‘The West Wing’ Wins Emmy for Best Drama
LOS ANGELES – There were no term limits for NBC’s “The West Wing,” which won its fourth Emmy Award for best drama Sunday despite shrinking viewership, while CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond” was honored as best comedy.
James Gandolfini, who plays the hulking mobster on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” and Edie Falco, who portrays his long-suffering wife, swept the top drama acting awards.
The ceremony was both celebratory and bittersweet, with homage paid to a number of performers and industry figures who died this year including Bob Hope, John Ritter, Gregory Hines and Fred Rogers.
Tony Shalhoub, who plays an obsessive-compulsive detective on USA’s “Monk,” beat broadcast network stars for best actor in a comedy. Debra Messing, after three unsuccessful tries, won best comic actress for “Will & Grace.”
An emotional Shalhoub, in the spirit of the evening’s other tributes, noted the passing of a nephew who the actor said had “a warm laugh” and “a good heart” and “was taken from us suddenly.”
TNT’s “Door to Door,” based on the true story of Bill Porter, a salesman with cerebral palsy, won four awards, including best made-for-TV movie.
Although “The Sopranos” claimed four awards, compared to two for “The West Wing,” the HBO mob drama again was denied the top award. TV academy voters have yet to crown a cable series as best drama.
“I wish for everyone a working experience like we have,” Falco said, adding “we have inadvertently created the perfect working environment.”
The fourth time was the charm for Messing.
“Oh my God,” said an exuberant Messing, who was nominated three times before and went home empty-handed. “I never thought this was going to happen.”
TNT’s “Door to Door,” was honored as best made-for-TV movie. William H. Macy, who portrayed Porter, won best actor in a miniseries. The movie also won writing and directing awards.
Doris Roberts and Brad Garrett, who play two members of the battling Barone family on CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond,” were honored as supporting actors in a comedy series.
“Wow. That was worth coming up here for,” Roberts said after receiving a congratulatory kiss from presenter Matthew Perry as she accepted the comedy series supporting actress award. It was her third career Emmy.
Garrett, who held out for a better contract before the new season of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” won best supporting actor. He jokingly thanked CBS and the show’s producers for not firing him.
“It’s good to be back,” Garrett said. It was his second supporting actor Emmy.
Tyne Daly was honored for her supporting role in the CBS drama series, “Judging Amy,” while Joe Pantoliano ó who lost his head on “The Sopranos” ó won best supporting actor in a drama series.
CBS’ “The Amazing Race” won the first-ever Emmy in the reality competition category, beating more popular series “American Idol” and “Survivor.”
Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, which received plaudits for poking fun at war coverage, won for the first time as best variety show, breaking a five-year winning streak for David Letterman. “The Daily Show” was also honored for its writing.
Everybody Loves Raymond” won for best writing in a comedy series. HBO’s “The Sopranos” won best writing in a drama series.
Garry Shandling, one of many comedians serving as hosts of the show, received a long kiss from Garrett that parodied the Madonna-Britney Spears kiss from the MTV Video Music Awards. Perry kept the joke going with his smooch planted on Roberts.
“The West Wing” received the Emmy for best directing for a drama series, while the comedy trophy in the category went to “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
The award for best miniseries went to the science fiction drama “Steven Spielberg Presents Taken.”
In other miniseries or movie categories, Maggie Smith won lead actress for “My House in Umbria.” The movie “Hysterical Blindness” won best supporting actor and actress honors for Ben Gazzara and Gena Rowlands, respectively.
Wayne Brady was the evening’s biggest undeserving winner as he was named best individual performer in a variety or musical program for “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
“Cher ó The Farewell Tour” was named best variety, music or comedy special.
Bill Cosby received the second Bob Hope Humanitarian Award with a self-effacing speech in which he thanked his wife, Camille, for 40 years of unconditional love and recalled fondly Fred Rogers, who died this year and was a beloved children’s entertainer.
Cosby also shared a lighthearted memory of bringing his son Ennis with him to work on an episode of the animated series “Fat Albert.” Ennis Cosby was shot to death in Los Angeles in 1997.
Walter Cronkite paid tribute to Hope, who died at age 100 this summer.
HBO won a leading 18 Emmys, followed by CBS with 16, NBC with 15 and ABC with nine. Fox and PBS earned seven each.
Winners in creative arts categories were announced at a Sept. 13 ceremony, including one award for “Six Feet Under” and one each for “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Sex and the City.”
In the creative arts ceremony held earlier this month, awards were announced in craft categories including outstanding choreography, editing and makeup.
Four acting awards for guest roles also were given out. Emmys for best guest actress and actor in a drama series went to Alfre Woodard for “The Practice” and Charles S. Dutton for “Without a Trace.”
For guest actor and actress in a comedy series, the winners were Gene Wilder for “Will & Grace” and Christina Applegate for “Friends.”
‘The West Wing’ Wins Emmy for Best Drama