Happy Emmy Night, Everybody!
Are we all excited for the accelerated 55 minute show that will be over in time so that everybody can watch the penultimate episode of “Breaking Bad”?
Anyway, this’ll be where I am for the next three hours. Follow along! Comment below! And check out my Full 2013 Emmy Predictions with Sepinwall so that you can make fun of how ineffectively psychic I am!
7:58 p.m. ET. The Jets/Bills game wraps up with a minute to spare, simultaneously sparing CBS a Heidi Game Redux, but also denying CBS the ratings push from NFL overrun into the Emmys.
8:01 p.m. Or maybe we won’t start on time. Apparently CBS has to do its NFL wrap-up, logo-wise.
8:04 p.m. I like how CBS is promoting the stars doing “Superstar Tributes,” not the dead people they’re doing tributes to. But we’ll deal with that later.
8:04 p.m. We begin with a pre-filmed NPH intro featuring Les Moonves as a security guard. All around America, people are saying, “Who is that with Doogie Howser?” The gimmick is that in preparation for the Emmys, NPH is binge-watching a whole season of TV shows. It’s a coincidence that all of the initial shows he’s watching are on either CBS or Showtime. Eventually he gets to a few outside shows. Then NPH begins to suspect that the TV shows are watching him? Or something? I really have no clue what’s happening. The TV shows start fighting with each other. Or something. “I love television, because it’s more than entertainment. It’s education,” NPH says, before cutting to a “Duck Dynasty” clip. “Is this really the best use of our time?” Kevin Bacon’s character from “The Following” says.
8:09 p.m. That was awful. So… Now what, NPH? It’s a nice burgundy tux. “For our younger audience, that’s that thing you watch on your phones,” NPH says of “television.” A joke about TV making people in the front row rich is followed by a long, awkward, lingering, pervy short of Alec Baldwin and his underage daughter Ireland. “These are remarkable times for television,” NPH says. A not-funny joke about watching “AHS” on his contacts fizzles, but at least the audience is willing to clap for itself. “There’s something for everyone,” NPH says. At least we get an “Orange is the New Black” reference and a not-funny Paula Dean joke about “Orange is the New African American.”
8:11 p.m. Oh! This was all a joke about how bad it was being? Jimmy Kimmel is down in the audience cat-calling. I assume he’s doing this because everybody knows this is failing. “Enjoy every second of this, because I think there’s a good chance they won’t ask you back next year,” Jimmy Kimmel says. He’s joined by Jane Lynch, who hosted two years ago. “I wasn’t asked back because I’m a woman,” Lynch says. There’s some gay-themed banter, before Jimmy Fallon shows up. Fallon wants NPH to do a song-and-dance thing, which is really what we’re all waiting for. “I am not going to do anything like that,” NPH says, before Conan O’Brien interrupts. O’Brien is being the grumpy old man, remembering back when he hosted, “People had plenty of storage. They didn’t have to fight wars over it.”
8:14 p.m. Kevin Spacey in the crowd addresses the audience. “It’s all going according to my plan. I was promised the hosting job this year, but they turned me down,” Spacey drawls, “House of Cards”-style. He’s plotting for everybody to fail in revenge. That’s the first genuinely funny thing next. “We’ve got some advice for you,” Tina Fey and Amy Poehler say from the front row. “Take your pants off!” they yell. “And twerk it… I come to award shows for the twerking,” Fey says. “It might be degrading, but we would be degrateful,” Amy says. When the hosts of a different awards show are the best part of the intro to your award show… That’s bad.
8:16 p.m. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are also our first presenters. They’re presenting Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. My vote here? Anna Chlumsky. But what do I know? Your winner? Merritt Wever! Our first surprise of the night. That’s both a total shock, but also totally fun and not at all undeserved. “Thank you so much! I’ve gotta go, bye,” she says. And Merrit Wever just won the night.
8:22 p.m. Still giggling at Merrit Wever. Still annoyed at NPH and that intro.
8:23 p.m. “Hey there, we’re back from commercial. For those of you watching on your DVR, I never left,” NPH says. Our next presenters? Hip-hop legends Ladies Love Cool James and Men Love Malin Akerman. The Outstanding Comedy Writing nominees had to “open up.” Louis C.K. says that his co-writer Pamela Adlon is a little funnier and she agrees. Several writers say their favorite stars to write for and other stars get annoyed. Tina Fey thanks us for her people’s choice award. The inner is… Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield for the “30 Rock” finale. Tracey Wigfield, who almost certainly deserves her own TV show, apologizes to her family for beating Louis. “Nobody said you could talk, Tracey,” Tina says, stepping in.
8:27 p.m. Goodness. A Thai ping-pong sex act joke leads to Emily and Zooey Deschanel presenting Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. This should be Adam Driver, but I can be OK with several other possibilities. The winner is… Tony Hale for “Veep.” That’s another not-undeserving surprise. Good for Tony Hale. “Oh my God. Thanks a lot. Oh man. Holy cow,” Hale says, calling it “mind-blowing.” He also thanks various members of his family and his “Veep” family. Aww. They play him off. Come on! That wasn’t an excessively long speech!
8:29 p.m. Robin Williams is here to pay tribute to Jonathan Winters, his mentor. Robin speaks quickly and did several voices, so it was also a tribute to Robin Williams. And do these tributes not include clips of the people having tribute paid to them?
8:36 p.m. NPH calls Jon Hamm and Alec Baldwin his biological parents. They’re presenting next. Jon Hamm’s Beard, however, has already won all the Emmys. Their schtick is quick and it isn’t painful. They’re presenting Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. The winner… Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep.” This is her fourth win and her first time winning twice for the same role. Poor Amy Poehler, but also go Julia Louis Dreyfus. Hilariously, Tony Hale comes out on-stage and stands behind her, “Veep” style. AWESOME. He holds her purse and and everything. He even whispers people who need to be thanked in her ear. For the 35 viewers who watch “Veep” and this telecast, this is great. And Anna Chlumsky is out in the audience on her phone, also in character. That was beautiful.
8:40 p.m. Will Arnett and Margo Martindale show up to plug for their fart-tastic new comedy “The Millers.” He jokes about how he doesn’t want to plug for “The Millers” and she goads him into it. She’s somewhat in character, though I like to think that she’s actually in her “Justified” character, which makes it much more threatening. They’re introducing Melissa Leo, who who won an Emmy last week at the Creative Arts Emmys. She’s wearing pants. This is courageous. She’s presenting the Comedy Directing Emmy. “When you say this line, think of nothing,” Paris Barclay says of his favorite bit of directing advice. Gail Mancuso is sitting on a rooftop with birds. It’s… weird. The winner is… Gail Mancuso for “Modern Family.” This is only the second time a woman has won the Comedy Directing Emmy. So yay! “Oh my God. This is the happiest night of my life,” Mancuso says. She starts to praise her teachers and the music starts playing immediately.
8:45 p.m. Jimmy Kimmel and Sofia Vergara’s cleavage are presenting something and doing banter about how laugher is not, in fact, the best medicine. “Laughter kills innocent people,” Vegara says. They’re presenting Lead Actor in a Comedy. Your winner? Jim Parsons for “The Big Bang Theory,” his third win in this category. “My heart! Oh my heart,” he says. “I’m very aware of how exceedingly fortunate I am,” Parsons continues. Louis C.K. is 0-3 tonight, incidentally. “It’s so silly to be emotional, isn’t it?” Parson says, seemingly on the verge of tears. The music stars. “You know what? I will. I’ll wrap it up,” he says.
8:48 p.m. Rob Reiner is here for our second tribute, this to TV mother-in-law Jean Stapleton. Reiner is choked up when he talks about the death of Edith Bunker on TV and then Stapleton’s death. Sniffle. Again, though, no footage.
8:55 p.m. Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are presenting next. They’re introducing Sir Elton John. He’s here to present a new song that *reminds* him of Liberace. It’s called “Home Again” and really has nothing to do with Liberace. Surely he could have just rephrased the words of “Candle in the Wind” around Liberace?
9:00 p.m. Yep. The Emmys are practically begging people to turn away for “Breaking Bad.” This has nothing to do with Liberace, nothing to do with TV and nothing to do with the people this night is supposed to be honoring. Blech.
9:03 p.m. They really did just cut to Bryan Cranston in the audience. Excellent.
9:03 p.m. Damon and Douglas are presenting the Lead Actress in a Movie/Miniseries prize. The winner *should* be Elisabeth Moss, but it’s a really strong category. Other than Helen Mirren, I won’t be annoyed with any win. The winner is… Laura Linney for “The Big C: Hereafter.” Laura couldn’t be here tonight. “She’s such a great actress that she didn’t need to show up,” Damon zings. I’ll bet Matt Damon fast-forwards through those “Downton Abbey” intros, too.
9:10 p.m. The cast of “How I Met Your Mother” shows up to tell us about the danger of EHD – “Excessive Hosting Disorder.” It’s pretty much straight out of “HIMYM” including misogyny. It’s confusing the way sometimes they’re acting like they’re talking about Neil and sometimes Neil is being Barney. Because Neil Patrick Harris isn’t having an award show for the women he’s going to bang on Arbor Day. Arsenio Hall makes an appearance. And there’s a Ryan Seacrest joke. The Ryan Seacrest Center For Excessive Hosting has a title card at the end, but I can’t read the fine print.
9:13 p.m. Blair Underwood and Connie Britton are presenting Writing For a Drama Series. Perhaps “Breaking Bad” can win an Emmy while all of the “Breaking Bad” fans are watching “Breaking Bad” instead of an Emmy? The winner, of course, is the late Henry Bromell for “Homeland.” Henry’s wife accepts the award simply, but obviously full of emotion.
9:14 p.m. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama series should go to Anna Gunn, but if they snub her now, “Breaking Bad” fans won’t know. The winner is… ANNA GUNN for “Breaking Bad.” Awesome. Yay. “Woo. Bryan Cranston just told me to breath,” she says. She gets played off. Because we had to give Elton John five minutes to sing.
9:17 p.m. Jane Lynch is doing the tribute to Cory Monteith, a tribute that has made fans of Jack Klugman and Larry Hagman rather annoyed. “Cory was a beautiful soul. He was not perfect,” Lynch says. She talks about addiction and thwarted potential, which is really why this tribute was necessary. Maybe Cory Monteith didn’t need a tribute, but what Jane Lynch had to say about him? Well, it had merit in being said and being heard.
9:24 p.m. Wow. NPH says “Screw you” to the “Breaking Bad” fans by starting his musical number. Now. In the middle of the show. Fittingly, it’s called “The Number in the Middle.” “Opening numbers are so old hat/Even Hugh Jackman does stuff like that,” he sings. He’s surrounded by many dancers and then The Emmy Gold Dancers arrive. This number is being horribly directed, so I can’t tell how many of them are “So You Think You Can Dance” veterans. NPH is joined by “Dr. Horrible” pal Nathan Fillion and by Sarah Silverman. Silverman jokes that because they’re live she’s going to try not to say “Vagina” on TV. And guess what? She does. “Now there’s three minutes fewer to go,” they sing. That was lots of fun. It wasn’t an opening number. But it was fun.
9:28 p.m. Mindy Kaling and Steven Amell — who Mindy calls “Arrow” — are presenting next. The teleprompter breaks down before Mindy can make her joke about how “Arrow” is a reality show. That wasn’t funny. Emmy producers, you’ve just got your name on Oliver Queen’s list. The Reality Series winner is… “The Voice.” Down goes “Amazing Race.” Down goes “Amazing Race.” Down goes “Amazing Race.” It takes hours for the entire production team to make it onto the stage.
9:35 p.m. Kerry Washington and Awesome Trailblazer Diahann Carroll are presenting. “The men are much more beautiful than when I was doing television. I don’t know where you came from, but I’m very happy to see you,” Carroll says, before making a Lloyd Nolan joke. CBS viewers dig that. They’re presenting Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama. Will this be another “Breaking Bad” winner? I’d imagine it will be. The winner is… Bobby Cannavale for “Boardwalk Empire.” Wow. There’s another stunner, especially given his underwhelming submission episode. [I actually thought Cannavale was great on “Boardwalk Empire,” but he didn’t pick his best episode.] “I didn’t write anything down,” Cannavale says. “I can’t believe I get to be mentioned with these other incredible actors,” Cannavale says, calling Mandy Patinkin the first person he ever saw on stage. Rose Byrne is apparently the love of his life. That’s nice!
9:40 p.m. Dylan McDermott and Julianna Margulies are presenting Lead Actor in a Drama. Lots of good performances here. The winner is… Jeff Daniels for “The Newsroom.” Oh. Come. On. “Well crap. Didn’t expect this,” Jeff Daniels says, remember his Best Actor Over 50 win from the AARP for “The Squid and the Whale.” He disses the AARP. Wow. You do not want to diss the AARP on CBS. Side note, I think people predicting a “Breaking Bad” rout tonight are probably going to be disappointed.
9:43 p.m. And now, a tribute to 1963. JFK. The March on Washington. And The Beatles.
9:46 p.m. And now… to pay tribute to 1963… A woman who personifies 1963… Carrie Underwood. Singing a song from 1965.
9:50 p.m. Incidentally, these are some confusing awards tonight, eh? I… don’t know what to say about any of it.
9:53 p.m. The Accountants! Plus, Bob Newhart!
9:54 p.m. Jimmy Fallon is up. The microphone is going up and down and Fallon is having a hard time praising the actresses nominated for Lead Actress in a Drama. Way to undermine the actresses! Is this going to continue our evening of stunners? Nope. Claire Danes for “Homeland.” This is her third Emmy. Claire begins by saluting the “Homeland” writers and, very nicely, she takes the time to honor Henry Bromell. “He was a brilliant person and so kind and we think of him every day,” she says. The music waited until she got to her “Homeland” team. “Thank you for making me so whole and happy so I can be so entirely unhappy in the land of make believe,” she tells hubby Hugh Dancy.
9:54 p.m. Did NPH call Dean Norris “Dean Morris”? That what I heard. Or maybe I’m just not paying attention anymore because… Emilia Clarke. KHALEESI. They’re introducing Dan Bucatinsky and Carrie Preston, who won last week for guest starring and are presenting Outstanding Directing for a Drama. Your winner… David Fincher for “House of Cards.” He’s such a good director he didn’t need to show up.
10:00 p.m. Bob Newhart is back, along with Jim Parsons. Bob Newhart just won his first Emmy last week and the crowd stands for the legend. Yay. Nice moment. “I don’t know if that’s a compliment, or if you’re just trying to rub it in,” Newhart says. Time for Writing for a Variety Series. “Colbert Report” introduces its writers with NSA surveillance footage. “The Daily Show” introduces its writers with MUPPETS. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” writers are introduced by Oprah! The “Portlandia” writers are introduced to a crowd presumably in Portland. The “Real Time With Bill Maher” writers all look like “Toddles and Tiaras” contestants. The “SNL” writers were all at Stefon’s wedding. And the winner is… “The Colbert Report.” Stephen Colbert runs up and hugs Newhart. “The Emmys are so good this year. There’s something special about it. I don’t know what,” Colbert says, before starting by thanking “The Daily Show.” He thanks his wife for being “so cruel and sexy.”
10:06 p.m. The DGA is powerful enough that Directing in a Variety Series has to be in the main telecast. The winner… Don Roy King for “Saturday Night Live.” He won for the Justin Timberlake episode. Aw. He makes his daughter cry. He calls his 93-year-old aunt “as sharp and pretty as Petty White.” And he gets played off as well.
10:08 p.m. Michael J. Fox pays tribute to “Family Ties” creator Gary David Goldberg.
10:13 p.m. Nearly time for “Breaking Bad” fans to come back. They’re going to join the show for Choreography! Neil Patrick Harris surprised the nominees back in July and told them that they’re going to have a part in the primetime show and they’re also going to choreograph a number for the show. They all sat together at a table and joint-choreographed a bit featuring NPH. Oh good. More NPH singing. In this case, he’s starting with “Luck Be a Lady.” They’ve got dances relating to various nominated shows, too. It’s simultaneously awesome and weird, because why is NPH singing “Luck Be a Lady” over the “Mad Men” score. And… DANCING GIMPS. And now we’re singing “Get Lucky,” because… Why not? OK. The “Breaking Bad” number with the two guys in the HAZMAT suits and the periodic table letters was my favorite part. This was fun and energetic and much better than Elton John, which is the standard I hold things to now.
10:19 p.m. Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum are presenting the actual choreography prizes. The winner is Derek Hough for “Dancing with the Stars.” Snort. But his sister is very pleased.
10:21 p.m. Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders are presenting next. They’re presenting Variety Series. “The Daily Show” wins this one every year. Anything else would be astounding. The winner is… HOLY COW. “The Colbert Report.” Wow. That is easily the biggest surprise of a night of surprises. No quibbling. It was time for something else to win. Colbert begins, properly, by thanking Jon Stewart first. “Jon never told me how good this feels, actually,” Colbert says.
10:24 p.m. Edie Falco paying tribute to James Gandolfini.
10:29 p.m. Yeah. These Shemar Moore live segments have been just horrible. And they’ve taken up at least two or three minutes that could have gone to speeches. Or… anything.
10:32 p.m. “This just in no one in America is winning their Emmy office pool,” NPH observes. He’s not wrong. Oh look. It’s the stars of CBS’ “Mom.” We’ve got Outstanding Writing for a Movie/Miniseries. It should be Abi Morgan. It will not be Abi Morgan. Instead, it’s… ABI MORGAN FOR “THE HOUR.” Oh, I’m doing a happy dance. “This is such an incredible honor,” Morgan says. Actually she probably says “honour.” She’s happy this will prove to the immigration officers that she actually was at the Emmys.
10:35 p.m. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries time. Rob Lowe wasn’t even nominated. That’s sad. But the winner is… Farmer Hoggett! It’s James Cromwell for “AHS: Coven.” “It’s very strange,” he says. It is, indeed, strange. We all expected “Behind the Candelabra” to sweep the Movie/Miniseries field and it has not. At all.
10:36 p.m. Kaley Cuoco and Academy President Bruce Rosenblum are a logical pairing. “I’m here for the sex appeal,” he says. The camera finds Kevin Spacey and he smacks it out of the way, lovingly, with his ticket? Or his Emmy speech? Whatever it was, it was awesome.
10:38 p.m. After out specially selected tribute, we now get a full Necrology, accompanied by cello and purely muted apologies. It’s worth noting the sheer number of absolute icons who died this year, including Larry Hagman, Annette Funicello, Roger Ebert, Charles Durning, Jack Klugman, Ray Dolby, Julie Harris and, an unexpected anchor, Andy Williams. Jack Klugman seemed to win the “cheers” portion of the Necrology, which we didn’t need to hear, thank you very much.
10:46 p.m. Andre Braugher and Mark Harmon are having trouble with their teleprompter. They’re presenting Directing for a Movie/Miniseries. I’d be astounded if Steven Soderbergh didn’t win this. But I’ve been astounded before. The winner is… Steven Soderbergh for “Behind the Candelabra.” And he’s actually here. Soderbergh apologizes for all the people he’s going to snub, but says “If Michael and Matt don’t show up with those performances, we don’t have a movie,” he says. And that’s it.
10:47 p.m. Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries time. The winner is Ellen Burstyn for “Political Animals.” And you know what? That one’s exactly right. She was great on “Political Animals.” “I’m just glad I was on-screen long enough for you to vote for me,” Burstyn cracks, referring to a previous Emmy scandal. That’s very good. She closes by thanking Greg Berlanti who “had the wisdom to write a woman over 65, who still had a lot of juice.”
10:54 p.m. We’ve got a ton of awards still to give out, don’t we?
10:55 p.m. Bryan Cranston and Claire Danes are a powerhouse presenting pair. He congratulates her on her win. He says he still has his fingers crossed in his category? Does he mean Drama Series? Or is he pretending Jeff Daniels didn’t happen. Time for Lead Actor in a Movie/Miniseries. No surprise… It’s Michael Douglas for “Behind the Candelabra.” Matt Damon hugs him. “This is a two-hander…” he says, which cracks Matt Damon up. “And Matt, you’re only as good as your other hand,” Douglas says. “You really deserve half of this. Do you want the bottom? Or do you want the top?” Douglas says. Well played, Michael Douglas. VERY interesting. Douglas thanks Catherine Zeta-Jones as his wife.
10:59 p.m. On to Miniseries and Movie, which is another no-brainer, I assume. The winner… “Behind the Candelabra.” Even if I had other hypothetical preferences, I’m perfectly good with this. Jerry Weintraub accepts and distributes credit.
11:05 p.m. Why is Will Farrell closing the night? With three children? In beach clothes? I… don’t understand. This is schtick you do earlier in the show, not for the last two awards when you’re already running behind. “Unfortunately, Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith dropped out at the last second,” he jokes, trying to explain the bit.
11:06 p.m. The winner for Outstanding Comedy Series is… “Modern Family.” Well, after all of those upsets? We end with complacency and a fourth straight win for “Modern Family.” “This may be the saddest Emmys of all time, but we could not be happier,” Steve Levitan says. “None of us grew up feeling like winners, so thank you to the bullies, to the popular kids, to the gym teachers who taunted us, who rejected us, who made fun of the way we ran. Without you, we never would have gone into comedy,” he closes.
11:09 p.m. The winner for Outstanding Drama Series is… “Breaking Bad.” It got the loudest applause from the crowd and it wins its first Outstanding Drama Emmy. “Holy crap. Man, I did not see this coming. I thought this was going to be ‘House of Cards,'” Vince Gilligan says, praising the other nominees as well and celebrating the Golden Age of Television.
That’s all, folks. No closing musical number. Thanks for following along all night!