TV’s biggest night has arrived, and while there’s been no movement on my personal pet project of getting Vanessa Williams a retroactive Emmy for her four seasons of brilliant work as Ugly Betty‘s Wilhelmina Slater, we’ll nevertheless have plenty of additional action to anticipate.
Will Mad Men score a record fifth consecutive Emmy for Best Drama Series? Can Modern Family make it a three-peat in the Best Comedy Series category? Will someone bring unscripted LOLs or rampant foolery to the podium? And who’s holding onto Amanda Bynes’ keys?
In the midst of keeping one eye on the 2012 Emmy telecast (hosted by Jimmy Kimmel) and one on my computer (to ensure my subconscious doesn’t try to humiliate me with a Downtown Abbey typo), I’ll be giving the answers to those questions and more.
UPDATE: Keep refreshing the page for all my Live-Blog comments. Our “high-tech” module is serving up some technical difficulties. Thanks for your patience!
Now, with those housekeeping notes out of the way, let’s all dive into the CoverItLive module below, and at 8/7c, we’ll let the live-blogging commence!
7:40 Is this thing on?
7:41 So WHO are you wearing? I have an “angry tooth” t-shirt by Threadless, cut-off sweats from Old Navy, and socks by BJ’s Wholesale.
7:46 It has to be weird for Chris Harrison to interview someone in front of a live audience without trying to get the “ladies” to turn on him/her.
7:55 Jesse Tyler Ferguson makes even tragic interview banter seem moderately amusing.
7:57 Josh Elliott is a stone-cold fox. It just has to be said.
8:00 LOVE Christina Hendricks’ “I can’t believe I won” face.
8:01 Okay, this “Jimmy got botox” intro is pretty solid. Genius move by the reality-show hosts doing a little self-deprecating bit about their not-so-hot hosting gig a few years back, and Kathy Bates/Julia Louis-Dreyfus make everything 10 times better, no?
8:05 Let’s hope that’s the last Honey Boo Boo reference of the night. I mean, there’s probably something bad in the back of my fridge, that doesn’t mean I need to talk about it here, right?
8:06 “Being a Republican in Hollywood is like being a Chick-Fil-A sandwich on the snack table at Glee.” Oh snap, Jimmy!
8:08 Kicking things off with comedy, and a little snippet of “Groove Is in the Heart.”
8:10 Whoever curated these comedy clips picked like the best moments of every show ever. Rated H…for Hell Yeah!
8:11 Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series…it’ll either be Max Greenfield or someone from Modern Family.
8:13 That’s two in a row for Eric Stonestreet!
8:14 Really incredible shout-out to co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and then a zinger about being a straight man playing one of the most popular gay characters on TV. “I love the pictures of hairy chests you guys are sending me.”
8:17 POLL TIME
8:18 Crikey! My wine glass is empty!
8:20 Best Writing for a Comedy Series goes to Louis C.K.!
8:23 What would your shows have been like before cable? Don Knotts gets blown away in an Andy Griffith-Breaking Bad mashup.
8:24 Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nominees…Sofia Vergara looks crazy excited, Merritt Wever looks mortified by all the attention.
8:25 And the Emmy goes to Julie Bowen of Modern Family for the second straight year.
8:26 Bowen expresses awe that her “falling down and making faces while wearing lipstick and nipple covers” can translate into “an award or something artful,” then thanks Modern Family’s producers, writers, and the “people who edit around me with great regularity.”
8:30 Which nominee are you most enthusiastically rooting for tonight? I’m going with Claire Danes in Homeland.
8:32 Matthew Perry re-announcing Guest Actor and Actress in a Comedy (while sporting a deeply and unevenly tanned forehead?).
8:33 those trophies went to Kathy Bates (Two and a Half Men) and Jimmy Fallon (SNL).
8:34 Emmy for Best Directing in a Comedy Series goes to Steve Levitan of Modern Family. (He also had the best “What makes a great comedy director?” shtick, inserting himself into a classic scene from The Graduate, and offerng an alternate line-reading to Dustin Hoffman.)
8:36 The kid who plays Lily taunting Jesse Tyler Ferguson by eating Chick-Fil-A: Genius! (She still can’t really act, though.) (Uh-huh, I said it!)
8:39 Getting more laughs than usual (ever?) from tonight’s podium shtick. Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series intro finds Melissa McCarthy making sexually suggestive comments about the nominees, including Jim Parsons (“Smooth, smooth like a baby, Jim, that’s what you are.”) and Larry David (“I don’t mind bald: Just think about it.”)
8:40 Best Actor in a Comedy Series goes to Jon Cryer from Two and a Half Men. (For the record, he seems as stunned as you are.)
8:45 Time for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Is it wrong for me to root for Julia Louis-Dreyfus?
8:46 And JLD wins!!!
8:48 Maybe next year’s Emmys should be hosted by the nominees for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series? JLD and Amy Poehler do an amazing bit where they pretend to accidentally swap acceptance speeches while hugging, with the former starting her speech by thanking NBC, Parks and Recreation, her “beautiful boys Archie and Abel.”
8:50 “The Year in Reality.” Someone is speaking my language, but where’s Skylar Laine???
8:52 The award for Outstanding Reality Competition Program (and I still can’t believe Idol wasn’t even nominated) goes to The Amazing Race for the umpteenth time in umpteen-and-one attempts.
8:55 And by “umpeen,” I mean to say that since Emmy first began handing out a Reality-Competition statuette in 2003, TAR has won every year except 2010.
8:58 Who’d have thunk that the Big Bang Theory cast could make the intro of the Emmy accountants entertaining and borderline hilarious. “C-P-A! C-P-A! C-P-A! C-P-A!”
9:00 Yikes. An unneccessary Brian Dunkleman joke from Seth MacFarlane, and then a borderline disrespectful intro dismissing the entire reality genre?
9:01 AFTER FIVE STRAIGHT NOMINATIONS, THE EMMY GOES TO DWTS’ TOM BERGERON! (Caps-lock accidentally hit, and it stays.)
9:02 Bergeron, succinct, witty, and erudite as always, thanks “my family, most of them know who they are” and Jeff Probst, for not being nominated this year.
9:04 Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series goes to Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad.
9:06 Paul won in 2010, the last time he was eligible, and gives a shout-out to fellow castmember/nominee Giancarlo Esposito and the writers, for not killing him off.
9:09 POLL TIME!!!
9:13 Jimmy Kimmel asking viewers to Tweet “OMG, Tracy Morgan just passed out at the Emmys. Turn ABC on now!” and asking Morgan to lie flat on the stage for 10 minutes. Hrmmm.
9:15 Woohoo! Best Writing in a Drama Series goes to Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, and Gideon Raff for the pilot episode of Homeland. (Just the show’s themesong gives me the chills.)
9:17 These dudes handled the “they’re playing you off” music better than just about anyone.
9:18 Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series goes to Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey. #DowagerCountessFTMFW #WhatsAWeekend?
9:23 Reminders of who Best Guest Actor and Actress in a Drama Series in last year’s Creative Arts ceremony: Martha Plimpton from The Good Wife (correct!) and Jeremy Davies from Justified.
9:25 Best Directing in a Drama Series goes to Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire. (Some kind of award should go to Jeremy Davies’ “hair,” too, yes?)
9:27 Jimmy Kimmel’s “tribute” to himself — with Josh Groban turning “What Makes You Beautiful” into a plaintive ballad — was probably funnier on paper than in reality.
9:28 Big upset, but that doesn’t mean it’s undeserved: Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series goes to…Damian Lewis from Homeland!
9:30 Lewis’ best line: “I don’t really believe in judging art, but I thought I’d turn up just in case.”
9:35 Jimmy’s momentum slowing a little. Maybe a serving of Tina Fey and Jon Hamm will help?
9:36 OMG, Tina Fey, “who forgot her glasses,” intros some of the characters as Lead Actress in a Drama Series as “a shoebrush lady of manure” and “another lawyer person.” Jon Hamm, horrified: “You have to do better.”
9:39 The Emmy goes to Claire Danes! “Mandy Patinkin, holla!”
9:40 Amazing Danes managed to find and execute a role even more brilliantly than Angela Chase, isn’t it?
9:43 Does it make me an idiot if I expected Jane Leeves to come out when the voiceover promised us Jane Levy? Wait, don’t answer that…
9:45 Writing for a Variey Series foes to Louis CK…Live at the Beacon Theater. (Gayest Logo for a Variety Series, however, goes to Kennedy Center Honors.)
9:51 Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special time. Presenter Ricky Gervais says it’s a good thing the category is live, or “this would not make the edit.” Adds that “if Louis CK wins this, he’s a better comedian than me.”
9:53 The Emmy goes to Glenn Weiss for the Tony Awards. “On awards shows, people get played off all the time by guys like me. Tommy, play me off!”
9:56 For the tenth consecutive year, Best Variety, Music or Comedy Special goes to The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. (Also, just have to say, I could’ve picked 10 better clips from Melissa McCarthy’s hosting stint for SNL‘s promo snippet.)
9:57 Colbert and Fallon wrestling Stewart to the ground FTW!
10:03 Funnier than it should’ve been? Jimmy Kimmel has Tracy Morgan eject Kimmel’s parents from the ampitheater for boosting his confidence and telling him he could someday win an Emmy.
10:05 Favorite outraged comment from the hubby: Missing qualifies as a miniseries?”
10:07 Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie goes to Jessica Lange, American Horror Story.
10:08 Lange gives a shout-out to AHS creator Ryan Murphy, “a man who made me, I have to admit, more promises than any man I had met before — and they all came to pass.”
10:12 POLL TIME!!!
10:14 Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie goes to Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys.
10:16 Hmph! Berenger played off right as he’s describing his character as “a cross between a raccoon with rabies and a demented garden gnome.”
10:18 In Memoriam segment: Okay, TVLine readers, who’d they snub?
10:21 (Aww, Andy Rooney, you old curmudgeon!)
10:23 Oooh, that ad for WHBM.com is feroshe! Just the jolt I needed to live-blog the final hour of the telecast.
10:27 Writing for a Miniseries or Movie goes to Danny Strong for Game Change.
10:28 Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie goes to Julianne Moore for Game Change. (And that is one gorgeous yellow gown she’s got on!)
10:29 “Wow! Wow! I feel so validated because Sarah Palin gave me a big thumbs-down!”
10:36 And the statuette for Directing for a Miniseries or Movie goes to… Jay Roach for Game Change.
10:38 Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie time…come on Idris Elba!!!
10:39 Nope, it’s Kevin Costner, for Hatfields & McCoys.
10:40 Loving Costner’s vest-sans-tie attire. Very “I care enough to work hard at looking like I don’t care.” Also like his shout-out to folks (including myself): “For those of you who haven’t seen it, thank God for TV and reruns.”
10:46 Andre Braugher! Which leads me to ask, “Who else misses Men of a Certain Age?”
10:47 The trophy for Miniseries or Movie goes to Game Change. Very succinct speech from producer Tom Hanks.
10:48 Best Drama Series: Homeland! (Correct!)
10:50 Alex Gansa accepting the trophy: “I don’t know when they’re gonna cut me off, but this is the biggest night of my career, so I’m gonna keep on talking till they do.” Glad he caught his thanks to “the wives” with a quick additional shout-out to “the spouses.”
10:55 “Everyone’s least favorite person, Michael J. Fox” gets a massive standing ovation.
10:56 We’ve been told that laughter is the best medicine. We were also told that Facebook was a bargain at $38 a share,” says Fox, before announcing that Modern Family is the winner of Best Comedy Series for the third straight year.
10:58 Modern Family producer Steven Levitan gets played off right after an anecdote about watching the space shuttle Endeavor flying over the Modern Family set. Then, as he tries to squeeze in some thank-yous, the lights get cut and his mic gets switched off. Congratualtions?
10:59 “Oh did you guys want to stay another hour?” asks Jimmy Kimmel. Okay, I guess not.
11:01 Thanks for hanging with me, TVLine readers. Before you go to bed — or else tomorrow morning when you’re fighting off a “case of the Mondays” — come back to TVLine for all the Emmys scoop you can handle. Our crackerjack team is hitting all the parties for news and scoop on your favorite shows. Kim Roots has already posted a jaunty fashion gallery. And we’ve got a backstage report that’s not to be missed, either!