The 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards was a night of upset victories, from “Days of Our Lives” winning Outstanding Daytime Drama for the first time in 38 years to “CBS Sunday Morning” beating both “Today” and “Good Morning America” for Outstanding Morning Show.
The most surprising win may have been Ricki Lake for Outstanding Talk Show Host, given that her low-rated show was canceled months ago.
But the show seen on HLN may be better remembered for what went wrong than for any of the winners. The women of “The Talk” were handed the envelope for the wrong category when they were presenting. The audio went out numerous times. Wayne Brady brought Lifetime Achievement Award winner Monty Hall out before a video tribute to him aired.
When there were ties in two categories, the producers seemed to have no plan for allowing both winners to make their acceptance speeches. A format that had winners being interviewed on stage immediately after their acceptance speeches was at best awkward. Corbin Bernsen dropped an f-bomb during a memorial segment about his mother, the recently deceased star of “The Young and the Restless” Jeanne Cooper.
The awards were given out in a bizarre order, with Lead Actor opening the show while the less prestigious Younger Actor and Actress category were given out at the end. Contrary to established awards show practices, the winners of major categories — including Outstanding Show, Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Talk Show – Entertainment, and Outstanding Animated Series, notable because George Lucas won for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” — did not take questions from the press after their wins.
The surprises started right away with “The Young and the Restless” star Doug Davidson (Paul), winning Outstanding Lead Actor, his first win after 35 years with the show for a storyline that had him believing he killed his son. He beat “General Hospital’s” Jason Thompson, who many perceived as the frontrunner because of his performance as a young widower grieving for his wife.
In the press room, Davidson said, “For me it represents a body of work that spans about 35 years and I guess I needed Jeanne Cooper in heaven to make it come true.” Davidson acknowledged he initially had trepidations about his dark storyline. “It’s a pretty delicate line to walk as a writer to take one of your lead characters and have him kill his own son and be innocent. I was very concerned about that because Paul in the past has rough passionate sex that was misconstrued as a rape. When I read it, I felt totally comfortable about committing to it.”
There was a tie in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category with “The Bold and the Beautiful’s” Scott Clifton (Liam) and “The Young and the Restless” ‘ Billy Miller (Billy) both taking home statues.
In the press room, Miller said, “I assumed it was Scott’s. When I saw it was a tie, I thought it was Bradford’s [Anderson's]. I didn’t hear my name which is why I was trying to sit down when they were trying to pull me up. Thank God he had a very long speech because I was coming up with stuff. I didn’t prepare. But it’s fantastic. I couldn’t share it with a better guy.”
Clifton concurred. “Best possible situation is you win, right? That means that three people you love and respect don’t win. So this is the best of all possible worlds. I would’ve wanted Billy to get this even if I didn’t and now I’ve got this. This is so cool.”
Outstanding supporting actress winner, “General Hospital’s” Julie Berman (Lulu), departed the show several months ago, surprising many viewers. In the press room she explained, “I didn’t announce [she was leaving] because I was waiting for the show to figure out how I wanted to handle it and I felt it wasn’t my responsibility to make some grand announcement that I’m leaving when there’s a show to think about and a story and surprises. So I truly was waiting for them to make an announcement when they thought it was the time and the time became the say after I left.”
Outstanding Lead Actress winner, Heather Tom of “The Bold and the Beautiful,” also won the category last year. This year, her reel included powerful scenes of her character Katie’s struggle with post-partum depression. She is the only actress to have won Daytime Emmys in all three acting categories: Younger, Supporting and Lead. Said Tom of her feat, “It’s awesome. It’s amazing. I’m so grateful to be part of this community and this show. It was unexpected. I know everyone says that, but it actually was. I am so happy that I’m on a show that writes beautiful stories for me.”
Tom spoke candidly about what it was like to participate in the post-acceptance speech interview. “I felt like someone had set me on fire. All I could think of was ‘I got up here successfully without falling out of my dress. Just get me off the stage.’ I honestly don’t even remember what I said. Hopefully I was coherent.”
Chandler Massey, who won Outstanding Leading Actor for his role as “Days of Our Lives” gay teen Will was the night’s other back-to-back winner. He revealed that he may be departing the show when his contract expires in December, but in pursuit of knowledge, not greater fame. “It’s been such a pleasure and privilege working on ‘Days.’ I came out to Los Angeles and I enrolled in UCLA and I think after [my contract] is up, I want to go back to school. I want to have a degree … My intended major is Mandarin Chinese but I might want to double with International Business.”
The night’s most enthusiastic winner was Outstanding Younger Leading Actress Kristen Alderson, who won for her work as “General Hospital’s” Starr, but began playing the character on “One Life to Live” when she was eight years old. In the press room she said of her statuette, “I named her Starr. I had such an amazing journey being Starr in real life and in my career. I have ‘One Life to Live’ to thank for that and ‘General Hospital’ has welcomed me with open arms.”
Alderson also revealed that she is dating her co-star Chad Duell (Michael), referring to him as “the love of her life” during her acceptance speech. She elaborated on their relationship in the press room. “Chad and I have been best friends all of last year and then when we went to be together like, ‘OK should we take this step to be more than friends?’ It was definitely really nerve wracking because we were so close. I can’t imagine my life without him, even if we weren’t together. we literally couldn’t be a better fit. He’s everything I’ve ever imagined. I know, we’re gross. My mom wants to throw up every time [I talk about it.]
During his acceptance speech, for Outstanding Show, “Days of Our Lives’ executive producer Ken Corday summed up the moment: “Today is Father’s Day. Today is my birthday and today is a great day to celebrate.”
LIST OF DAYTIME EMMY WINNERS:
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES: Days of Our Lives (NBC)
OUTSTANDING CULINARY SERIES: Best Thing I Ever Made (Food Network) and Trisha’s Southern Kitchen (Food Network)
OUTSTANDING GAME SHOW: The Price Is Right (CBS)
OUTSTANDING MORNING PROGRAM: CBS Sunday Morning
OUTSTANDING SPECIAL CLASS ANIMATED PROGRAM: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Cartoon Network)
OUTSTANDING TALK SHOW/ENTERTAINMENT: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated)
OUTSTANDING TALK SHOW/INFORMATIVE: The Dr. Oz Show (syndicated)
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: Heather Tom, The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES: Paul Williams, The Young and the Restless (CBS)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: Julie Marie Berman, General Hospital (ABC)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES: Scott Clifton, The Bold and the Beautiful and
Billy Miller, The Young and the Restless
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: Kristen Alderson, General Hospital
OUTSTANDING YOUNGER ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES: Chandler Massey, Days of Our Lives
OUTSTANDING GAME SHOW HOST: Ben Bailey, Cash Cab (Discovery Channel)
OUTSTANDING TALK SHOW HOST: Ricki Lake, The Ricki Lake Show (syndicated)
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES DIRECTING TEAM: The Bold and the Beautiful
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES WRITING TEAM: The Bold and the Beautiful
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG: “Good Afternoon,” Good Afternoon America (ABC)
OUTSTANDING CULINARY HOST: Lidia Bastianich, Lidia’s Italy (PBS)