‘Sopranos’ goes out on high note
In an Emmy broadcast that meandered between comedy, music and simple uncertainty, it was only fitting that there was no clear winner Sunday night at the 59th annual show.
But “The Sopranos,” one of the most highly regarded TV series in history, took home the biggest prize, best drama.
The top six categories — outstanding comedy, outstanding drama, and lead male and female performers in both genres — were split among six different winners. “30 Rock” picked up the Emmy for best comedy series. Ricky Gervais of “Extras” and America Ferrera of “Ugly Betty” won awards for lead acting in comedy series.
Sally Field added a political statement Sunday night.
“If the mothers ruled the world, there would be no g–damned wars in the first place,” said Field, trying to recover her train of thought while accepting her Emmy for best actress in a drama for “Brothers & Sisters.”
Her Emmy was a mild upset, as she defeated previous winners Edie Falco and Mariska Hargitay to take the award.
James Spader took home the Emmy for best actor in a drama.
“I feel like I just stole a pile of money from the Mob,” said Spader, referring to his “Sopranos” competition.
Another sometime political figure, former vice president and “recovering politician” Al Gore, received an Emmy — and a standing ovation — Sunday night at the 59th annual TV awards show.
Gore and Joel Hyatt won their Emmys for creating Current TV, a cable television network whose programs are often created by viewers.
“We are trying to open up the television medium so that viewers can help to make television, and join the conversation of democracy, and reclaim American democracy by talking about the choices we have to make,” said Gore.
The TV honor is the latest Hollywood recognition for Gore. The film “An Inconvenient Truth,” which starred Gore, earned an Oscar in February.
“Ugly Betty’s” America Ferrera won best actress in a comedy series, and “Extras” star Ricky Gervais won best actor in a comedy series.
HBO’s “The Sopranos,” considered the front-runner for best drama series, won two awards at the Emmys, for directing and writing.
The second award went to the show’s creator, David Chase. The show’s lead acting performers, James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, lost in their categories.
The AMC miniseries “Broken Trail” was also roundly honored at the show, winning three awards in the early going — for best actor, best supporting actor and best miniseries or movie.
Helen Mirren continued her remarkable run with another Emmy — she also won last year — this time for “Prime Suspect: The Final Act.” Mirren has won several awards in the last year, including an Oscar for best actress for “The Queen.”
“Come on, music,” she laughed, believing that she was going on too long in her speech.
“Prime Suspect: The Final Act” also won for directing and writing.
Tony Bennett was also honored at the Emmy ceremony. His special “Tony Bennett: An American Classic” picked up several awards, including outstanding variety, music or comedy special.
In a mild upset, Ricky Gervais won best actor in a comedy for his performance in “Extras.” “The Amazing Race” won best reality/competition program for the fifth time.
Katherine Heigl of “Grey’s Anatomy” and Jaime Pressly of “My Name Is Earl” took home Emmys in supporting categories.
“Here’s to our little engine that could, that finally did,” said a tearful Pressly, accepting her honor.
Heigl maintained she didn’t come prepared with a speech because her mother told her she wasn’t going to win.
“My own mother told me I didn’t have a shot in hell at winning tonight,” said Heigl. “This is my dream come true. I’ve been doing this for 17 years.”
Also taking home supporting performer Emmys were Jeremy Piven of “Entourage” and Terry O’Quinn of “Lost.” Piven, who emotionally thanked his late father after winning at last year’s Emmys, did so again this year.
The show began with an irreverent musical number sung by “Family Guy’s” Stewie and Brian, taking aim at everything from “the garbage on the airwaves” to the reputations of the broadcast networks.
“We’re definitely on Fox tonight,” joked host Ryan Seacrest, noting the characters’ jibes.
“The Office’s” Rainn Wilson wasn’t taking the awards too seriously.
Asked to explain why he was nominated this year but not last, he had a straightforward answer: “I’m a much better actor this year than last year,” he told CNN on the red carpet.
He didn’t win, which was probably for the best. If he had, he impishly threatened to put the statue on eBay. E-mail to a friend
In all honesty, when it ended, I actually said “Is that the best that they could do?!?!” What a boring telecast!!
‘Sopranos’ goes out on high note