Tuesday, September 23, 2008

'30 Rock' Rules 2008 Emmys

Tina Fey's "30 Rock" out-paper/scissored the TV competition Sunday night at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards show in Downtown Los Angeles, winning key awards including Best Comedy Series, Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Fey) and Best Lead Actor (Alec Baldwin).

For a complete list of winners click HERE!

"We are all very grateful to have jobs in this turkey burger economy," said Fey, who singled out her "The New Adventures of Old Christine" fellow nominee Julia Louis-Dreyfus as her acting inspiration. "Sometimes on the '30 Rock' set when I don't know how to play a scene, my husband says, 'Just act like Julia Louis-Dreyfus.' Thank you Julia Louis-Dreyfus -- it's really working out for me."

In the second consecutive year, the NBC comedy, which received a total of 17 nominations, beat out such heady competition as "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Entourage," "The Office" and "Two and a Half Men."

Meanwhile, AMC critical darling "Mad Men" upset "Damages," "Dexter," "House," "Boston Legal" and "Lost" to win Best Drama Series in its first year on the air. Series creator Matthew Weiner, who also won a Best Writing Emmy, said he wrote the show about Madison Avenue ad men eight years ago with his writer's assistant, "And had no idea that it would ever come to fruition."

"Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston also upset the competition (Gabriel Byrne, Michael C. Hall, John Hamm, Hugh Laurie and James Spader) to win his first-ever Best Lead Actor in a Drama Emmy for his AMC show. "She's bald too," the shaved-headed actor observed of his statuette. "I haven't been able to get this close to her until now. The restraining order has been lifted."

Glenn Close received no "Damages" to her career, picking up her second Emmy as cutthroat litigator Patty Hewes in her edgy FX show. Acknowledging her "Sisterhood of the TV Drama Divas," Close said, "I think we're proving that complicated, powerful mature women are sexy and high entertainment and can carry a show."

"Entourage" star Jeremy Piven picked up his third consecutive Emmy win for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series as slick Hollywood agent Ari Gold, beating out Neil Patrick Harris, Jon Cryer, Rainn Wilson and fellow show star Kevin Dillon. "These are strange times for all of us; to be a working actor is an unbelievable gift. None of this is lost on me," he commented.

"Samantha Who?" star Jean Smart picked up the Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series trophy -- her third Emmy win -- besting Kristin Chenowith, Amy Poehler, Holland Taylor and Vanessa Williams. "The answer to the question 'Samantha Who?' is Christina Applegate," she said. "I adore her and she sets the tone for the most amazing, brilliant, hilarious cast in the world."

Zeljko Ivanek picked up his first-ever Emmy for his work on "Damages" as Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, while the Best Supporting Actress side went to Dianne Wiest for her "In Treatment" performance.

Razor-sharp at 82, Don Rickles picked up the award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for "Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project." "It's a mistake," he joked. "I am just stunned by this. I've been in the business for 55 years and the biggest award I got was an ashtray from the Friars in New York."

Other key awards of the night went to such shows as "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "The Colbert Report," "The Amazing Race" and the TV movies 'Recount' and 'John Adams,' whose lead actor Paul Giamatti nabbed his first-ever Emmy win, jesting, "I'm living proof, kids at home watching, that anybody can play the president. Anybody can play the president."

This year's hosting duties were shared by reality TV hosts Ryan Seacrest, Tom Bergeron, Jeff Probst, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel, who, along with other presenters, often made introductions from recreations of favorite TV sets from such shows as "Seinfeld," "The Simpsons," "Dragnet" "M*A*S*H" and "The West Wing." After a mock reality show elimination delivered by Jimmy Kimmel, Probst won the Emmy for Best Reality-Competition Show Host, the first given out by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Another highlight of the show included serious vocalist Josh Groban letting loose by performing the theme songs to TV favorites like "Happy Days," "Love Boat," "South Park," "Baywatch" and "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." And those incredible stars who made an indelible mark on our TV screens were feted in memoriam, including George Carlin, Charlton Heston, Cyd Charisse, Deborah Kerr, Estelle Getty, Sydney Pollack, Bernie Mac, Suzanne Pleshette, Dick Martin, Harvey Korman, Tim Russert and Isaac Hayes.

Other stars presenting and or appearing on stage included Brooke Shields, Kiefer Sutherland, Craig Ferguson, Tom Selleck, Mary Tyler Moore, Betty White, Conan O'Brien, William Petersen, Laurence Fishburne, Nicollette Sheridan, Eva Longoria Parker, Hayden Panettiere, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Candice Bergen, Kathy Griffin, Sally Field, Lauren Conrad, David Boreanaz, Christian Slater and Christina Applegate, fully recovered and feisty after double-mastectomy surgery.

Watch ET for all the highlights of the incredible Emmy evening!

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