Gothamist attempted to real-time blog last night's 56th Annual Emmys. We survived, but we would like to say this: It was pretty boring. Sure, Garry Shandling can be funny, but we weren't that into it. Gothamist is certainly happy that Arrested Development made sure a great showing, as well as Angels in America, but it was also pretty boring - like the nominations themselves. But since we're a sucker for awards shows, we bring you this:

Circa 7PM: We were pretty excited that Joan Rivers and Melissa Rivers were off Red Carpet duty for E!, because if there's one word we don't care to hear on Hollywood-congratulates-itself night, it's "Missy!" But we have our new Missy: It's "Al," as in Al Reynolds, Star Jones' "fiance." Star, who took over E!'s red carpet hosting duties (with some fashion guy named Robert), kept referring to her upcoming marriage and fiance throughout the evening. Eh. And what Star lacks in the bitchiness that Joan brought, she does make up for it in being able to be "black" with black. But still, hearing about Star watching TV in bed with Al makes Gothamist tempted to scream, "Bring back Joan and Missy, those horse faced, plastic-surgeried bitches!"

ABC broke out the Muppets from the vault in their crappy pre-show. Gothamist wonders what celebrities dread more: Talking to Star Jones or Muppets. Yeah, clearly Star Jones. But this picture of Anne Heche speaking to Miss Piggy and Kermit says it all.

8:00PM: Opening is a parody of Survivor. Oooh, Will Ferrell! Looks like ABC is making Garry Shandling bring in the Extreme Makeover crew in the sketch. Meh. Monologue: Shandling hosted four years ago, which reminds us of how awesome The Larry Sanders Show was. He can't tell one reality show from the other and makes a joke that includes a hooker coming to his house. Scripted narrative producers decide to love him when he says he's relieved when he sees professional actors. Other joke targets: Paris Hilton, Donald Trump, erection-enhancement pills, HBO and their 124 nominations. There's Al Pacino - someone who actually has had plastic surgery. The man is 64.

8:12PM - Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth come out to announce an award. She's wearing demure Chanel Couture - except for the sheer skirt part - and he's looking less bloated in Hugo Boss. Horrible horrible banter. Okay, nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The winner: David Hyde Pierce for Frasier. His fourth win? Meh. Even DHP thinks so - "Not the way I would have gone." Brad Garrett and Peter split the Everybody Loves Raymond vote, not enough people

8:14PM - Heather Locklear and Blair Underwood, of new series LAX. This makes Gothamist very fond of moments like this, when the networks trot out the stars of their new fall shows and you take odds on the show still being around by the end of the season. Luckily, no banter. Best Supporting Actor, drama series. Brad Dourif's hair is scary. Winner: Michael Imperioli, Sopranos! James Gandolfini grabs Michael's head! Brilliant, and we hope to see Ade up there soon. Aww, Michael thanks Nancy Marchand and John Cassavetes besides his manager and others! What about Ade?

2004_09_emmycn.jpg8:22PM - Simon Cowell and the Donald come out. Emmy writers, the less banter the better. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Winner: Cynthia Nixon for Sex and the City! Woo hoo! She immediately shares the Emmy with Kristin, Kim and Sarah, and gives a nice, short speech, mentioning she's been acting for 25 years. And we've loved Cynthia ever since we saw Little Foxes. We wonder what episode she submitted for consideration, because Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis also had great years.

8:25PM - Portia de Rossi and Jason Bateman. Gothamist loves Arrested Development (David Cross and Will Arnett were giving Star Jones sauce during the E! pre show, which was awesome). They look good, but Portia's hair is a little big. They announce the previously announced winners for Guest Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series. The winners, Laura Linney for Frasier, and John Turturro for Monk, are here to announce Best Direction in a Comedy Series. Winner: Brothers Joe and Anthony Russo for Arrested Development. Nice! Quick shot to producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

8:28PM - Ha, Les Moonves, head of CBS, and Chris Albrecht of HBO pretend to approach Garry about a reality show.

8:29PM - Jim Belushi and Teri Hatcher, announcing Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. Winner: Mitchell Hurwitz, Arrested Development. Heh, he wrote for The Golden Girls. We KNEW there was something magical about his writing. The two Sex and the City split the SATC sentiment, and Frasier and Scrubs are well-liked, but Arrested Development has had more buzz...we think that a lot of people wanted to honor a network program that is helping make the case that network TV hasn't lost its edge. We wonder if this will mean Arrested Development will win for Best Comedy. Nice - Hurwitz momentarily shames the orchestra to stop playing.

8:37PM - Amber Tamblyn and Zach Braff. Bad, bad banter. Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Drea de Matteo!!! She looks like she's shaking, and says she won't thank anyone because if she tries, she'll "puke, choke, cry or die." Oh, Ade, we miss you so much.

2004_09_emmysjt.jpg8:40PM - Jeffrey Tambor and Garry Shandling together again - hey, now! When Garry announces the kids from The O.C., Jeffrey says "Hey, now!" to Mischa Barton's name.

8:41PM - Adam Brody, Mischa, and Benjamin McKenzie announce that Best Direction in a Drama Series goes to Walter Hill for Deadwood. Interesting! Gothamist hasn't seen Deadwood yet, because there are only so many hours in the day, but many people say it's really good and really dark, and therefore, unlikely to win anything at the Emmys. Anyway, we're happy Walter Hill won, because he did direct The Warriors.

8:47PM - Haha. the CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is named Dick Askin. Blah blah blah so many shows on TV blah blah blah. Audience shots: Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Tom Selleck... Clip of "Finest Moments From Last Season" - Angels in America. The Practice. Alias. CSI. Sex and the City. The Sopranos. Fantasia singing on American Idol. Extreme Makeover. The Bachelorette Marries. Oscars 2004. The Daily Show. Everybody Loves Raymond. Curb Your Enthusiasm. Nip/Tuck. 24. Something the Lord Made. Lion in Winter. Then three more Angels in America clips. Interesting, because as far as we could tell out of the 20 clips, HBO had 8 (4 for Angels), Fox had 2 (plus 1 for FX), CBS had 1, NBC had 0, and ABC 5.

8:53PM - Debra Messing and Eric McCormack actually get funny banter about how the nominees for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie are either actors from Angels in America or William H. Macy. Winner: Jeffrey Wright. He thanks the cast, adds a shout-out to Mos Def, and outtalks the music cue by talking about how AIDS affects many people. Gothamist was thinking William H. Macy might actually win, with the four very talented Angels in America actors (Wright, Ben Shenkman, Patrick Wilson, and Justin Kirk) possibly splitting the vote, so this is a nice surprise.

8:57PM - After banter between Garry and Billy Crystal, Jimmy Kimmel and Ty Pennington come out to present Outstanding Directing in a Variety/Music/Comedy Program. Winner: Louis J. Horvitz for the 76th Annual Oscars. Bah, winning for the most boring Oscars in recent history? Horvitz is directing the Emmys, so they give him the Emmy in the control room where he screams, sort of medium Howard Dean ARRGH.

2004_09_emmyes.jpg9:04PM - Jon Stewart introduces a pretty funny clip about George Washington's lying, a la accusations of present day presidential campaigning. And then the winner for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety/Music/Comedy Program: Elaine Stritch, for Elaine Stritch At The Liberty. And she previously won an Emmy for guesting on Law & Order in 1993! She's wearing a semi crazy white shirt and black scarf that reminds of some very low moments of 80s fashion. Gothamist hopes the band knows that she'll freak out if she gets music-ed off. Oh, lord, she's up there till they take her off..."I'm not moving from here until somebody comes up here and gets me." People, she's not shitting you. The director goes to a spoof clip of Garry's reality show. Now we want to know if they hauled Elaine off with a SWAT team.

9:11PM - Tony Shalhoub and Mos Def - the coolest pairing of the night so far - comes to announce the Best Writing for a Variety/Music/Comedy Program. Heh - sometimes, this is the best part of the ceremony, seeing what the shows will use to play their names. The Daily Show gets Howard Dean to read their writing staff's names. Dave Chappelle uses a clip from the controversial black KKK member skit. Chris Rock just has a clip with another person for his show. Conan uses easy listening record direct TV commercials. Late Show with David Letterman uses mugshots for their staffers. And The Daily Show wins again. Jon Stewart is funny.

9:15PM - Christ, a shout out to Olympics athletes sitting in crappy seats at the Shrine. What's the point?

2004_09_emmymariska.jpg9:20PM - Matthew Fox (we missed you, Charlie Salinger!) and Mariska Hargitay (who looks totally amazing - as Chicagoist says on the basis of Hargiaty and Allison Janney, "Green dresses = hot shit this year") announce the previously announced winners of Guest Actor and Actress in a Drama Series, Sharon Stone and William Shatner. And does Sharon Stone look emaciated and crazy. It makes us think of Kathy Griffin, recounting an incident at a fundraiser where Sharon accepted an award and started to cry and clap for herself. And then Stone and Shatner announce the Best Writing in a Drama Series if for Terrence Winter's Sopranos episode, Long Term Parking.

9:24PM - Matt Leblanc introduces a clip package of the ways shows ended their runs. Cheers, Family Ties, The Wonder Years, Murphy Brown, Roseanne, Mad About Aou, Just Shoot Me (what?), Seinfeld, Larry Sanders, The Practice, Sex and the City, Friends and Frasier. Hahaha, Garry jokes about his memories of Frasier are about Frasier and Kelsey Grammer winning the Emmys the years he was nominated - and Kelsey comes out to say sorry. Now, that's pretty funny.

9:31PM - William Peterson and Dennis Franz come out to announce Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie - Mary-Louise Parker for Angels in America. She says, laughing, "Justin Kirk told me if I don't win I'm a huge loser." Oh, that scamp, Justin.

9:38PM - George Lopez comes out and makes a J.Lo joke. Original! And the Best Comedy/Music/Variety Program is The Daily Show. Man, Comedy central is going to need to pay Jon Stewart through the nose to make sure he stays on air.

2004_09_emmytk.jpg9:41PM - Garry announces the accountants. Ernst & Young. Then Anthony LaPaglia and the lady from Cold Case who always looks tired announce that Best Writing in a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special is for Angels in America, written by Tony Kushner. Whee! Man, it looks like Tony has a bad seat as he walks forever. Tony is a Columbia grad...and he thanks his husband Mark [Harris] and hopes that one day Mark can make an "honest homosexual" out of him. Here's Tony and Mark's wedding announcement in the Times, which for Gothamist is sign enough that one is married.

9:48PM - Commerical for Desperate Housewives...we hear this is supposed to a guilty pleasure, but the presence of Teri Hatcher makes us pause...but it does have Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman.

2004_09_emmyreal.jpg9:49PM - Yikes - apparently the Emmy committee decided to get two real people, blindfold them, and make them present the award for Best reality Program. They freak the frizzeak out. It's scary. But the guy says, "I'm a fan of everyone here," and the crowd tears up at how important they really are. Gothamist is not a fan of this, and neither is reality guru Mark Burnett, but unlike Burnett, we don't have his Scrooge McDuck like vault of money to swim in. Awkward. Anyway, The Amazing Race wins, which is nice, except for the Jerry Bruckheimer thing.

9:54PM - Joely Richardson, looking very tall and regal, and Kiefer Sutherland present Best Made for TV Movie to Something the Lord Made, also known as The Movie With Mos Def and The Guy Who Played the Sheriff of Nottingham and Plays Professor Snape.

9:59PM - The UMPTEENTH Buick commercial. Buick is the car of the Emmys or something, and ABC made some Extreme Makeover guy ooh and aah about the Buick in the pre-show. This is when Gothamist hates free markets.

10:02PM - Garry says the real people brought out earlier were so touching and jokes about how they are hosting the Emmys next year. Look, network heads, we know you're desperate for ideas and ratings stunts, but never ever ever do that again.

2004_09_emmysop.jpg10:03PM - Edie Falco, still sporting the short, modern haircut, and James Gandolfini announce the nominees for Best Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series, which is all pretense because Al Pacino chewed scenery to get an Emmy. And he does win and gets an ovation. Al was very good, but it's kind of annoying when the TV people give the movie stars standing ovations because they deign to do TV and show up. He rambles on, doesn't mention his custody issues with Beverly D'Angelo, and gives a rambling rambling rambling speech. He thanks Tony Kushner and Gothamist wonders why couldn't Tony write a speech for Al, because he's sucking. Where's the music for him?

10:08PM - James Spader and Anjelica Huston come out to present Best Direction in a Movie or Miniseries or Dramatic Special. Mike Nichols wins for Angels in a Ameirca, and he gets half an ovation. He deserves the full ovation, because he insisted on making Angels a 6 hour movie. But why is he getting run off by the music!?!?

10:11PM - Ray Romano and Garry Shandling in the men's bathroom, at the urinals, blabbing about the lulls in award shows. Then Chris Rock says, "Who the hell is Elaine Stitch?" HA.

10:13PM - Victor Garber and Taye Diggs announce the Best Actress in a Drama Sreies: Allison Janney, in somewhat of a surprise, since many were thinking that after three Emmies, that it might be time for Jennifer Garner or Amber Tamblyn - or another Emmy for Edie Falco (Gothamist loves Mariska Hargitay, but we're shocked she was included in the category). But what happens when Allison Janney gets to stage is unspeakably awful - at first, it seems funny, Allison saying that even though she told Mariska last night she'd give her the Emmy if she won it, she can't, and then she insists that her co-nominees join her. Mariska actually gets up, and Gothamist weeps for her. Allison must be high for not realizing "I'm going to embarass my fellow nominees by MAKING THEM JOIN ME WHILE THEY ARE PISSED ABOUT NOT WINNING." Allison Janney is cool, but this Emmy needs to be stripped from her.

10:15PM - Marlo Thomas comes out to talk about the Danny Thomas-led effort at St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis to investigate children's cancer. It's a great cause, and you can donate here.

10:23PM - Jon Cryer (Duckie!) and Charlie Sheen present Best Actress in a Comedy. Charlie Sheen insists on a "Hi, Dad!" which is just really lame at this point - you're almost 40, man, get over it. And Sarah Jessica Parker wins, finally. And predictably, it's a pretty crap speech, lots of babbling, but she does thank New York City. Woo! Finally a shout-out.

10:27PM - Conan! You're so funny. We love you. We wish you were hosting. Nominees for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. Jesus Christ, Kelsey Grammer wins again? He takes a moment to think about John Ritter and his family and then we tune out because we're burned. Tony Shalhoub, Larry David, and Matt Leblanc - all very worthy nominees! Did the Academy think, "Well, let's vote for someone who won't be on a show next year?" and choose the not dead guy? Christ.

10:30PM - Tom Selleck comes and gets some catcalls, which is awkwardly inappropriate as he's announcing the "In Memorium" segment. Which is also an expression of inapprorpriateness, because people clap during the names they know, and it's like a popularity-meter. Julia Child and Captain Kangaroo get bigger applause than Jack Paar, but the biggest applause is for Ronald Reagan, Ray Charles, Tony Randall, and Marlon Brando.

10:38PM - Gary Sinise and Melina Kanakaredes of CSI:NY come out; now, Gothamist has loved Melina since Guiding Light, but her dress needs to be on someone with more boobs. Think Mary-Louise Parker. James Spader wins, and actors playing effete, asshole, snobs rejoice. He says he should have written a speech, and we agree, especially Chicagoist who feels that all nominees should write speeches, work on them, and spare viewers from their awkward speeches.

10:41PM - Facial hair brigade: Treat Williams in Everwood beard and William H. Macy with porn 'stache. Meryl Streep wins for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, and she's terribly witty. But she's wearing an ugly necklace. And the music starts! They'll let Al Pacino try to collect his thoughts but they'll make Meryl's eloquence run short? Emmy bastards.

2004_09_emmyangel.jpg10:50PM - This has been a long three hours. Barbara Walters comes out to give the Emmy to Angels in America for Best Mini-Series or Movie. On a fashion note, Patrick Wilson, you could have dressed up a little.

10:52PM - Ellen DeGeneres comes out and recycles a valet-parking joke that Garry Shandling did as a presenter at an Emmys broadcast years ago (and how sad is it that Gothamist knows that). WOW! Arrested Development wins Best Comedy Series! That's an upset, all right - good work to all of you who called it in your Emmy pools. And what we said about Patrick Wilson - that goes triple for David Cross, except he is in an irreverent comedy, not a serious drama about AIDS.

10:59PM - The Sopranos wins Best Drama! Finally. Now Gothamist gets to go to bed! The music starts to drown producer David Chase out, but he finishes. Then James Gandolfini yells "Wait, wait, wait!" but then the sound goes to Garry Shandling to end the show. Dude, James Gandolfini is so hurting the Emmy producers.

That's that. Kinda boring, though fair how most awards seemed to be spread across a couple shows (but Curb Your Enthusiasm, you were robbed), but refreshingly within three hours and five minutes or so. Garry Shandling, we like you, but just not as a host. Now, to continue to watch TV for hours and hours!

- The official Emmys page
- IMDB's Emmy pages - for all the filmography and cast/crew fun you need about winners and nominees
- E!'s backstage blog
- ABC's Emmys page
- WireImage photos of arrivals

- Reviews/thoughts from the evening from the Daily News and NY Post.
- Fashion thoughts from the AP and NY Times