Concert for September 11 Victims Wins Emmy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An all star television concert shown on all the major networks to raise money for the victims and survivors of the Sept. 11 attacks won an Emmy on Sunday night for best variety or music special, while a black tie audience broke down in tears in a salute to Oprah Winfrey.
What started out as a night of irreverent comedy and jokes by host Conan O’Brien trading bleeps with the Osbournes, soon took a serious turn as “America: A Tribute to Heroes” won.
The show’s producer, Joel Gallen, said “This honor really does belong to the hundreds of people who put this show together in a matter of weeks.” The telethon, which featured such performers as Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, raised millions for victims’ families and survivors.
NBC hit political drama “The West Wing” won its third consecutive Emmy Award as best drama, edging out the season’s hot new show “Six Feet Under,” in a victory that took many observers by surprise.
“We are just as surprised as you are,” the show’s creator, Aaron Sorkin. “West Wing” won the same prize the past two years.
In a major Emmy Awards upset, Michael Chiklis was named best actor in a drama series for playing a corrupt cop on the FX cable network’s biggest hit, “The Shield.”
It was the first Emmy victory for Chiklis, who has usually played warm and gentle characters, and a surprising outcome in the highly competitive race for best actor in a drama.
The show is a critical favorite but has been controversial for its edgy portrayal of police corruption, with several advertisers refusing to run spots on the show.
“The Gathering Storm,” the tale of how Winston Churchill rose to power to fight Hitler, was named the best made for television movie. Another HBO series about World War II, “Band of Brothers, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, was named best mini-series. “We didn’t just win this, the men of Easy Company did,” Spielberg said.
Veteran British actor Albert Finney won the best actor award for a miniseries or movie for his role as Winston Churchill in “The Gathering Storm” and Laura Linney won the best actress award for the same category for her role as Iris Bravard in the Showtime production “Wild Iris.”
Veteran actress Stockard Channing walked off with two awards — one for supporting actress in “The West Wing” drama series and best supporting actress in a made for television movie for playing the mother in “The Matthew Shepard Story,” the tale of the young homosexual man who was murdered for being gay.
Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old gay Wyoming college student who in 1998 was tortured, tied to a fence and left to die in a hate crime that shocked the nation.
Winfrey was given the first Bob Hope Humanitarian award and accepted it in tears after muttering a series of wows after listening to tributes from Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and a host of other stars .
“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Friends,” “The West Wing,” “Six Feet Under” and “Sex and the City” grabbed early prizes at the Emmy Awards, television’s highest honors,
“Everybody Loves Raymond” won big, with star Ray Romano named best actor in a comedy series. Co-star Brad Garrett was named best supporting actor in a comedy for his role as Robert, the brooding older brother of the show’s title character, in the first prize of the night. It was his first Emmy.
“Friends” star Jennifer Aniston was named best actress in a comedy series for her role as Rachel Green on television’s top-rated show.
It was the first Emmy prize claimed by Aniston on the smash NBC comedy, which is entering its ninth and presumed final season. Aniston, kissed by husband Brad Pitt as she rose to accept the prize, previously was twice nominated as best supporting actress on the show without winning.
Allison Janney was named best actress in a drama series for her portrayal of the White House press secretary on NBC political drama “The West Wing.”
It was the third straight victory for Janney, coming in a year in which she faced intense competition from the female co-stars of HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and Jennifer Garner, the sexy super agent on the ABC espionage thriller “Alias.”
The Emmy for best supporting actress in a comedy went to Doris Roberts who plays the meddling mother in “Raymond,” the top-rated comedy for CBS. It was her third Emmy and second for that role.
John Spencer won best supporting actor in a drama series for his role as White House chief of staff in NBC’s “The West Wing.” Channing, who plays the first lady in the presidential drama, was named best supporting actress in a drama series.
Michael Patrick King, one of the creators of “Sex and the City,” was named best director of a comedy series and Oscar-winning screenwriter Alan Ball (“American Beauty”) was named best director of a drama series for “Six Feet Under,” a series he created.
The big question of the night was whether two of the most popular shows “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Friends” would take top honors for best drama and best comedy series, or be bested by a gaggle of undertakers, politicians, super-animated families and sex-seeking big city career women.
“Friends,” now in its ninth and probably final season, is up for best comedy series — an award it has never won.
Even though it is now the sentimental favorite, the show has some strong competition; Bryce Zabel, the chairman of the sponsoring Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, says this year the contests are just too close to call.
“Last year was about whether the Emmys would go on,” Zabel told reporters last week. “This year I think … is probably the most exciting contest in a decade or more, and you really don’t know who is going to be taking home those Emmys.”
Concert for September 11 Victims Wins Emmy