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Sunday September 16, 2007 9:30 pm

The 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Coverage

Emmy AwardsThe 59th Annual Emmy Awards has not even started, yet I’m already sensing sensing a weird vibe about tonight’s telecast.  Will the show be a celebration of those young and new (e.g. Heroes)?  Will it be a tribute to those bowing out (James Gandolfini and crew)?  Or will performer Kanye West somehow manage to cast a controversial shadow over the rest of the ceremony?

What a difference a year makes.  Twelve months ago, we were still handing out trophies to stars from Will & Grace and The West Wing (those shows feel so five-years ago now).  Today, we welcome a new crop of nominees including Ugly Betty and 30 Rock for Best ComedyLast year, we were entertained by an always-hilarious Conan O’Brien.  This year, we are threatened by a song and dance number from this year’s host, Ryan Seacrest.  Last August, 24 snagged the award for Best Drama.  This September, it’s not even nominated (yet somehow Boston Legal is).

I think it would be safe to assume the voters would predictably (and respectfully) shower The Sopranos with honors, but I’ll still be crossing my fingers for an upset sometime tonight.  We’ll need something to talk about tomorrow…

Here’s the play-by-play of tonight’s events coming to you from the neglected West Coast!

7:00pm:  Already not liking the stuffy announcer.  This show should not be taken that seriously.

7:03pm:  For a second there, I thought Kate Walsh (Private Practice) was Debra Messing.  Am I closed-minded for thinking all redheads look alike?

7:04pmAmerica Ferrera (Ugly Betty), in her beautiful blue dress, is making curvy girls feel proud once again.  Unfortunately, there are some seriously sad girls behind her trying to steal the spotlight.

7:07pmFelicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) is a stunner in her low-cut, hot pink dress.  Makes me wonder why that Eva chick is always getting the attention.

7:14pm:  Did Joely Fisher (‘Til Death) forget to take the pins out of hair before she walked out the door?

7:17pmTony Shalhoub (Monk).  Please don’t let him four-peat.

7:26pmJane Krakowski (30 Rock) looks like a Grecian-goddess in her white halter.  I have made a resolution to finally make room for her show this year.

7:33pm:  Now I know why Eva Longoria gets so much attention.  Her dress is borderline Beyonce, but she’s such a cute little sparkler!

7:36pmHelen Mirren has decided her appearance can take a backseat now that she’s secured her Oscar.

7:41pmRachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters) deserves an award for making me forget she has an accent.

7:43pm:  I’m really hating the sleeves on Katherine Heigl’s (Grey’s Anatomy) dress.  She went from Knocked Up to looking like a nun.

7:51pm:  I said it last year and I will say it again—I hate you Heidi Klum (Project Runway)!!!  You looked fabulous last year despite being pregnant…and now you’re like 20 lbs thinner.  Actually, I really think you look better with a little meat on your bones…

7:59pm:  When did the Emmys become the VMAs?  It’ll be interesting to see how this theatre-in-the-round thing comes off.

8:00pm:  Characters from The Family Guy kick off the show with their own song.  Did Ryan Seacrest chicken out?  Now the audience seating makes me feel like I’m at the circus.

8:02pm:  Ouch!  They just made a combined Isaiah Washington/Michael Richards joke.  Only cartoon characters could get away with that.

8:03pmRyan Seacrest walks out to ‘Party Like A Rock Star’??  Is this a baseball game now?  And who said skinny ties were back?

8:05pm:  Okay, Ryan—proving that you can identify designers is not going to make questions about your sexuality go away.  Oh, how cute.  He just said hi to ex-girlfriend Teri HatcherNot awkward at all.

8:09pm:  Was part of Ray Romano’s speech just bleeped out?  After a really unnecessary comedy routine, he presents the award for Best Supporting Actor/Comedy to Jeremy Piven (Entourage).

8:14pm:  America Ferrara and Vanessa Williams team up to present the Outstanding Supporting Actor/Drama award.  Terry O’Quinn (Locke, Lost) takes the surprise win.

8:22pm:  Ryan just made a crack about Paula Abdul and the show Weeds.  The fact that she wasn’t paying attention and looked typically clueless?  Priceless.

8:22pmTina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus present the award for Best Supporting Actress/Comedy.  Now that Megan Mullaly is out of the picture, the path has been cleared for Jaime Pressly (My Name is Earl) to skate in for the win.

8:26pm:  Katherine Heigl and Kyle Chandler take the stage—but first, Katherine makes sure to correct the ignorant announcer on the pronunciation of her name.  Awesome.  They give the statue for Best Supporting Actor/Mini-Series or Movie to Thomas Haden Church (Broken Trail).

8:35pmEllen Degeneres in her one-minute bit just made up for her lackluster performance at last year’s Oscars.

8:38pm:  The boys of Entourage take the stage with Eva Longoria.  They collectively award the Outstanding Supporting Actress/ Drama honor to Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy).  Lorraine Bracco’s loss apparently means The Sopranos won’t be sweeping their nominations tonight.

8:42pmJennifer Love Hewitt (in a very simple, yet lovely, black dress) and Jon Cryer give the Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program award to the team from Late Night With Conan O’Brien.  I think everybody was shocked that The Daily Show didn’t win again.

8:51pm:  The amazingly talented Christina Aguilera and Tony Bennett perform a song from his award-winning special.  It’s probably best the rumored Britney Spears appearance didn’t happen.  Or will it??

8:55pmAli Larter (in a gorgeous red dress) and Kiefer Sutherland hand the Outstanding Lead Actor/ Miniseries or Movie statue to Robert Duvall (Broken Trail).  I have a hard time believing that this is the first time he’s ever won an Emmy.

8:58pm:  Ouch!  Even Vanessa Hudgens isn’t safe from the teasing!  And you mean they haven’t gotten to Britney yet?

9:03pmQueen Latifah looks absolutely regal in her red gown tonight.  She introduces a segment on the legendary mini-series, Roots.  The stars from the 1977 series take the stage and are welcomed with a standing ovation.  They help pass the Emmy crown to this year’s Outstanding Mini-Series winner:  Broken Trail.

9:14pmHayden Panettiere should be embracing her youthful figure—not wearing something that looks like a peach maternity dress.  She and Neil Patrick Harris present David Chase (The Sopranos) the award for Best Writing/Drama Series.

9:20pmSteve Carell is probably happy to be back on TV and distancing himself from Evan Almighty.  He gives his buddies at The Daily Show the award for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series.  You knew Jon Stewart couldn’t escape with at least one statue tonight.

9:27pmMark Harmon and Marcia Cross take the stage.  Cross looks disgustingly fabulous for someone who has had twins recently.  The Best Supporting Actress/ Miniseries or Movie prize goes to an absent Judy Davis (The Starter Wife).  When will the Academy start instituting the ‘You Snooze, You Lose’ policy?

9:36pmGlenn Close, Kyra Sedgwick and Mary-Louise Parker present a united front for strong female characters on TV.  (I still don’t know why Billy Crudup let go of Parker—she looks fantastic).  In unison, they announce the winner for Made For Television Movie:  HBO’s Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.

9:40:  The talented singers from Broadway’s Jersey Boys give a spectacular send-off to The SopranosHow is Kanye West going to top that?  The Sopranos cast then appears for a standing ovation.  I understand it was a great show—but when was the last time any show got this type of coverage just for closing up shop?

9:49pmSally Field and Patrick Dempsey present the Best Lead Actress/ Miniseries or Movie award to Helen Mirren (Prime Suspect: The Final Act).  Dear gawd—is there no award that woman won’t win???

9:52pm:  Comedian Lewis Black does an hilarious rant about his television pet peeves.  As much as I loved it, I’m surprised the segment wasn’t cut for time.  How long was this show supposed to be anyway??

10:06pmAl Gore has followed Helen Mirren’s lead and now invaded the Oscars and the Emmys.  His project, Current, just received the Creative Achievement in Interactive Television award.

10:07pm:  Joely Fisher and Brad Garrett have just managed to gross out the whole audience by talking endlessly about her breasts.

10:13pmElaine Stritch and Stanley Tucci present the Outstanding Directing/ Comedy Series award to Richard Shepard (Ugly Betty).

10:17pm:  The Outstanding Writing/Comedy Emmy goes to Greg Daniels (The Office) for his ‘Gay Witch Hunt’ episode.  Agreed.  One of the best episodes ever.

10:23pm:  Ryan Seacrest admits his costume from The Tudors looks gay.

10:24pmWayne Brady brings on Rainn Wilson and Kanye West for a ‘musical competition’ Don’t Forget the Lyrics style.  Kanye is forced into retirement when Rainn proves he is the master.  The competitors then present the award for Outstanding Reality Competition to my fave, The Amazing Race.  BTW—if you haven’t heard already….I love Phil Keoghan.

10:35pmStephen Colbert and Jon Stewart team up to present the Best Actor/Comedy award.  Ricky Gervais (Extras) stops the Tony Shalhoub four-peat!!!  Because he’s not there to accept—they instead offer up the statue to their friend Steve Carrell, who quickly runs up to grab it.

10:40pm:  The Best Actress/Drama win goes to Sally Fields (Brothers & Sisters).  FOX either just had another technical glitch or cut out when Sally started talking about the war.

10:51pmDebra Messing (who looks great in a strapless black-and-white gown) presents the Best Actress/Comedy category with William Shatner.  My girl, America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) scoops up the win.  On a side note:  She and her boyfriend are so cute together!!

10:57:  The Best Actor/Drama award goes to James Spader (Boston Legal) shocking

every single person in America

.  I said I was hoping for an upset tonight—and this was probably it.  Sorry, James Gandolfini! Ouch!

11:01pm:  The Best Comedy Series award goes to newcomer 30 Rock.  Now I really have to commit to my new resolution!

11:08pmThe Sopranos finally wins the pity award of the evening:  Best Drama Series.  I guess if you can’t sweep them all—you better win at least this one.  Right?

Gallery: The 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Coverage

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