Good lord. It's not even five minutes into the Emmys and Gothamist (and friends Aaron Dobbs of out of focus and a Gothamist contributor, and Margaret Lyons, formerly of Chicagoist) is very very frightened. There is no reason why Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas should force Doris Roberts to dance with them. Doris needs to get the AARP to fight the fight with her. Welcome to Gothamist's attempt to liveblog the Emmys, until the show drains every single molecule of life from us, which we believe will happen in the 10PM hour.
The cold opening is tape segment of four previous Emmy winners, no, make that three previous winners - Candice Bergen, Charles S. Dutton, and Billy Crystal - and one guy who accepted the award for his dead lover, John Travolta for Diana Hyland. Candice references her win as Murphy Brown the single mother; Charles recalls his first award ever, a prison drama award; and Billy wraps up the bit with the Emmy as his Hummer's hood ornament. Meh. And then on stage, it's Earth Wind and Fire singing the wonderful "September," but EWF has been forced by Emmy producers to put in references to various TV personalities. And it's suddenly feeling like a 1970s Oscar telecast. And the Black Eyed Peas appear to rap so more. This is so, so bad.
8:09PM - Host Ellen DeGeneres is wearing a smart black pants suit, but her first few jokes are bombing. She does note the magnolia pin she's wearing as noting Hurricane Katrina, explains that New Orleans is her hometown, and that she hosted the Emmys right after September 11. Apparently Ellen is the salve the entertainment community subconsciously believes the TV universe needs.
Audience reaction shots: Alan Alda looks deceasd. Glenn Close, radiant. Ugh, Jennifer Garner, so boring. William Shatner, so bloated.
8:11PM - Ellen makes a plea to host the Oscars.
8:12PM - The Desperate Housewives glide onto stage. We love you Marcia Cross. Felicity Huffman looks fabulous, Teri Hatcher gets to stand in the middle, Eva Longoria is short, and Nicolette Sheridan looks very blonde. and they make fun of their clunky joke. And the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy goes to... Brad Garrett, of Everybody Loves Raymond. His third win? We were rooting for Jeremy Piven. Peter Boyle did win for his guest apperance on The X-Files, but he must be pissy. Anyway, Brad dedicates his award to Britney and the baby. Okay, he's funny.
The show returns from the commercial break with Ellen asking Eva Longoria if she's treated like all the other girls, even though she was shut out from an Emmy nomination... Eva says yes, and the camera pans back to show that's she's in nosebleed section. Ellen says she'll see Eva at the afterparty and Eva says, "Wait, there are afterparties?" You know, Gothamist can't feel that bad about Eva not being nominated, because her character isn't that great or challenging. There, we said it. And another thing, Desperate Housewives: overrated. And Eva is dating Tony Parker, who is some tall drink of water.
Kyra Sedgwick and Keifer Sutherland present the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. Kyra looks damn hot for 40+. And William Shatner wins, which means that the Lost boys must have cancelled each other out. He really looks yooge.
8:23PM - Lord, help us: It's the Emmy Idol segment, where the are five performances by different performers and people can vote on CBS.com for the best one. The first up are Donald Trump and Karen Walker (aka Megan Mullaly) signing "Green Acres." And Gothamist's ears hurt so so much.
Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen do a schtick before announcing the winner for Best Performance in a Variety Show. God, CBS is totally dragging out the actress categories because they think everyone wants to see the ladies of Wisteria Lane win. And Hugh Jackman wins, for hosting the Tonys. And he says thank you on behalf on of Broadway. Cute. He also thanks his wife and someone named John, sitting next to his wife, and we don't know who he is. Maybe he's Hugh's personal choreographer?
8:33PM - Michael J. Fox talks about winning his Emmys. Respectful clapping. The Blue Man Group do a bit about the Best Reality Show nominees... with the Emmy to The Amazing Race, which is definitely the feel-good reality show out there. It's also the one we don't watch as religiously, as we rather watch Wendy Pepper be evil on Project Runway!
Zach Braff and Hugh Laurie fulfill many a person's TV doctor sex dream (we'd just want Goran Visnjic up there, too) as they appear onstage. Hugh starts to speak, and Zach is confused, wondering why Hugh is doing a British accent. And the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Emmy goes to... Blythe Danner, and she smooches Hank Azaria, her son on Huff. This is one of three Emmys she was nominated for, and she basically brags (but not in an annoying way) about how Kiefer Sutherland babysat Gwyneth, Cynthia Nixon played her daughter once, and Alan Alda played her husband in her first movie. She's pretty classy: She pays tribute to her late husband, Bruce Paltrow, who produced St. Elsewhere, Hurricane Katrina, and the troops in Iraq, adding that we should get them out.
8:42PM - Ellen is in the control room and finds out that the show is already more than 4 minutes over. And then she brings out a ventriloquist to make the people in the control room freak out more. Well, all we can say is that Portia de Rossi is one lucky lady!
Jason Lee and Debra Messing present the award for Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. Jason Lee is sporting the redneck/porn mustache he wears in My Name is Earl, one of the few bright spots on NBC's schedule this fall. Paul Newman wins for Empire Falls, and he's not there.
Ugh, Jennifer Love Hewitt is presenting with Lauren Graham. JLH should not be in the same room as Lauren Graham, who has been robbed of an Emmy nomination for four years. They present the Ammy for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie to Jane Alexander in Warm Springs, the HBO movie about FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt. Fun fact: Jane Alexander used to head the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ooh, Willow and Doogie! Allyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris, from CBS's How I Met Your Mother introduce the next Emmy Idol segment and yay!, it's Veronica Mars herself. Kristen Bell is singing the theme from Fame. She's rocking the off-the-shoulder sweater shirt with a Debbie-Allen-esque group of dancers running around We all agree that Kristen is cut (totally sexy midriff), but the Emmy Idol performances are so wrong. People are confused!
8:49PM Rachel Bilson looks adorable next to Chris O'Donnell, and they introduce the winners of the comedy guest star awards, Bobby Cannavale (playing gay in Will & Grace) and Katheryn Joosten (playing the angry neighbor on Desperate Housewives), who then announce the winner for Best Direction of a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program: The opening ceremonies of the Olympics win. Oh, yeah, the Olympics happened last year.
And here's the funniest thing we're going to be seeing all night: The nominees for Best Comedy, Variety for Music Program. This is when the shows contribute a taped segment naming all the writers of the show, usually with hilarious footage. Da Ali G Show puts the names of its writers over pictures of guys masturbating (who knew Seth Rogen was writing for them?), the Daily Show shows its writers goofing off at work, the Late Show of Conan O'Brien has Conan in a field. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart wins, and he's the only guy who gets thank people! That sucks. He does, however, confirm that the staff is very Ivy League-educated and Jewish.
9:01PM - Adrian Grenier and Mischa Barton are onstage, and Gothamist hates you, Mischa. You're so boring and you can't crack a joke. Bad actor! And not that good-looking! (But we love the dress, even though it's too old for you.) Anyway, Doris Roberts wins her fourth Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, making Gothamist wonder if she pulled some Remington Steele-day strings. She's like the John Larroquette of the Best Supporting Actresses!
9:03PM - David Letterman saunters onstage to pay tribute to Johnny Carson, and there's an awkward Conan audience shot. It's been five minutes on this segment, and we love Johnny, and we love Dave, but enough already, we get it: Old, dead people are better than us, the living.
9:15PM - Commercial break ends and the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond is onstage. Yes, the show is over, but the Emmys are on CBS. So awkward jokes all around, and then the winner for Best Variety, Music or Comedy Show. The Daily Show wins again. Jon Stewart stands next to Brad Garrett and, damn, he is short. He says "the way Dave feels about Johnny...it's way the comedians of my generation feels about him." Man, that was bald: Jon Stewart is SO lobbying to be the host of The Late Show when Dave retires.
9:19PM - Portia de Rossi introduces the theme song to the Jeffersons, as sung by Gary Dourdan from CSI and Macy Gray. Macy can belt it out, and Gary Dourdan is a totaly baritone. But Gothamist still hating this Emmy Idol segment.
9:21PM - Patricia Arquette, with the most inexplicable hairdo ever, introduces Ray Liotta who won for best guest star in a drama (his performance on ER; Amanda Plummer won for her Law & Order: SVU performance as a rape victim which was haunting). And J.J. Abrahms wins the Best Directing Emmy for the pilot of Lost, which is totally deserved. And then David Shore wins an Emmy for writing the "Three Stories" episode of House, which is one of the greatest hours of television. Buy the House Season One DVD. Actually, all the nominees are great: Get the Lost Season One DVD (nominated for the pilot and "Walkabout"), Rescue Me Season One DVD (nominated for the pilot), and The Wire Season Two DVD (the episode nominated is from Season Three, but whatever, catch up).
Halle Berry looks as she always does (hot) and announces the nominees for Best Actor in a TV Movie. Which reminds Gothamist, Ed Harris looks hella creepy in the trailers for The History of Violence, the new Cronenberg movie Geoffrey Rush wins for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. Geoffrey Rush is cool, but really, we're just relieved that William H. Macy didn't win another Emmy for playing a disabled person or loser again. We'd rather he win an Oscar for a Mamet role.
Ellen takes the camera backstage into the women's bathroom. Not that funny. Anyway, Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo come onstage, bomb with their banter, and present the Best Director for a Miniseries, Movie or Special (Stephen Hopkins wins for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers) and Best Writing for Miniseries, Movie, or Special (the writing team for The Life and Death... wins). Eh; the one person who saw this calls it "huge mess" and says it's clear why the movie wasn't very funny, given the barely conscious acceptance speeches from the writers. You know, the miniseries awards are the perfect bathroom break.
Okay, it's 9:34PM and Gothamist is horribly bored. We're tired of CBS's ads. We hope that it picks up a little in the next hour plus, ideally with a huge snub to Desperate Housewives.
9:44PM - Geena "The Woman Who Will Be President This Fall" Davis and Matthew "Charlie Salinger" Fox present the award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. Yay, Lieutenant Van Buren, S. Epatha Merkerson wins! That's quite an upset, as most people, we imagine, would have voted for Halle Berry in Oprah's production of Their Eyes Were Watching God. (Don't worry, Halle has an Emmy for Introducing Dorthea Dandridge...not to mention her Oscar.) S. Epatha Merkerson is adorable - she had put her speech in her cleavage but it got lost in there. "It's probably stuck to something!"
Jesus H. Christ. Jon Stewart's taped segment is the best thing so far. We'll link the video of it when it appears online tomorrow (we're sure it will); in a nutshell, it involves him getting censored as he talks about how the government sucks. He presents the Best Direction in a Comedy Series to Charles MacDougall for his work on Desperate Housewives; MacDougall also clocked in some time directing four other lusty ladies on Sex and the City. The Best Writing Emmy for Comedy Series goes to the Arrested Development team for episode with Gob's black ventriloquist puppet. And Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz rules - he tells the audience, "The Academy is awarding us for something you won't watch!" and then asks people to watch tomorrow night at 8PM. Good point: Fox Channel 5, Monday, tomorrow, 8PM. Watch the season premiere of Arrested Development (and here are DVDs for Season One and Season Two.
9:59PM - Marg Helgenberger looks scared as she presents Best Made for Television Movie next to Quentin Tarantino. In fact, as Aaron says, we're frightened and we're 3,000 miles away. Anyway, Warm Springs, the movie about FDR battling polio, wins. Warm Springs is the kind of movie that the networks would do, but now they just want to put on Dancing with the Stars, so HBO has had to pick up the slack.
10:03PM - Reality show hosts Jeff Probst and Phil Keoghan are about to introduce William Shatner and opera singer Fredricka von Stade tackling the Star Trek theme, but first, they mention the tropy girls are from America's Next Top Model. One is Naima, who we love...but we don't know who the other is. It's not Adrianne. Or Yoanna. Is it Mercedes? Hmm. Aha - Margaret thinks it's Ann. We'll go with that. Anyway, this is entertaining, relatively speaking, with Shatner reciting the opening and von Stade opera-singing her way through the musical part of the Star Trek theme. But we would have appreciated it if the Emmys told us to "Drink now!" or "Toke up now!" Anyway, go vote at CBS.com; sadly there's no way to vote for "Put us out of our misery and end the show now."
Ellen makes her umpteenth trip the Emmy control room, to make fun of the show going over. It wasn't funny the second time, so it's making us crazy right now.
10:10PM - Presenting Best TV Mini-Series, Marsika Hargitay and Jimmy Smits are onstage; Mariska is rocking the long hair (is it extensions?) and Jimmy is wearing tinted glasses. Oh, how we miss Victor Sifuentes. And the surprise winner is Masterpiece Theater's The Lost Prince, about Prince John, the son of King George V who was hidden from the public because he was epileptic. Right, who knew? Anyway, Gothamist would like to make this plea: Support PBS, because our government isn't going to.
Waxy-looking Alan Alda and Academy of Television Arts and Sciences president Dick Askin pay tribute to the Big Three's anchors' farewell. Alan is a friend of Peter Jennings', and amidst clips of the anchors, they all speak about the process and why they love what they do. And then Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather come onstage and they get a rather rousing standing ovation. They look really gray. Gothamist could use a Ratherism from Dan right about now! Tom and Dan go on for a while about how TV news journalism is important, and Gothamist agrees...yet, we feel it's ridiculous and depressing, because the networks are more concerned with crap shows than quality programs - including the news programs.
10:29PM - Conan O'Brien, our savior, riffs on Emmy Idol (he sings the first few bars of "Charles in Charge"), how crappy NBC's TV shows are, and how every girl dreams of winning an Emmy - and he was no exception. And how he gets to fulfill his dream to disappoint four women at once by annoucing Best Actress in a Comedy - Felicity Huffman! WOOO!!!! The Desperate Housewife no tabloid likes to talk about because she's not as obviously sexy (she's thinking man sexy) as Teri Hatcher, Nicolette Sheridan, Marcia Cross or Eva Longoria. Ooh, she thanks David Mamet for putting him in her plays, Aaron Sorkin for putting her in Sports Night (YES!!), and Marc Cherry for watching Sports Night. And then she gets all adorable schoolgirl and thanks William H. Macy for kissing her in a cow pasture and marrying her. AW!
10:33PM - James Spader, our favorite creepy actor this side of Willem Dafoe/John Malkovich/William Fichtner, announces the Best Actress in a Drama. It's Patricia Arquette, which is, to say the least, shocking. She gives a sweet speech, though. But we're still surprised; her win is more like Golden Globes kind of upset... Glenn Close was nominated, she's usually easy Emmy bait!
Okay, it's the In Memoriam segment. Biggest cheers for Ossie Davis, Christopher Reeve, and Jerry Orbach; the clip package actually fades out on his last scenes, when he's packed up his desk at the 2-7, and the camera goes to his "Detective Leonard Briscoe" nameplate. We still miss you, Jerry.
10:44PM - How can Sela Ward be so ridiculously beautiful? She and Craig Ferguson present the Best Actor in a Comedy Emmy to Tony Shaloub. Gothamist loves Tony playing crazy Adrian Monk, but we think one Emmy is enough (we'd have liked Jason Bateman to be recognized). However, we are loving Tony's dig at Ray Romano
10:47PM - Charles Dutton announces that the Best Actor in a Drama is once again James Spader. Hmm, neither Hugh Laurie (for House) or Ian McShane (for Deadwood) won, which makes us wonder if maybe they cancelled each other's votes out.
10:49PM - The star of Everybody Loves Chris, Tyler James Williams, comes out introduces Charles Evans, who we're pretty sure is the adorable child Campbell Brown befriended in New Orleans, the child whose home was ruined and he and his family were living in the street with others before moving to the Astrodome. Charles tells Tyler that Sister, Sister and Spongebob Squarepants are his favorite shows. Aw. Also, Tyler James Williams is going places.
10:53PM - Emmy Idol winners: The Donald and Megan Mulally. This whole concept sucked ass - leave it to CBS to further bastardize American Idol into a sorry little shell. William Shatner's upset face is priceless though. And then there's a weird glitch - the camera is focused on the abstract sculpture of monitors, but nothing's going on. Someone's getting yelled at!
10:54PM - Hugh Jackman and Whoopi Goldberg give props to Ellen, as they've been hosts of shows before. Wow, Lost wins Best Drama! Gothamist wonders if voters who work on network (vs. cable) TV threw their support behind Lost because it reinvigorated the network drama (it's not only 13 episode, writers don't get to use swears in the scripts, etc.).
And Best Comedy... Everybody Loves Raymond! Well, that's one to end a series run. And one way to make this a really boring night.
Overall: The top nominee-getted Desperate Housewives didn't do as well as expected (two major awards), Will and Grace only received smaller awards (the show is like the unfunny Love Boat), and HBO cleaned up in the movies division. Also, this was maybe the worst Emmys ever, both telecast and winners wise. Gothamist is trying to figure out why this year's show sucked so much, and of course the nominations are the main reasons why, but last year, there were shows like Friends, Sex and the City, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, as well as the movie epic Angels in America, that made the night interesting. We think.
We'll update this post with more articles as they stream in. But in the meantime, what did you think of this year's Emmys? And for the record, if next year's nominees suck as bad as this year's, Gothamist refuses to liveblog.