Emmys: The morning after...

Good news for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences: Early Nielsen numbers for last night’s Emmys show a huge spike in viewers over last year, with an estimated 18.6 million viewers watching the CBS telecast, the highest number since 2002. Last year’s show, on then-Siberia network ABC, drew just 13.8 million. No doubt there were plenty of Lost and Desperate Housewives fans who tuned in this year in hopes of seeing their favorites win.

Still, many TV critics seemed disappointed. ”If you strangle, then smother, your TV in this country, do you go to jail?” wrote the apoplectic Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Watching Gary Dourdan and Macy Gray sing the Jeffersons theme in front of a clip of Weezie pummeling George with a pillow, Seattle Post-Intelligencer critic Melanie McFarland wrote, ”I imagined doing that to Ken Ehrlich, the producer responsible for this drivel.” The most enthusiastic review may have come from Washington Post critic Tom Shales, damning the show with faint praise by calling the broadcast ”one of the more nearly entertaining and least irritating Emmycasts in memory.”

And then there were the voters’ picks, which critics agreed provided one upset after another. Who expected Patricia Arquette to beat Glenn Close or Mariska Hargitay for the dramatic actress prize? Or James Spader to beat Hugh Laurie for Dramatic Actor? Or Everybody Loves Raymond to beat both Housewives and Arrested Development for Best Comedy? ”At least for the moment, you are now officially wackier and less predictable than those Hollywood Foreign Press dudes and their offbeat ol’ Golden Globes,” wrote the Hollywood Reporter‘s Ray Richmond.

Of course, some of those surprises were pleasant ones, like Felicity Huffman beating her favored Housewives costars Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross for lead comedy actress. And there were some strangely entertaining moments, like William Shatner and Frederica von Stade’s Star Trek duet, or Blue Man Group’s presentation of the Reality Competition Series prize.

Tell us, PopWatchers, what did you like and dislike about the Emmy show? How do you feel about the list of winners?

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
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  • Albert

    Kristen Bell did an awesome performance of the FAME! theme song. Nobody is mentioning how she was robbed of the Emmy Idol. Totally underrated.

  • BoxOfficeGoddess

    Best Moments:
    1) Jon Stewart’s “topical, yet edgy” censored rant. Hilarious, especially, “Don’t you watch…Two and a Half Men” and “George Bush hates black…Sabbath.”
    2) David Letterman paying tribute to Johnny Carson. It was nice to see David finally show up at an awards show. He’s been in hiding ever since he hosted the Oscars.
    3)The writer’s montages for Writing in a Musical or Variety show. I loved Ali G’s porn star list and in years past I loved it when “The Daily Show” used footage of “The Price is Right” when listing thier writing staff. It’s always a bit of goofy, juvenille fun.

  • BoxOfficeGoddess

    Worst Moments
    1) Pretty much every time an envelope was opened. James Spader over Hugh Laurie and Ian McShane? Tony Shaloub over Jason Bateman and Zack Braff? Doris Roberts over Jessica Walter? And how come Liza Minelli didn’t get an Emmy nod for guest appearance? Her Lucille II is hilarious!
    2) All the “Desperate Housewives” fighting jokes. It’s been old for a while.
    3) No red carpet coverage on CBS, just the show starting at 8. I don’t have cable, so I missed the fashion parade and that’s half the reason for turning in!

  • ger

    You’re right Albert, nor should anyone mention Kristen Bell’s performance.

  • Brandon

    Hugh Laurie and House was the best reason to watch television over the past year. I like James Spader, but please. At least if Ian McShane would have won over Laurie it would have been understandable. Loved the Zach Braff Brittish bit and the hilarious Conan O’brien writer’s montage.

  • nessa

    The best moment was when Charles Evans the little boy from New Orleans came out with the kid from “Everybody Hates Chris” to talk about the Hurricane and helping Habitat for Hummanity.
    The newscaster montage of Dan, Peter and Tom was moving.
    I was so happy to see Dave Letterman doing the Carson tribute and not Jay Leno who is just a bag of gas.
    Ellen was a huge disapointment. I expected more from her.

  • Will and Michael

    Kristen Bell should take singing lessons! Maybe from the Donald? Just a suggestion.
    We love Marcia Cross!!!!

  • Kyle

    Conan is always frickin’ hilarious. He’s so underrated. He should host an awards show soon, because he is always so funny. I loved his video for Best Writing. It was almost as funny as a previous one where they named all the writers while he was going around yelling at each one individually. I can’t wait until Conan is at the helm of the Tonight Show. Good times are in store.

  • Dawn

    Best moments for me:
    1. David Letterman’s articulate tribute to Carson. I too appreciated his doing it rather than Leno. I also liked the props Jon Stewart gave Letterman when accepting his own award later on. It’s always nice to see Letterman get respect from other talented talk show people.
    2. The tribute to Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Peter Jennings was very touching, although a little long.
    3. I was moved by the young boys talking about Habitat for Humanity. That star of “Chris” is so calm and mature for his age!
    4. Any sight of Zach Braff, a Lost cast member, and Mariska Hargitay was great!
    5. Braff’s British joke was fun. Also liked Conan’s list of writers montage.
    Bummers & surprises:
    1. James Spader’s & William Shatner’s wins. However, I enjoyed Spader’s speech, referring to his father. That was nice.
    2. Patricia Arquette’s win was a shock to me, and I wasn’t happy (I’m an SVU fan), but I appreciated her thoughtful speech too. Is it just me or were there many great acceptance speeches this year?
    3. Sad to see Scrubs so completely at the bottom of the totem pole for best comedy. It’s like the show barely exists but for its faithful fans.
    4. Opening song was EMBARRASSING to watch! Fitting in rhymes about t.v. shows & stars, ouch!

  • Julia

    Best moments-
    1.) Zach Braff and Hugh Laurie presenting…wish I could have seen the pair of them with Emmys as well.
    2.) Felicity Huffman saving Eva Longoria’s sorry butt after her joke fell completely flat with the crowd. “Clunk!”
    3.) Lost winning for best drama. It’s actually a bit of a surprise they managed to pull it off- with Everybody Loves Raymond winning so many posthumous awards, I was almost expecting Six Feet Under to take the prize.
    4.) Jon Stewart’s pretaped rant. Hilarious. Why can’t he and the other Daily Show correspondents host the show?
    Worst Moments-
    1.) The pair of Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts winning over Jeffery Tambor and Jessica Walter. Ugh.
    2.) The musical numbers. Do I have to say anything else?
    3.) James Spader winning Best Dramatic Actor. Come on, Emmy voters! It was funny the first time, but now it’s just annoying- especially since Spader beat out the far more deserving trio of Hugh Laurie, Ian McShane, and Kiefer Sutherland.
    4.) Quentin Tarentino presenting. Not only can the man not read a teleprompter, but he just would not stop rambling! I love his movies as much as the next person, but that was just embarrasing.

  • dygla

    IMHO, I loved the opening song with Earth, Wind and Fire with the BEP. It was kind of lame, but in a funny kind of way. I’m still singing the song today!!! Again, having the Emmy Idol was kind of lame too, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Kristen Bell is a wonderful singer, I thought for sure she would win–but as Trump always tells us, he excels at everything he does. I also didn’t know that Gary Dourdan had such a great voice.

  • dygla

    I was mostly happy with the winners, but I would have been happier with Hugh Laurie and Glenn Close winning. Don’t get me wrong, I watch and love both Medium and Boston Legal, but I didn’t feel it was necessary to reward Spader and Shatner AGAIN!!!! Very happy to see Felicty Huffman win, I’ve loved her since her Sports Night days. Next year, maybe Will Arnett and David Cross can be nominated too (with the Raymond guys gone) and someone else can get a chance (Jessica Walter???!!!)

  • Dan

    Yes, the opening was a disaster for all involved save watching Doris Roberts dance.
    Yes, “Raymond” was a surprise win, but anyone who watched the 9th season know how brilliant it was. People, it’s nearly impossible for a show to be so fresh after that many years.
    Yes, “Arrested” also deserved it, but I think writing for 6 lead characters with the self-imposed restrictions of writing a “TV CLASSIC” (think Nick at Nite, a show free of easy pop culture references) is even more challenging than the anything-goes style of “Arrested.” Please don’t get me wrong–I’m in awe of “AD.” But I also revere Raymond.
    “Desperate” is a great soap opera. Again, I repeat — soap opera. At best, it should be nominated in the drama category.
    Felicity deserved her win. She can do no wrong.
    Ellen’s monologue got back on track after a roughish start. She brings so much warmth to the ceremony, but I agree that the “bits” didn’t work so well.
    All in all entertaining, if you’re watching it on Tivo and fastforwarding the three hours down to 1:15.

  • Chancey

    Best Part:
    I didn’t watch the show all.
    Worst Part:
    I missed Jon Stewart, apparently he was the best part of the show.

  • Kiel

    I dislike fake blogs.

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