“Boardwalk Empire” was the biggest winner of the night with a whopping seven technical prizes (Art Direction, Casting, Cinematography, Editing, Makeup, Sound Editing and Visual Effects) while its main Emmy rival “Mad Men” managed just one (Hairstyling). Next Sunday, this new HBO hit could best the record nine Emmys won by “The West Wing” in 2000 as it contends in four more categories: Drama Series, Drama Actor (Steve Buscemi), Drama Supporting Actress (Kelly Macdonald) and Drama Directing.
Justin Timberlake won two more Emmys in categories he had already claimed in the past for his work on “SNL”: Guest Comedy Actor (he won this in 2009) and Music and Lyrics for co-writing the song he sang as part of his opening monologue (he won this award in 2006 for penning “Dick in a Box”).
Gold Derby odds had Timberlake as the clear favorite to win his acting category and also predicted Gwyneth Paltrow to prevail for her guest turn on “Glee.” Among those this Oscar champ (1998 Best Actress, “Shakespeare in Love”) edged out was the all-time Emmy champ Cloris Leachman (“Raising Hope“).
However, the winners of the guest races on the drama front were among the evening’s biggest surprises. Loretta Devine overcame distant odds (50/1) to win for her work on “Grey’s Anatomy,” defeating presumed frontrunners Julia Stiles (“Dexter“) and Joan Cusack (“Shameless“). This is Devine’s first Emmy and only the second acting prize for the series, which previously won Supporting Drama Actress for Katherine Heigl in 2007.
Paul McCrane (“Harry’s Law”), a TV veteran who spent several seasons on “ER” as the venomous Dr. Romano, staged an upset for Guest Drama Actor against the heavily favored Michael J. Fox, who was expected to win as an antagonistic lawyer on “The Good Wife.” McCrane is less well known than Fox, a five-time Emmy champ, but there was a similar outcome in 2006, when Fox lost this category to another relative unknown, Christian Clemenson (“Boston Legal”). Fox did win this award two years ago for a guest role on “Rescue Me.”
It seemed like Hollywood had forgiven Ricky Gervais when the Emmys nominated this year’s Golden Globes telecast for Best Special Class Program, but that prize went instead to last year’s Tony Awards telecast. The Tonys were hosted by Sean Hayes, who is now a two-time Emmy winner with his Supporting Comedy Actor victory for “Will & Grace” in 2000.
The “2010 Kennedy Center Honors” won Best Variety Special as it has done seven times before, despite strong competition from music superstar Lady Gaga‘s “Monster Ball” concert and comedy performances by Carrie Fisher and Pee-wee Herman. Oprah Winfrey and Paul McCartney were among the honorees at the annual special, which this year honors Meryl Streep and Neil Diamond.
After “Deadliest Catch” lost Best Nonfiction Series for five years in a row, it switched categories this year, entering the Best Reality Series contest for the first time, and the change paid off. It overcame tough competition from “Hoarders,” “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” and “MythBusters.” It also won Cinematography, Editing and Sound Mixing.
Meanwhile, it was no surprise that Jeff Probst (“Survivor“) won his fourth consecutive Emmy for Best Reality Host. He submitted the episode “Rice Wars,” in which he mediates a heated racial conflict. Probst has owned this category since it was created in 2008.
“The Simpsons” seemed like a favorite to win its eleventh Emmy for Best Animated Program when it submitted “Angry Dad: The Movie,” a spoof of show business awards. However, “Futurama” prevailed for “The Late Philip J. Fry.” This sci-fi toon was famously cancelled by FOX several years ago and recently resurrected by Comedy Central. “Futurama” previously won this category in 2002. Tonight it also won the award for Voice-Over Performance. Maurice LaMarche defeated Brenda Strong (“Desperate Housewives“), Christopher Plummer (“Moguls & Movie Stars”), and Dan Castellaneta (“The Simpsons”).
Among the other big winners were the History Channel documentary “Gettysburg” which won four Emmys (Non-Fiction Special, Costumes, Sound Editing, Visual Effects) and two miniseries — “Mildred Pierce” and “The Kennedys” — which won three apiece. HBO’s “Mildred Pierce,” which is the frontrunner to win the combined Movie/Miniseries race, won Art Direction, Casting and Score while “The Kennedys” claimed Hairstyling, Makeup and Sound Mixing.
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