A content Susan Lucci came into the Daytime Emmys press room after tonight's ceremony, pleased with the night on both a personal and professional level and looking optimistically toward a new primetime part to play.
"I thought it was a really terrific show," said Lucci, longtime star of "All My Children," the now-canceled ABC soap. "I thought it was really what it set out to be: a tribute to daytime television -- all of daytime television.
"And it was a tribute. It was a celebration -- I love that. And they didn't cut anything. They may have run over a few minutes, but they didn't cut anything. So I think they were very respectful to the medium, and that was wonderful to see."
Lucci is staying on the air, with a role on the recently reborn Marc Cherry series "Devious Maids," picked up by Lifetime this week a month after ABC passed on it.
"Yesterday, I got off the plane in L.A. from New York ... and there was a message from my agent," Lucci said. "I am so thrilled that I get to play that wonderful part that I already love so much. And to work with Mark Cherry and his enthusiasm and creativity is a (great) opportunity."
Lucci said it's too early to speak much about her character on "Devious Maids," but offered that she is "more vulnerable" than her "All My Children" character, Erica Kane. The actress has already appeared on Lifetime in a part on "Army Wives," but there's no doubt about what her identifying role will always remain.
"I played Erica Kane my whole adult life, so the opportunity that Agnes Nixon gave me and ABC gave me literally shaped my life," Lucci said. "When I say I'm grateful, I mean down to my toes I'm grateful.
"Tonight was very helpful (in finding closure). When Gabriel (Gornell), the exec producer, told me that they wanted to plan a tribute to Erica Kane and to me ... I knew I would have some opportunity to say some things ... to thank the fans and to say how much respect I have for this medium."
Lucci added that while she's not the one to ask about whether "Children" could ever be revived in some form, she wouldn't be the one standing in the way.
"I think there is no doubt that 'All My Children' and 'One Live To Live' have brand equity," Lucci said. "I don't think that was ever the question. I think they could rise again, just as they always wrote that Erica Kane was the phoenix rising from the ashes."