LAS VEGAS — Despite the dire state of daytime drama following the cancellations of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” the mood was doggedly upbeat at the Daytime Emmy Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday. While I talked to many stars on the red carpet about their sadness over the shrinking number of network daytime dramas (right now there are just four) and their sympathy for unemployed colleagues, that bummer mood was largely put aside when the show began. With bouncy hosting by Wayne Brady and performances by Celine Dion, Penn & Teller and Cirque de Soleil, it was time to get the party started. At least, as long as the party lasts.
Behind the scenes of the 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards
“Criminal Minds” star Shemar Moore came backstage to pay tribute to his roots on “Young and the Restless.” “I miss ‘Y&R” and I will always honor the source,” he said. “Bill Bell, who”s no longer with us, took a chance on me. And he changed my life.” But that doesn”t mean he intends to return. “If I could come back and do a cameo, I would. In my heart, I”d love to go back to the show, but in the politics of the Hollywood game, it doesn”t make a lot of sense. ‘Y&R” is like high school, and I graduated. ‘Criminal Minds” is college. And grad school is going after the same stuff as Denzel [Washington] and Jamie [Foxx].” But if for any reason he were to be flunked out of “Criminal Minds” (he just signed a two year contract to stay on the show), going back wouldn”t be easy. “I can”t now. Darius [McCrary] is playing Malcolm Winters. You aren”t gonna get me hating on my boy.”
Ben Bailey, who was named Outstanding Game Show Host for “Cash Cab,” had a Christine Lahti moment when he won his Emmy. “I was in the bathroom, my pants were open and I was urinating,” he said. Of course, the question is: did he wash his hands? “No, I didn”t and you can print that,” he said. “Anyone else have questions about my bathroom activities?”
Not every nominee – or winner – made the trip to Sin City. Though Ellen Degeneres” show won in the Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment category, the comedienne chose to skip the ceremony. “Ellen likes this to be an award about her staff and her team,” said executive producer Mary Connelly. “She”s shy, and it”s her bowling night.”
Outstanding Supporting Actor winner and “General Hospital” star Jonathan Jackson found out he won in the midst of a Penn & Teller trick which involved stabbing a card with Jackson”s name on it through Teller”s hand. “It was all a blur, to be honest,” he said backstage. “It was part of the magic trick until [presenter] Rachael Ray said my name. My son actually asked me, ‘did that man really get stabbed?”” Jackson, like several other dads in attendance, chose to bring his young kids to the awards. “My wife said, it”s Father”s Day. We have to take the kids. We”ll be creating a memory.” Yes, it will be a memory of a magician getting stabbed in the hand, but it”s definitely memorable.
“Bold and the Beautiful” Outstanding Supporting Actress winner Heather Tom won her third Emmy, but she still hasn”t gotten her thank-yous ironed out quite yet. “I didn”t thank my boyfriend,” she moaned. “So James, I”m thanking you right now.” She did, however, have some vague plans about to do with her award. “I have bookends, so maybe this is a paperweight or a hood ornament or something.”
Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose “The Dr. Oz Show” won in the Outstanding Talk Show/Informative, but backstage he was more interested in finding out if everyone was eating healthy. “What”s in those box lunches?” he asked. “Skip the cookie.” Though he said he feels “honored, not pressured” to be taking over Oprah Winfrey”s time slot in many markets, he did say the Queen of Television might be appearing on his show “sooner than later.” Still, she won”t just show up as a ratings plot. “If she doesn”t think there”s a service to viewers in her doing it, she won”t come on and I won”t blame her.” While Oz took at extreme weight loss shows like “The Biggest Loser” (“I don”t think they”re realistic, but they do provide a service”), he did advise the press room on the best way to lose weight (“Cut 100 calories a day, and you”ll lose 12 to 15 pounds a year without even feeling it.”). And you thought it was just a silly awards show.
Alex Trebek, whose “Jeopardy” tied with “Wheel of Fortune” for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show, may have had the best line of the night. Despite claiming that “I don”t have Pat”s talent for comedy,” he did have a quick rejoinder to a question about how he keeps things fresh on “Jeopardy” after over two decades.
“Drugs,” he said. “Heavy drugs.” Well, we couldn”t blame him for needing a little help to stop putting answers in the form of a question.