HBO Tops 2008 Creative Arts Emmys, ABC & PBS Lead Nets, Show Airs September 20 on E!
Los Angeles, September 13, 2008 – HBO topped the list of winners at the 2008 Creative Arts Emmy Awards with 16 golden statuettes, followed by ABC and PBS with nine each.
Leading the recipients of multiple awards was the seven-part HBO miniseries John Adams, about America’s second president, with eight Emmys.
The ceremony was held at NOKIA theatre L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles — the first Emmys ceremony to be held in the new venue. Hosts for the evening were actor Neil Patrick Harris of the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother and actress Sarah Chalke of the NBC comedy Scrubs, who also appeared with Harris in several episodes of How I Met Your Mother during the past season. The event will air as a two-hour special on Saturday, September 20, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT), on E! Entertainment Television.
Presenters included more than 20 renowned television performers and producers:
Jennifer Beals (The L Word), Valerie Bertinelli (True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men), Alan Cumming (Tin Man), Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance), Lisa Edelstein (House M.D.), Jenna Fischer (The Office), Seth Green (Robot Chicken), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Tom Hanks (Executive Producer, John Adams), Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds), Jack McBrayer, (30 Rock), Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer), Masi Oka (Heroes), Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies), James Pickens, Jr. (Grey’s Anatomy), Oliver Platt (Nip/Tuck), Chloe Sevigny (Big Love), Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program), Evan Spiridelis (JibJab Media Inc) and Gregg Spiridelis (JibJab Media Inc)
The majority of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which honor excellence in more than 70 categories, are dedicated to key technical disciplines and behind-the-scenes crafts essential to television production — including art direction, cinematography, hairstyling, makeup, music, picture editing, sound editing and mixing, special visual effects, stunts and more.
Awards are also handed out for animation, commercials, reality series and other programming, and four acting categories. Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series went to Cynthia Nixon for NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series went to Kathryn Joosten for ABC’s Desperate Housewives; Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series went to Glynn Turman for HBO’s In Treatment; and Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series went to Tim Conway for NBC’s 30 Rock.
The prestigious Governors Award, which is given to individuals or organizations committed to important social causes, was given to National Geographic Channel for its “Preserve Our Planet” campaign.
The Outstanding Children’s Program was shared by two winners: HBO’s Classical Baby (I’m Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show and Nickelodeon’s Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: The Untouchable Kids Of India. This marked two Emmys in a row in this category for Nick News with Linda Ellerbee. Last year the series won for the episode titled “Private Worlds: Kids with Autism.”
Imaginationland, a special episode of Comedy Central’s South Park, was named Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More). Last year, South Park won the animation Emmy for programming of less than one hour.
This year, the less-than-one-hour category went to “Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind,” an episode of Fox’s long-running comedy The Simpsons.
For the second year in a row, Outstanding Reality Program was presented to the Bravo production Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.
The five nominees for Outstanding Commercial were screened in their entirety throughout the evening. The winner was “Swear Jar,” an amusing Bud Light spot about an office in which money collected for instances of employee profanity goes toward the purchase of Bud Light — resulting in a blizzard of bleeped epithets. The production company was Hungry Man, and DDB Chicago was the advertising agency.
Outstanding Nonfiction Special was won by the HBO production Autism: The Musical, the inspiring story of five autistic children and their families from Los Angeles and their journey to create and perform a musical production under the direction of Elaine Hall, founder of The Miracle Project (www.themiracleproject.com). HBO also won this category last year with Ghosts of Abu Ghraib.
In nonfiction programming, Outstanding Nonfiction Series went to two productions: PBS’s American Masters and Showtime’s This American Life. Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking went to the HBO production White Light/Black Rain, which chronicled the stories of a group of survivors of the 1945 nuclear attacks at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The evening’s sole directing honor, Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming, went to Adam Beckman and Christopher Wilcha for the “Escape” episode of the Showtime series This American Life.
The evening’s one writing category, Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming, was won by Geoffrey C. Ward for the “Pride of Our Nation” installment of the PBS production The War.
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special was won by the HBO release Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, a tribute to the comedy legend of its title.
The awards for Interactive Media were presented by Evan and Gregg Spiridelis of the online media company JibJab Inc. The award for fiction went to nbc.com’s Heroes Digital Experience. The nonfiction award went to Disney Channel Games Digital Media Event from the ABC Television Group, Creative Asylum and Walt Disney Internet Group.
In the acting categories, Turman was honored for his performance as Alex Sr., father of a troubled psychiatric patient played by Blair Underwood in the HBO series In Treatment. Speaking to the media after receiving his award, a clearly proud Turman noted, “This is my first Emmy after having been in the business since 1958.” His first major success came at age 13, when he appeared as young Travis in the original 1959 Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sidney Poitier.
Asked where he planned to display his statuette, Turman said, “My wife told me that I couldn’t weld this to the front of my car — that would be tacky. So I’m looking toward the mantel.”
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit guest star Cynthia Nixon, who played Janis Donovan, a woman with multiple personalities who may have abused and fatally harmed her daughter, was not present to accept her award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Noting her absence, presenter Chloë Sevigny, of the HBO drama Big Love, joked, “I hope that white sale at Loehmann’s was worth it.”
This marked two consecutive years that Law & Order: Special Victims Unit prevailed in this category. Nixon followed Leslie Caron, who took the Emmy last year. The Emmy was the second of Nixon’s career — in 2004, she won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance as Miranda Hobbes on Sex and the City.
Joosten’s victory marked her second career Emmy as well. In 2005 she won in the same category — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series — and for the same role, that of meddlesome Wisteria Lane resident Karen McCluskey. Accepting her statuette, Joosten clutched it and said, “This solves a problem. I have two sons, and now they don’t need to fight over which one gets this when I die.”
She then thanked Center Stage, the community theater in Lake Forest, Illinois, where, not until she was in her forties, she got her start as a performer — as, she pointed out, did actor Vince Vaughn. Joosten said that Center Stage “gave me a taste of the dream, and I got the whole banquet.”
Tim Conway was also a repeat winner. His award marked the sixth Emmy of his career among 13 nominations. As he accepted his statuette for the 30 Rock role of Bucky Bright, a once-famous comedy star who is idolized by NBC page Kenneth, played by Jack McBrayer, Conway held it to his side, accidentally catching the point on his jacket. Playing the moment for comedy, he gripped the award as if it had impaled him, and gingerly walked offstage with a wave.
Continuing the joke in the pressroom, Conway told the assembled reporters not to worry because it was “only a flesh wound.”
Accepting her second straight award for Outstanding Reality Series, comedian-actress Kathy Griffin was conspicuously more restrained than last year, when she invoked Jesus Christ and shouted, “This award is my god now!” Instead, looking sincerely shocked to have been honored for a second time, she expressed her appreciation repeatedly while still managing to draw laughs from the crowd.
Afterward, in the pressroom, she said she was thrilled, and frankly amazed, to have won again after last year’s incident. “Never in the history of the Emmy has anyone lived their Emmy as much as I do,” she said.
Griffin admitted that she intentionally toned down her acceptance remarks this time because she is scheduled to present an award at the Primetime Emmys on September 21, and did not want to risk being nixed from the ceremony if she went too far.
The award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics went to the team from Jimmy Kimmel Live for the song “I’m F---ing Matt Damon,” which was performed on the ABC late-night talk show by its co-writer-composer, actress-comedienne Sarah Silverman, and actor Matt Damon.
Accepting the award, Silverman thanked her collaborators — writer-composers Tony Barbieri, Wayne McClammy, Sal Iacono and Dan Warner — and added, “This makes a year of [hearing] ‘I’m f---ing Matt Damon, too!’ totally worth it.” She went on to thank many others, including Damon himself, about whom, she cracked, “Let’s be honest, Matt Damon had very little to do with this being popular.”
Summing up, Silverman acknowledged Kimmel — whom she was dating at the time the song aired, but is no longer involved with — with a bittersweet sign off: “I’d like to thank Jimmy Kimmel, who broke my heart” — and then corrected herself — “oh, who’ll always have a place in my heart.”
Earlier in the evening, the song was also honored for Outstanding Picture Editing of Clip Packages for Talk, Performance, Award or Reality Competition Programs, which went to editor James Crowe.
This marked two years in a row that the original music and lyrics category was won by a song with lyrics unsuited for polite company. Last year, it went to the Saturday Night Live composition “Dick in a Box.”
To present the Governors Awards, the Television Academy’s chairman and chief executive officer, John Shaffner, took the stage to introduce the award’s presenter, multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Tom Hanks.
In eloquent opening remarks, Hanks spoke at length about National Geographic Channel’s “Preserve Our Planet” campaign, a major initiative to inspire people to care about the earth. The campaign was an unprecedented, long-term, multiplatform effort to help Americans understand the issues of environmental conservation and global survival. Its many elements included an imaginative, wide-ranging array of special documentaries, public service announcements, online campaigns and outreach projects featuring simple, insightful and careful messaging.
In addition to Outstanding Guest Actress in Comedy Series winner Kathryn Joosten, who is a governor in the Television Academy’s Performers peer group, a few other Academy governors were honored on the night.
Stuart Bass, a governor in the Television Academy’s Television Motion Picture Editors peer group, won the Emmy for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Comedy Series for his work on ABC’s Pushing Daisies.
Mark Watters, a governor in the Television Academy’s Music peer group, won the Emmy for Outstanding Music Direction for his work on CBS’s Movies Rock.
Chuck Sheetz, a governor in the Television Academy’s Animation peer group, who was among the team from The Simpsons, which won for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More) for the episode titled “Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind.”
Two recent governors were honored as well. Susan Lacy, a recent governor in the Nonfiction Programming peer group, won the Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Series for her work on PBS’s American Masters. And Brian Sheesley, a recent governor in the Animation peer group, was among the winners Outstanding Special Class — Short Format Animated Programs for the “Lazlo’s First Crush” installment of Cartoon Network’s Camp Lazlo.
Following John Adams among recipients of multiple awards was AMC’s Mad Men, which took home four. NBC’s 30 Rock, CBS’s 50th Annual Grammy Awards, and PBS’s The War won three each, and PBS’s American Masters, HBO’s Autism: The Musical, Sci Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica, Showtime’s This American Life and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Pushing Daisies all won two.
Rounding out the night’s winners after HBO’s 16 Emmys were ABC and PBS with nine each; CBS with eight; NBC with six; AMC and Showtime with five; Fox with three; Bravo, Cartoon Network and Sci Fi Channel with two; and Comedy Central, The CW, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, FX Networks, and National Geographic Channel with one each.
Executive producers of the show were Lee Miller and Steve Venezia, and producer, for the 14th time, was Spike Jones, Jr. A complete list of winner is available here