I don’t know how this happens. For the last three years, the Daytime Emmys bring with them an intolerable heat wave to Los Angeles, and this year was no exception…except, I think I did not melt as bad on the red carpet. The telecast presented on the CW network for the first time in the 36-year history of the awards, managed 2.68 million viewers as ranked by TVByTheNumbers.com, and while that may have seemed like small potatoes, it’s rather good for a network that draws considerably less for its main programs and specials.
While the move to a shorter quicker format and a more entertainment driven show may have kept the audience in attendance engaged, soap fans were less than pleased with the shortened Guiding Light Tribute, The Bold and the Beautiful’s moment in the sun being cut by time constraints, and not seeing the clip packages of the Lead Actor and Actress categories. But all that being said, let’s take a look at who won, and celebrate their achievements. As mentioned, The Bold and the Beautiful took home its first Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series for its submission of Storm’s suicide coupled with Katie’s heart transplant. Executive producer and head writer, Brad Bell and the entire cast got to take the stage to pick up the trophy only to have the audience at home see a clip of the official airline sponsor of the Emmys, instead. However that did not dampen the celebration. Backstage in the pressroom, Bell with stalwarts, Susan Flannery, Katherine Kelly Lang, and John McCook flanking him, proudly addressed the press. Hunter Tylo also could not contain her excitement and told me, “How thrilling it is, after 22 years!”
The awards for Outstanding Lead Actor and Lead Actress went to the two actors I said, “Should Win”, Christian LeBlanc of The Young and the Restless, and Susan Haskell of One Life to Live. LeBlanc won his third Emmy and Haskell her second. LeBlanc seemed overcome with pride and emotion when he accepted the Emmy on stage inside the Orpheum Theatre, and Haskell praised and thanked her husband, Thorsten Kaye (Zach, AMC) for giving her a life. These two performances, to me, meant the Emmy voters got it right! Haskell was brilliant in the scenes where Marty finds out the truth about Todd and his lies and manipulations, and LeBlanc for his take-off of the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life.
In the Supporting categories, the night kicked off with the Supporting Actor award. It was an historic tie between All My Children’s, Vincent Irizarry and Guiding Light’s Jeff Branson. Irizarry gave a beautiful acceptance speech about his son fighting in Afghanistan, and Branson touched our hearts as the final Guiding Light winner in the history of the show. Backstage, Branson nodded to me in acknowledgement after remarks by made by me earlier in the evening on the red carpet; that in my Emmy crystal ball, I knew he would be walking home with the gold.
Supporting Actress offered a shocker, as many fans, pundits and industry insiders expected One Life to Live’s Bree Williamson to walk away with top honors, but it was not meant to be. Instead, the remarkable Tamara Braun won for her short stint as Ava Vitali on Days of our Lives, giving the venerable NBC soap two Daytime Emmy Acting victories on one night…the other being the sensational Darin Brooks who played Max Brady. Brooks, whose victory put him in an adorable state of shock, has left DAYS for primetime, but says he will always call DAYS his, ‘first family’. Younger Actress went to Julie Berman for her portrayal of Lulu Spencer, making the Spencer family dominance at the Emmys unrivaled.
In another wonderful surprise, One Life to Live’s top executive Frank Valentini, and his directing team won top honors for guiding the now infamous, “Who Wants to be Shane Morasco’s Father?” episode. While some thought it was not as splashy as DAYS plane crash or AMC’s twister, the ingenious direction and concept proved enough to get the final votes. Then we come to another surprise…General Hospital walked off with the Outstanding Writing Team, and yes, head writer, Bob Guza was not there to accept the award. In the press room, according to Associate Head Writer, Elizabeth Korte, Guza likes to “remain mysterious” by not showing up to the proceedings. The Port Charles team won for The Shooting of Michael Corinthos.
After totaling both the Creative Arts Emmys and the Daytime Emmy ceremonies, it was ABC’s One Life to Live and All My Children who were this year’s big winners, with five wins each.
It was a long time coming for these Emmy to even go on. It was nice to have a chance to see all of the genre in one place for one special night, through all the sadness, rumored and completed soap cancellations, and hard times the industry reportedly has fallen on. It would be a shame to have this be the last celebration of a year’s hard work, (well over a year and half now in this case) because no one works harder than the people in daytime. The genre just needs some respect from whatever people put on the Emmys, and what ever network airs the Emmys. Look at Guiding Light, the entire cast came backstage to do a photo opportunity, but as a group decided to for-go the press room. Sad.
The eligibility period for the 37th Annual Daytime Emmys has only three more months of shows that will air, that can be considered. So that means: Actors, act your hearts out. Writers, write your most ingenious story, and Directors make us want to watch all the soapy action. And god willing, we will all be together again next year and… party!
Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Lead Actress
Outstanding Lead Actor
Outstanding Supporting Actress
Outstanding Supporting Actor
Outstanding Younger Actress
Outstanding Younger Actor
Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team
Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team
Outstanding Achievement For A Casting Director For A Drama Series
Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design For A Drama Series
Outstanding Achievement In Hairstyling For A Drama Series
Outstanding Achievement In Live& Direct To Tape Sound Mixing For A Drama Series
Outstanding Achievement In Makeup Drama Series
Outstanding Achievement In Lighting Direction For A Drama Series
Outstanding Achievement In Multiple Camera Editing For A Drama Series
Outstanding Achievement In Music Direction and Composition For A Drama Series
Outstanding Achievement In Technical Direction/Electronic Camera/Video Control For A Drama Series
Outstanding Original Song For A Drama Series