Emmy Wrap-UpBy bilyfoster
EMMY WRAP 2012 – ON-STAGE AND BACKSTAGE
The 39th Annual Daytime Emmy’s were almost never going to be pulled off as a live television event! But at the eleventh hour HLN stepped in and gave the daytime community a home to celebrate their accomplishments in front of each other and in front of their fans who were watching on their television sets. After the red carpet, journalists from various mainstream and soap outlets man their stations to talk with the winners on the big night, shortly after they receive their accolades on the live telecast. The night was filled with a few surprise winners, a tribute to All My Children and One Life to Live that fell flat, which was disappointing because so many wanted to have a proper salute to these legendary iconic soap operas. But with limited time to pull the ceremonies together, three weeks to be exact, this is what was given. In the end, many of the stars could not have been more pleased with the ceremonies this year, as opposed to the Las Vegas event in 2011. So let’s take a look at the night’s big winners, and what they had to say both in front of their peers and alone with On-Air On-Soaps in the One-On-One area where we got some face time with some of your favorite stars, and our colleagues in the world of soaps and daytime.
General Hospital took home the gold for the eleventh time in the shows forty-nine year history for Outstanding Drama Series and capped off a night with five wins for Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Supporting Actress for Nancy Lee Grahn, (who was not in attendance), Outstanding Supporting Actor for Jonathan Jackson and the record breaking win by Anthony Geary for Outstanding Lead Actor. General Hospital’s former executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps, made the most touching speech of the night upon accepting the award for the episodes GH won for when she said “This is to a company of actors who have touched so many for so many years, and they have certainly captured mine. Somebody told me that the best stories are the ones that never end. And so from the old guard to the new guard and to all of my friends, keep the magic going.” Of course, Phelps was talking about the passing of the torch to new GH EP, Frank Valentini, who was also in attendance.
Press Room Photo Gallery
When GH’s Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer) accepted his seventh Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor, he, and we, were shocked that it was the first award presented of the night, but that didn’t stop the indomitable Geary from delivering a great speech which included a nod to the other nominees in his category, “To John McCook, Bobby Woods, Darnell Williams, Maurice Benard, you are all dear friends of mine and I admire you all very much. And I feel a little bit guilty here. I think you were all robbed. I want to say this is amazing to start the evening. We usually end it and the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 is flashing in my face by now. So I don’t really know how to handle this except to say it’s a good way for GH to start. We have 23 nominations which is pretty amazing since last year we were almost canceled in favor of a surefire ratings bonanza, “Celebrity Boob Jobs Gone Wrong”, I think it was. I’d like to thank the hardworking cast, crew, and production team of GH, and Jill Farren Phelps for over three decades of friendship and support. Bob Guza for throwing my character into the existential abyss and giving me the blackest story I could ever hope for. I would like to thank all my directors who always seem to come down on my side when the chips are down. Finally, to the finest acting team and acting family a guy could have: Jonathan Jackson, Julie Berman, Nathan Parsons and the incomparable Jane Elliot.”
On-Air On-Soaps caught up later with Geary in the One-On-One area where he admitted, “I was totally caught off guard that the Lead Actor award was first. I thought, ‘Wait, wait, wait. Did I just lose two hours? What happened here?’ (Laughs) And then it’s always a shock and always a joy to be acknowledged by my peers in this way.” Geary also gave perhaps the biggest compliment anyone could ask for when speaking about his award winning scenes between Luke and Lucky in the bordello and working with now five-time Emmy winner, Jonathan Jackson. Tony revealed, “Jonathan Jackson is the finest actor I have ever worked with. We trust each other explicitly and there is nothing we can’t reach together. It was very hard to do those scenes in the bordello between Luke and Lucky, and say that ugly stuff to him, but we both felt it and we serviced the material.” In terms of is Geary aware of how accomplished and how highly-regarded he is, the Emmy winner expressed, “I am very aware of what the show has done for me; in terms of my life and my ability to live on two continents and the freedom it has afforded me. It is wonderful to be respected in your chosen profession. For 45 years now I have been an actor, and to be given the opportunity to entertain people is all I ever wanted out of this life.”
Another Emmy first happened during the telecast when The Bold and the Beautiful’s Heather Tom (Katie Logan Spencer) won in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category. Tom has now won Emmys for Younger, Supporting, and Lead Actress. Heather won in a hotly contested category on Emmy night. Upon winning, Heather in her acceptance speech paid a public “thank you” to the daytime genre when she stated, “I am so grateful to call you my friends and colleagues. I am so grateful to the daytime community, and I am so proud of the work we do every day. I think we should all feel that way.” Backstage with On-Air On-Soaps in the One-On-One area, we asked Heather what happened when her name was called. She related, “I was totally shocked, and I really didn’t expect it. I am thrilled and so grateful. I know these women I was nominated with and admire all their work. I thought anyone of them is deserving. I was just so grateful to be in the category and I never thought about winning! We all had so much fun the day before at Laura Wright’s luncheon. It was wonderful to see Erika Slezak again. I am such a huge fan, and I am so lucky to have gotten to work with her on One Life to Live for four years. Laura Wright picked up the tab at the ladies luncheon, and I guess I will be picking up the tab next year.” (Laughs)
Chandler Massey who gave the breakout performance of the year in Will’s coming out story on Days of our Lives, took home the Outstanding Younger Actor prize. An emotional, overwhelmed, but composed Massey addressed the audience with an “Oh my goodness! This is such an honor.” Later, when we spoke to Massey backstage he revealed about his impromptu acceptance speech, “My publicist Jeff Ballard told me to prepare something in case I win, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I forgot to thank my grandfather who was here! You know, the DAYS writing team deserves the credit also for this, because they wrote the story. When I heard my name called, I heard my dad go, ‘Yeah!’ I had tunnel vision and I did not hear anything else. I was stumbling up to the stage and I have not been nervous like that since high school community theater auditions. This Emmy is a testament to the show and the producers who green lit the story and created it and backed it 100%. And without that, this would have been impossible, and it is such an honor to be part of that canvas.” So what did Chandler intend to do with his Emmy? He revealed, “As far as tonight, I am going to sleep with the Emmy, and put on the pillow next to my pillow!”
For Jonathan Jackson, his win as Lucky Spencer on General Hospital was his fifth overall and second in a row in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category. Jackson on stage during his acceptance speech was elated and said, “It’s been 19 years since I started playing Lucky Spencer. I feel just the same as I did when I was 11 year old. This is a testament to Anthony Geary for his humility, love, and graciousness towards me.” Moments after winning, Jackson told On-Air On-Soaps how much it meant to him to receive an Emmy along with Geary, “I love Tony. I was so excited to see him and to have both of us win on the same night is very special. We went to some dark places together over the past year and this is a special moment for him and me.”
Christel Khalil (Lily Winters) of The Young and the Restless won the Outstanding Younger Actress category after four nominations in the category. Backstage, a joyous Khalil exclaimed, “Finally, Finally! It feels great to feel the gold, and finally I have one of these suckers! (Laughs) You know, as soon as I taped the episode I knew I was going to submit that for the Emmys. And what came out of me during those scenes? I did not plan for that to happen. But I knew.” Khail is referring to the emotional scenes where Lily thinks she is seeing her dead husband and losing her sanity, only she was seeing his evil-twin brother!
The shocker of the night that no one expected, and that saw jaws drop in the press room, was the victory by Days of our Lives for the Writing Team honors. With General Hospital and All My Children heavily favored in the category and Y&R on the outside, it did not seem like DAYS stood a chance, but the blue-ribbon panel saw it differently. They awarded the ousted writing regime, headed by Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas Jr., the Emmy. McPherson and Ray Thomas were not in attendance, but one of the long-time staff writers, Rick Draughon was and said to On-Air On-Soaps, “You were shocked? We were shocked! Look, it’s a great thing and it’s long overdue for this show!”
On-Air On-Soaps also had the opportunity to catch up with Susan Lucci and Barbara Walters in the press area. Both of these legendary icons were on hand to present two special tributes. Susan was in charge of the AMC and OLTL tribute, and Barbara was there to honor her creative business partner, Bill Geddie who received the Lifetime Achievement Award. It was Geddie, who along with Walters, launched and has kept The View a vibrant part of the daytime programming landscape. Barbara told On-Air On-Soaps about Bill’s honor, “To deal with all those women on the panel of The View everyday, and to deal with the most relevant topics, and with humor and celebrities, it is Bill who does that! And, we are now being imitated by other daytime programs, and we consider that a great honor.” Susan Lucci offered her thoughts on whether she felt the tribute to the dearly departed All My Children and One Life to Live was effective on stage, when she said, “I think it was. There was so much warmth in the room and it gave a chance for Cameron Mathison, Erika Slezak, and I, to thank the fans and acknowledge all the hard work that goes into all the shows that are on daytime television now, and that were on, just a moment ago.”
And with that, the 39th Daytime Emmy night came to a close. Of course, the parties kicked off afterwards! Y&R and B&B had a party poolside at the Beverly Hilton Hotel where the Emmys were held for the first time. The winning cast of General Hospital partied the night away at the W Hotel in Westwood. The Days of our Lives soiree was at Boa on the Sunset strip, while the hit web series, The Bay had their bash in Beverly Hills, too! All we can say, is thank God, the talented performers and creative talents in the daytime industry had their night of nights. Yes, it was not all perfect, and there was much to be improved upon. But in a time and in a year when daytime took such a hit, it was nice to see everyone in good spirits and looking forward to the future!
Now, check out our photo gallery above of some fantastic moments in the winner’s circle backstage, and the press room!
*To view the Winners/Press Room Photo Gallery click on the NEXT GROUP button located next to the + symbol to see all the images, or you can just let it play as a slideshow.