Tina Fey is Emmy’s new golden girl.
NBC’s “30 Rock,” which she created, was named top comedy series at the 60th annual awards Sunday night. Fey won top comedy actress and writer.
Fey thanked her parents “for somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate with my looks and abilities. Well done. That is what all parents should do.”
Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock” was named outstanding comedy actor. “This is the greatest job I’ve ever had in my life,” he said.
AMC’s “Mad Men” was honored as best drama series. The top drama acting prizes went to Glenn Close of FX’s “Damages” and Bryan Cranston of AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”
The night’s other big winner was HBO’s “John Adams,” which received statuettes for miniseries, writing, lead actor Paul Giamatti, lead actress Laura Linney and supporting actor Tom Wilkinson.
“I’m living proof that anybody can play the president,” said Giamatti, who portrayed the country’s second president.
CBS’ “The Amazing Race” was named top reality competition for the sixth time.
Jeff Probst of CBS’ “Survivor” took the honor as reality host.
There was a strong political flavor to the night.
“John Adams” writer Kirk Ellis thanked HBO and producers for “giving me this amazing opportunity to talk about a period in our history when articulate men articulated complex thoughts in complete sentences.” ABC cut him off.
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” won the variety-series award for a sixth consecutive year. “I really look forward to the next administration, whoever it is,” Jon Stewart said. “I have nothing to follow that up with. I’m just saying I really look forward to the next administration.”
Linney of “John Adams” took a swipe at Republicans by saluting community organizers who helped found the country.
HBO’s “Recount” was selected top TV movie; the docudrama retraces Florida’s role in the 2000 presidential election.
Steve Martin presented a special award to Tommy Smothers, who said, “There’s nothing more scary than watching ignorance in action. So I dedicate this Emmy to all people who feel compelled to speak out and are not afraid to speak to power.”
Martin Sheen, who played a U.S. president in “The West Wing,” encouraged everyone to vote Nov. 4.
In supporting awards, Jeremy Piven of HBO’s “Entourage” collected his third consecutive for comedy actor. “To be a working actor is an unbelievable gift. None of this is lost on me,” he said.
The other winners in the supporting-acting categories were surprises. Jean Smart took the comedy actress award for ABC’s “Samantha Who?” The drama winners were Dianne Wiest of HBO’s “In Treatment” and Zeljko Ivanek of FX’s “Damages.”
Dame Eileen Atkins of PBS’s “Cranford” was chosen best supporting actress in a miniseries.
The Emmy telecast was an uneven affair. The opening was atrocious. The hosts were the five nominees for reality host. “We have absolutely nothing for you,” Jeff Probst said. “The government can’t even bail us out of this,” quipped Howie Mandel. Tom Bergeron and William Shatner pulled a tux off Heidi Klum. In his acceptance speech, Piven observed: “What if I just kept talking for 12 minutes? What would happen? That was the opening.”
The show, marking 60 years, recalled famous series and sets. The cast of “Laugh-In” reunited. Josh Groban rushed through a frantic medley of TV themes.
The amusement came from a few presenters. Ricky Gervais offered pointers on delivering a good speech: “Don’t cry. Pathetic. It’s just an award.” He also picked on a stone-faced Steve Carell. Julia Louis-Dreyfus drew comparisons between the Emmys and “The Contest” episode of “Seinfeld.”