I'll start first with the highs, since there are so few to mention. Michael Park winning the trophy for best actor was the highlight of the evening for me. For many years, Park has quietly delivered some of the best drama on daytime, but is often overlooked because he shares most scenes with one of the finest actresses I've ever seen on any network: Maura West, who also took home an Emmy Sunday for best actress.
It was Park's year. His Emmy submission tape was the episode where he told sister-in-law Katie that he had accidentally shot and killed his brother, her husband. Park played every scene with guilt, anger and angst, as he tried to get Katie to blame him for the tragedy, and later held a gun on Craig trying to force Craig to blame him for Brad's death, too. It was Emmy worthy, and I'm thrilled the voters finally gave some accolades to Park.
Not to be outdone, Maura West had plenty of Emmy-worthy scenes last year, too. She submitted her alcohol intervention episode from last July , that I noted at the time should win her an Emmy. I'm glad someone listened. Thank you Emmy voters! West takes good material and makes it great, on any given day. And when she's given great material, she makes it a thing of beauty. Strangely enough, two weeks ago, I wrote in this very column that the fight scene between Jack and Carly was one of the best scenes I had ever seen on television, day or night, and should garner this pair Emmys. Congratulations to these fine actors for receiving trophies from their peers this year. It's bittersweet, since the show is ending, but it's nice to go out with a bang.
Finally, congratulations to Julie Pinson, also, for her win in the supporting actress category. Her character is not what I would call a fan favorite, since she was introduced as an obstacle for super couple Jack and Carly, but I've always loved Pinson's work. She's a powerhouse, not an easy task, when most of your scenes are with Park and West.
I was also thrilled to see Billy J. Miller take home a trophy for supporting actor. I loved him years ago on All My Children, and now he's redefined the role of Billy Abbott on The Young and the Restless. He's one of those actors who steals every scene. I also love Julie Berman on General Hospital, so congratulations to her as well for her Emmy win!
The Lifetime Achievement award for soap queen Agnes Nixon was a bright spot in the evening. Nixon created two of the dramas still on the air and is responsible for many of the socially conscious storylines on daytime through the years.
From Regis Philbin's bumbling opening, to the endless musical numbers, the daytime Emmys failed miserably at its main goal: to honor the achievements of those who work in daytime television.
One of the biggest gaffes of the night was the omission of video clips in the acting categories. None of the actors were given the dignity of showing the clips from their bodies of work that landed them at the top of their respective fields. In fact, the names and show titles were read so quickly, viewers barely had time to glimpse who was in each category. I guess the clips had to be sacrificed so we would have time for Blue Man Group, the Lion King number, Cirque du Soleil, David Copperfield and Marie Osmond. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I don't enjoy a good musical number, but when so much time is given to these kinds of acts that it detracts from the time that should be given to honoring daytime, I can't help but be miffed.
[Editor's Note: The clips were omitted because the show runs short on time every year and only the first group of nominees end up having their clips shown. As a result, last year several acceptances speeches were cut short because the show ran out of time.]
Perhaps the biggest blunder of the night was the blink-and-you-missed-it tribute to the long-running drama As the World Turns. If I'm not mistaken, the nostalgic clip montage of the show was barely 90 seconds long. There were no taped interviews with the current cast or famous cast alumni, of which there are plenty floating around Hollywood. (Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Meg Ryan, Courteney Cox, Dana Delany, Martin Sheen, Amanda Seyfried, etc.) The cast wasn't brought onto the stage for a final farewell either. After 54 years, this show deserved a better tribute, and so did its fans. Fifty four years success in anything is an achievement, and for so little fanfare to be given to this beloved show was reprehensible.
[Editor's Note: The creation of a tribute to As the World Turns was not approved until the last minute. Since the show has stopped production, the costs of flying the stars to the Emmy ceremony was not picked up by P&G. Many stars were unable to attend because of the expense of getting to the ceremony.]
I'm sure I'll get plenty of hate mail for this, but I have to say it anyway. I love Dick Clark as much as the next kid who grew up watching him, but the 12-minute tribute to honor his work seemed like overkill, considering that ATWT was barely acknowledged, and it has come into our homes every week day for more than five decades. As the World Turns should have been given equal time as Clark's tribute and that of Agnes Nixon.
[Editor's Note: American Bandstand aired every week day for more than three decades. The tribute to Dick Clark was designed to get more viewers to tune into the Daytime Emmys who might otherwise skip the broadcast. More viewers equates to a better chance to have the Emmys broadcast on television again next year.]
Another misstep was the omission of the "In Memory" montage. Daytime lost some beloved faces this past year, including As the World Turns' Helen Wagner, Days of Our Lives' Francis Reid, and All My Children's James Mitchell. Surely, a 60-second clip montage could have fit in somewhere between the Feed the Children package and the entertainment.
[Editor's Note: The Academy voted to remove the Memoriam segment several years ago.]
Finally, daytime viewers, who this show is supposedly aimed at, love to see their favorite stars in formal wear and interacting. Would it have killed CBS to do a 30-minute red carpet arrival and interview package like it does for the primetime Emmy broadcast? Unless you subscribe to Soapnet, fans barely got a glimpse of the lovely ladies and gents of daytime in their gowns and formal wear.
[Editor's Note: Ratings for the Red Carpet shows have been incredibly low and they were a money-losing production. The fact that the Emmys were broadcast at all was a huge surprise, and it was unlikely that a network would take a chance in losing huge amounts of money on a Red Carpet show when: 1) hardly anyone watches the pre-show in the first place, and 2) the main awards telecast was almost not put on the air.]
The next person in charge of planning and producing the Emmys (and yes, I am available), please learn from this failure of a broadcast. Slow down the pace and give daytime fans a reason to watch. The shameful display we saw Sunday was so disrespectful to the daytime genre, that frankly I need to take a trip to Vegas just to recover.
[Editor's Note: It has been unannounced that there will most likely not be any future Daytime Emmy telecast, so there's no need for fans to worry about how bad the telecast is or was.]
That's all for now Scoopers! See ya next time.