Daytime Emmy Notes: Tony Geary and Jonathan Jackson Win, Canceled Soaps Lose

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This past weekend, the 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards were held in Beverly Hills, California. The event was televised on HLN, the first time for that network and a deal that only came together recently. As a long time watcher, I came away with some clear thoughts about all that went on during the event, on the red carpet prior to it, and even non-related happenings earlier in the day.

View attachment 1790 News came over the wire early on Saturday that a murder-suicide had occurred at the Beverly Hilton where the award ceremony was taking place. It was an eerie reminder of Whitney Houston's death that occurred at the same hotel just before the Grammy Awards.

The Red Carpet was the focus on HLN's Showbiz Today with its host, A.J. Hammer, the main interviewer. Tony Geary, Luke Spencer on General Hospital that had 23 total nominations, talked to Hammer before the ceremony about how stressful the last year has been and that it is great that GH was being recognized so well at “this late stage of the game.”

Later, Finola Hughes, who plays Anna Devane on GH and whose character is embarking on a romantic relationship with Luke, stated, “I'm part of a privileged few” due to the shrinking numbers of daytime drama. She won lead actress in 1991.

Erika Slezak with 6 wins and 4 decades of playing Victoria Lord on One Life to Live said the gathering was a fitting way to end, that people were not just “upset, but sad” at the ending of OLTL.

Daytime diva Deirdre Hall of Days Of Our Lives, which had 15 nominations, mentioned her favorite storyline was Possession, which is odds since the plot actually cost DOOL some viewers from its controversy. From what I saw and read about that plot, I am with those who changed the channel.

One of the award highlights was when Outstanding Supporting Actor went to Jonathan Jackson as Lucky Spencer. It is such a shame he left the show, but he didn't feel the stories were going where he wanted. “This is a testament to Anthony Geary,” he told the audience. He later credited Genie Francis, who played Laura Spencer, as well.

The best part of the show may have been unintentional. It occurred when Jack Hanna and Debbie Gibson in a sparkly dress and sporting a marmeset on her shoulder walked out. I loved the porcupine that joined them. After they made their first award for Children's Animated Program to Penguins of Madagascar, an alligator walked out onto stage and right for the stage's edge. The audience was totally freaked out. When the winner for Performer in a Children's Series, Kevin Clash (Elmo, Sesame Street), was not there to accept the award, Hanna put the Emmy in front of the gator, who started to bite it. He actually hunched up to follow it when Hanna picked the award back up. The gator's presence continued to freak out folks during the next award, too. It really was a hoot, and I have never seen anything like that on an award's show.

The worst moment was intended to be the best. It was to salute the soap operas that have gone off the air in recent times -- As the World Turns, The Guiding Light, One Life to Live, and All My Children. Susan Lucci rambled on about it with nary a clip from any of the soaps shown. Then she was joined by Cameron Mathison and Erika Slezak, but still, no real concrete action. It was more like a salute to Susan Lucci done by Lucci herself. I know that is not how it was intended, but I cringed and groaned all the way through it, and I was extremely disappointed.

Ultimately, General Hospital won the Outstanding Drama Series, which was nice. It is the sole daytime drama left on ABC.

Times have changed, faces have shifted, and competition has dwindled, but it was still nice to see these honors on TV, even if some of it was flawed.
 
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