for a movie or miniseries BUT (in a 'but' that will no doubt have the certain corners of the blogosphere hissing) it has to share the glory of its cutting in a tie with HBO's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," based on a book written by a Known Liberal back in that was embraced by the Counterculture back in the Decadent '70s.
And while NBC's much-nommed "Tony Bennett" spesh helmed by Rob Marshall swept up a bunch of a classy awards, it does the heart good to know that the nod for original music and lyrics went to Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Justin Timberlake, Jorma Taccone, Katreese Barnes and Asa Taccone, the tunesmiths behind "Saturday Night Live" ditty "Dick in a Box." Funnier still is that on the NBC press website this sketch is billed as "**** in a Box." (Pictured, from left Schaffer, Samberg and Taccone.)
For the uninitiated, here's the uncensored version of the sketch provided to YouTube by NBC.
Fair warning folks, it may be an Emmy winner but it's not something to watch with kids or in-laws around...