By Lea Michelle Cash
The 58th Primetime Emmy Awards was held recently at the legendary Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. I always look forward to going to this special affair. Being able to meet and greet the outstanding professionals whose work is presented on television, (in front of and behind the camera) night after night, while they stroll down the red carpet-or give you a few moments of their time backstage in the press area is a welcomed opportunity because this is the most important night in television.
This year I had high hopes for award winning Black actresses Alfre Woodard and Chandra Wilson. Woodard received two Emmy nominations: The Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of Betty Applegate in ABC's Desperate Housewives and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her portrayal as Mrs. Brown in "The Water is Wide," A Hallmark Presentation on CBS. However, in those two categories, Megan Mullally, took the first award for her portrayal as Karen on NBC's Will and Grace. Kelly MacDonald took the other for her portrayal as Gina in HBO's "The Girl in the Café."
Wilson received the Outstanding Supporting Actress nomination for her portrayal of Dr. Bailey on ABC's hit show "Grey's Anatomy." Blythe Danner won that award for her portrayal as Izzy Huffstodt in Showtime's "Huff" in that category.
Tears and heart felt dialogue was experienced on stage and back stage when tributes were paid to the late Aaron Spelling who died in June. Joan Collins (Dynasty) Heather Locklear (Melrose Place) and Stephen Collins (7th Heaven) delivered moving tributes. Time seemed to have stopped when the original Charlie Angels, Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith graced the stage and delivered tributes in honor of Spelling.
But the night belonged to legendary musical producer, host and starmaker Dick Clark. He received a long standing ovation even from the press corp backstage. Clark, who suffered a stroke in June 2004, made an appearance on last year's New Years' Rockin Eve but hadn't made another public appearance until now. His speech was slightly slurred but he spoke from the heart as he teared up reminding everyone how happy he was to live out his dream. American Idol's Simon Cowell delivered Clark's introduction and Barry Manilow delivered a musical performance.
Jeremy Pivens, who won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series seemed to be another underdog favorite. He won for his portrayal as Ari Gold on "Entourage"
The television programs that took top honors for the night were: The Office-Outstanding Comedy Series, NBC; 24-Outstanding Drama Series, FOX; Elizabeth I-Outstanding Miniseries, HBO.