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Our favorite daytime stars came out to shine at the 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards this past weekend. With a diverse cast of nominees and presenters ranging from Oscar the Grouch to Sharon Osbourne, the ceremony did not disappoint. We witnessed gorgeous gowns, poignant moments, historical happenings, and an alligator attempting to steal a Daytime Emmy Award (no, I’m not talking about Barbara Walters)!
The evening began with the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. The honor went to Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer, General Hospital), for a record-setting seventh time. Edging out Maurice Bernard (Sonny Corinthos, General Hospital), John McCook (Eric Forrester, The Bold and the Beautiful), Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard, All My Children), and Robert S. Woods (Bo Buchanan, One Life to Live), Geary joked to his competitors, “I think you was [were] all robbed.” Geary also acknowledged the recent struggles of daytime soaps, citing his own show in particular, “We have 23 nominations, which is pretty amazing, since last year we were almost cancelled in favor of a sure-fire ratings bonanza Celebrity Boob Jobs Gone Wrong!”
Among the Daytime Emmy winners were Jonathan Jackson (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series), Chandler Massey (Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series), Heather Tom (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series), Nancy Lee Grahn (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series), Jeopardy! (Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show), and The Today Show (Outstanding Morning Program).
Audience members became a bit unsettled in their elegant attire when Jack Hanna and Debbie Gibson presented the award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series accompanied by various animals—including an alligator! Winner Kevin Clash was not in attendance, so the alligator “accepted” the award on his behalf by wrapping his formidable teeth around the statue. Reality television star and Skinny Girl mogul Bethenny Frankel, whose own daytime talk show Bethenny premiered earlier this month, followed the alligator incident with a teleprompter mishap. Bethenny announced, “And the AOL Best Viral Video Award goes to…a blank screen.” Quickly reacting to the awkward moment, Bethenny quipped, “Is someone playing a joke on me with the alligator and blank screen right now?”
The biggest honor of the night, Outstanding Drama Series, was bestowed upon General Hospital. The longtime favorite is the only daytime soap opera still airing on the ABC network. One Life to Live and All My Children, both cancelled by ABC last year, were celebrated in a touching tribute led by Susan Lucci. Looking stunning (and ageless!) in a simple-yet-stylish red satin gown, the Queen of Daytime offered comfort to those of us who have lost our beloved soaps in recent years with the quote, “Don’t cry because something is over, smile because it was.” To all daytime television fans, keep smiling.