A Few Thoughts About the 36th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards

As of this writing, The 36th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards concluded a few hours ago on The CW and I am awash in mixed emotions after live Twittering the event. I wanted to put down these feelings while they are still fresh but I promise to keep these ruminations brief.

First, let me offer congratulations to Daytime Confidential’s Jamey Giddens, along with TVGuide.ca’s Nelson Branco and Soap Opera Digest editor Stephanie Sloane in their debut as commentators during the awards pre-show. Though one could detect a teeny bit of the jitters at various times, they were a class act all the way. I also must give praise to DC’s Melodie Aikels, who did a bang up job offering live blog commentary during the pre-show & ceremony.

To that end, I think that our hats really should be off to The CW for airing the show and to Emmy producer Jim Romanovich for producing one of the classiest Daytime Emmy pre-show & awards telecasts in recent memory. The fact is that the network didn’t have to pick up the show, regardless of the strange set of factors that made it possible for them to air, despite the fact that the network airs no soaps or other original daytime programming. Sure, the pre-show was awash in blatant, in-your-face promos for The CW’s new fall schedule. In my opinion, that is a small price to pay for getting the awards on the air. During the pre-show, Lara Spencer was grating at times, but an enthusiastic sport. Kevin Frazier did an admirable job. The entire endeavor was a pretty well-done, if obviously financially constrained, affair.

As for the awards show itself, Vanessa Williams was an oustanding host who took the ceremony seriously, treated with dignity, looked fabulous and her opening number went over a lot better than its inspiration, Hugh Jackman’s recent Oscar night turn. In fact, it was very reminiscent of the hilarious faux-opening for the fictional Daisy Awards that aired on One Life to Live in 1989!

The acceptance speeches were mostly heartfelt & sincere, although someone should tell smug winner Kevin Clash that Guiding Light’s 72 years is a lot more impressive than his show’s 40. Speaking of which, the tribute to Sesame Street’s 40th anniversary was awesome. However why did Thorsten Kaye look like he wanted strangle Elmo? I have little to say about the winners, other than I think almost everyone who won deserved it. The fact that Bob Guza took home the trophy for best writing gave me chuckles to no end. Guza didn’t deserve it, but the fallout promises to be entertaining over the next few days. As for none of The Ladies of The View — who finally won! — bothering to show up after literally years of nattering about never winning, I have one thing to say: bitches!

It is clear to me that the producers and production team were determined to put on a real awards show, one that actually celebrated daytime, despite the time and financial constraints put upon them. I actually liked the very brief "fashion show/photo shoot" (no offense to any of the other actresses, but Chrishell Stause, Rebecca Herbst, Bree Williamson and especially Ewa Da Cruz were stunning). Betty White was hysterically funny, appropriately moving and respectful of Guiding Light. I got a kick out of Miss Williams’ first singing number.

Where this year’s Emmy telecast fell short reveals cracks that were both small and staggering. After the first couple of awards, clips of the nominees were unceremoniously dispensed with and latter categories were rattled off with such astonishing speed that I thought I unwittingly had stumbled on an episode of As the World Turns.

37 Responses

  1. Profile photo of ladyofthelake

    I can remember the daytime emmys cutting the acting clips of the nominees before. They always show them for the first two awards then they run out of time and breeze right threw the other awards, it’s always like that. Shame what they did to GL and B&B. Didn’t they cut of GH once to when they won. It’s all happened before. They never due that to the prime time emmys, never.

  2. Profile photo of luverica

    The Guiding Light tribute was TIRED. It deserved so much better than that. I hope they do better with the soon to be cancelled AS THE WORLD TURNS and ALL MY CHILDREN tributes next year. That’s right. I went there.

    I didn’t see the whole show but did Jamey ever appear on television and if so, does anyone know where to go to see a video of it?

  3. Profile photo of goyankees

    Sigh. Even though I swore I wasn’t going to watch….I did. (sore sport Y&R fan!!) I watched cuz…well, it was a Sunday night which is a good night to air awards shows…

    The other day I posted how I wanted Jeanne Cooper to win B.A. even though many thought it should be Susan Haskell. and when she won, I was actually happy for her. (LOOOOVED her dress!) I may not like Marty much but SH is a great actress. So I take back my statement from last week. Ha!

    Yaaay, Christian Leblanc! He and Peter Bergman can do NO WRONG in my eyes….

    That stupid ‘Dancing’ fiasco? I was so embarrassed for Susan Lucci. Thank GOD however, Cameron Matheson was no where to be found in that 3 minute debacle…He would have made it just much, much worse.

    (rubbing temples) GH wins for best writing? GAG!

    And again, I still stand behind my Y&R (having basically given up on every ABC show out there – the shows I grew up on until finding YR in 1996)….I was so hoping AMC would NOT WIN FOR BEST DRAMA! I think that show $ucks so bad and has fallen so far, that for it to be rewarded would just take my whole belief in Daytime and toss it over a cliff in a wedding dress atop a motorcycle. And yes, I was rooting for the Little Brother, Bold ‘n the Beautiful…thank god.

    Betty White. She’ll always be Rose Nylund to me….Nice to know she watches her soaps!!! Well….at least for another two weeks…

  4. Profile photo of chelehel74

    Or cut the damn red carpet because the folks on the red carpet asking questions did their homework about as well as a 3 grader and make the award show itself more interesting and exciting as a show. A 3 hour broadcast (or a 2 1/2 hour one with a shorter red carpet) would have saluted Daytime without the rush.

    I completely disagree – the fashion show was tacky and made a fool of the daytime genre. Should it be treated like the Emmy’s – nope – but with smart writing and well placed presenters if could have pitched a better tone than playing dress up with daytime stars. Tyra and Top Model – I get why they tried it but it was just plain dumb.

    And to have that fashion show segway into such an emotional charity tie in…. classless

    As for the GL tribute length – very sad. To have ONE of the shows vets say a short rehearsed/scripted something might have helped fans heal a little instead they were left to yell to the audience and get cut off just like CBS just did to them.

    If this is the kind of Emmy broadcast that Daytime is going to get they are better off moving to a web based award show or none at all. That wasn’t a celebration as much as it was a cluster.

  5. Profile photo of goyankees

    Oh, yes, the ‘Red Carpet” junk. How AWFUL is Lara Spencer? She grates on my very last nerve. Did anyone notice the flub? Kevin Fraiser was ‘tossing’ it back to Lara who was about to interview Gina Tognoni? Lara can be heard saying “pronouce your last name for me?”

    Then the interview, The Wizard, Lara say’s “no a great friend joins me, Gina Tognoni….” Just hilarious.

    But again, it could be worse. Cam Matheson could have been running the show….

  6. Profile photo of appleridge

    I say Next year have the awards themseleves run 3 hours and have the red carpet if u must before that on the CW or Soapnet
    They could have cut the 2nd dancing number and the fashion show and could have been good with time

  7. Profile photo of maxsmom

    Once the show was running long which I blame in part at least for the early winners slightly overlong speeches and the double supporting actors, there should have been an executive decision to cut VW’s second number, if not the song then certainly the dance. The fashion show would have been better as a tribute to iconic fashions from soap history and yes the segway into the charity was the worst segway in history. When Guza won, I had to pause the show to yell and curse at the screen, now my show will never improve. Of course we must remember the stupidity of winning an annual award for 1 or 2 episodes out of 250.

    rant over, i mostly enjoyed the show

  8. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    Yeah, if the CW doesn’t want to air it, I hope they do, why not just air them in the daytime like back in the day? Lets go back to basic with the daytime emmys and air them in the daytime?

  9. Profile photo of naughtytomato

    They cut off the cast of Guiding Light way too fast. Camera panned very fast then a lot of cuts to the audience and wide shots of the whole cast but can’t make out people.

    Kim Zimmer gave two thumbs up and said something to the audience that caused a roar. Does anyone know what she said?

    Could of had someone say something…..

    The Sesame St tribute went on a long time! The sing along was nice but maybe they could of cut the eating the Emmy bit for time, and give it GL…just say’in.

    As for running out of time…that always happens. Cut actor, actress clips, best drama getting cut off that did happen before.
    But on the whole, I did enjoy the show this year more so than other years. Tone was more respectful of daytime yet had fun.

    I’m just glad Daytime got something.

  10. Profile photo of Boston

    With Deidre and Drake gone from Days….there was a HUGE void in the telecast for me. I really felt sorry that they were not part of the evening nor any longer part of the industry they served so well for over 20+ years! Ken Corday…you stink!

  11. Profile photo of dkellergrl2001

    I’m glad that J. Bernard can see the brighter side to what was aired last night, but I’ve got to disagree.

    That was one of the worst pre-show and award show broadcasts that I’ve seen. Even the VH-1 Fashion shows had more respect for the overall theme and subject matter for their awards, when they were being produced and aired on that station.

    It’s like TPTB behind the scenes didn’t know how to film the action that was going on during the pre-show red carpet program. The cameras (at EVERY angle and location spot on the carpet) seemed to not know where to focus on when Lara and the other host had a short interview with a daytime star.

    No homework was done on people that were being interviewed. The fact that Lara Spencer didn’t know how to pronounce Gina Tognoni’s name was shocking. You would expect that from Joan Rivers, but not someone who’s hosted interview programs about the entertainment industry.

    It’s all just in bad form, IMO and if the folks behind the scenes can’t take the time to LEARN about the Daytime industry then what’s the point of praising them for crappy work?

  12. Profile photo of appleridge

    To Be Fair regarding Gina T’s name, the two times she won emmys, Anthony Geary presented and called her Gina Tog No Knee. It Happens

    I think the girl that worked for CBS in the clips posted on DC should have co-hosted the CW red carpet

    But I dont see the red carpet as necessary
    They could have added another to the emmy award show and we could have seen clips from all the acting categories, writing, directing

    It also pisses me off that the show packages show clips from 2009 when the eligibilty is Jan-Dec 2008. They should only be allowed to show clips from that time frame

    I think ATI did better than ABC did last year

  13. Profile photo of Jack661

    Too bad we don’t have the Soap Opera Digest Awards show anymore which could have produced a much longer tribute the GL. weren’t they the ones who did a touching montage for AW after it went off the air? As for the categories where they ran out of time to show clips, it’s too bad they don’t show the nominee in the audience so we can at least see them that night… I thought the same thing on previous years. I remember we all used to bitch about all those Dick Clark productions of the Emmys… remember the year JFP was cut off after winning best show (GH)? So it’s the same thing every year… they always mismanage their time estimates no matter what and then have to whiz through the most important categories. On a side note, I wish we still had a show like Soap Talk to honor milestones like GL … we’re lucky the talk show was around when AMC turned 35 for a tribute show where we got to see James Mitchell, Taylor Miller, and Peter Bergman all together one last time.

  14. Profile photo of appleridge

    Yes the SOD Awards Did A Great Package not Only for AW But Also Sunset Beach in 2000. I agree who ever produces that show should team Jim of ATI. That guy loves daytime and I think the two combinded would make a great show

    Also Lifetime should air the daytime emmys. They used to air the Soap Opera Update Awards in the 1990’s and it was a Lifetime Original Presentation

    Here’s a clip to remember of that time

  15. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

     A couple of points in response to various posters:

    1. Yes, you are all correct that many of the issues I cited (the dropped nominees clips; the show running long; unnessecary packages in our eyes) happen with most awards shows. Unlike cable and the Oscars or Grammys, broadcast networks no longer have the luxury of running their awards shows long as they once did years ago. The CW was in a particular spot because it couldn’t run over into its affiliates’ time based on how the Daytime Emmy’s came to air on its network period. However, the bottom line is that although these issues are normal & the usual things critics bitch about, they still deserve to be bitched about.

    2. The idea that this awards ceremony was shoddily produced and among "the worst ever" (words I’ve read here and there) is mitigated by the howls of protest that followed the last several Daytime Emmy’s on ABC, CBS and even NBC before the network dropped them altogether. You might recall the way Dick Clark Productions (which produced the Daytime Emmys for many years) cut Jill Farren Phelps just as she started speaking during one of GH’s wins for best drama; the outrage that ensued over the "viewer’s choice" faux Emmy given to Gus & Harley on a recent CBS telecast; how Another World and other cancelled soaps over the years were completely ignored; and a dozen other crappy or just plain bullshit moves that have plagued the show over the last several years.

    I don’t expect people to agree with me. I am a little concerned that among the harshest of critics there might be a failure to appreciate that it was just a few short months ago that we were wringing out hands over the probability that the Daytime Emmys wouldn’t air anywhere, the extraordinary luck that factored into the CW — a network with no real affiliation with daytime and with no perceived demographic overlap or interest —picking it up, and how difficult it was to put the show on at all.

    I am not saying some of the criticisms are not valid (they are), but there can be a tendency to not see or ignore the larger picture or context of a thing. Just like with some of our soaps, there are some fans who rather treat a mosquito bite by amputating a leg than spraying it with Bactine.

  16. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    I feel that many are not happy with the nominees and the winners like B&B as best soap or Darin Brooks as younger actor. I feel that the voting should be a fair process and not be voting for the popular person or a favor to someone. They should watch the tapes like most of the fans watch these awful episodes.

  17. Profile photo of elbugten

    Well said in both your original post and your reply, J. Bernard. Considering the show even aired at all, I’d give it a B-. I just thought some of the camera work was shoddy (cutting to marks where no actor was standing there), and as with all awards shows, there are unnecessary fillers that take too much time away from the actual awards and speeches. Why can’t they plan these shows KNOWING they always run long and cut stuff out from the beginning? I agree that they should get 3 hours, but they’d probably have just as much filler, if not more. GL’s short tribute (this was the longest running show in ALL of television history EVER!) and cutting off B&B before anyone got to the stage was inexcusable, IMO. And I’m not even a fan of either show!

  18. Profile photo of craigcp

    Just goes to show you why the networks didn’t want Daytime Emmy’s Discusting the way they treaded GL. GL fans just can’t catch a break; I hope the 60 Min. is better, which it won’t be.

  19. Profile photo of samanthadelayed

    I thought the broadcast was fine. Not the best, but certainly not the worst. I was very happy with the amount of time given to Sesame Street, it was one of the few moments of the night that choked me up. I didn’t think Kevin Clash came across as smug at all. They should be proud of 40 years and at least they ain’t getting canceled anytime soon! ;-)
    And hey, I got to see Mark Lawson wearing that yummy dress uniform again, so how could it be all bad!? Is it just me or did Tyler Christopher look extremely uncomfortable??
    One Life to Live was robbed. They should have had the award for best writing… wtf? GH?

  20. Profile photo of sueboo54321

    Oh, I have seen far worse awards shows. This one was just OK for me. It wasn’t horrible. I think they should have given GL more time and the Best Show category should get more time. Maybe, they should move it farther up in the show. Sesame Street deserved its time to shine. Is there anyone who hasn’t watched that show? I got a bit choked up with the sing along. LA La La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la…… Love that!!!! Ernie and Bert were missed.

    They could have cut Susan Lucci out of the fashion show and just announced each of the Save the Children participates as that segment began. Linking them was the problem.

  21. Profile photo of keanna

    I know that I said last night that the show was bad and I still stand by it. They didn’t give GL its due and the fact that Mr. Bell wasn’t able to give his speech was awful, and don’t get me started on the pre-show red carpet. Though I do agree there were some bright spots, I do think that VW did do a good job, JB’s and DB’s reactions on their wins were priceless. I do admit the fashion show was pretty good. I agree with you, appleridge I think Lifetime should do the awards show if the networks don’t want it.

  22. Profile photo of dsrbroadway


    The 36th Daytime Emmy Awards hit another record low on the CW Sunday night, a year after delivering its lowest ratings on ABC in June 2008. This year’s show delivered a 0.5/2 from 7-10 p.m. and averaged 2.2 million viewers. It scored a 1.6/3 in households. That’s a dramatic decrease even from last years’ 4.1/8 household number and 5.3 million viewers.

    The Daytime Emmys have steadily declined throughout the decade, drawing a fraction of the viewers that turned to it in the mid-‘90s. The high-water mark of the last two decades came in 1993 when the awards show averaged a 16.4 household rating and 21.9 million viewers.

  23. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

    DSBroadway, the ratings in terms of aggregate numbers are a record low, but for The CW they are quite decent (in line with Gossip Girl, for example). They aired on a network with no daytime (soap) affiliation, without complete station clearances, in August when viewership is at its almost yearly low which is months later than its historical airing period (May or June), and  with nearly zero promotion on a venue that is barely watched during its regular season.

    2.2 million viewers isn’t a barn burner, but it’s not bad given the circumstances.

  24. Profile photo of dsrbroadway

    Forgot to note there was a source, to that article (http://www.broadcastingcable.com), so it’s not my own words.

    JBJ, from my posts since last night, I actually agree with much of what you say in your reviews. I think they did fine withe the show considering the circumstances, and I think it’s a shame that one big error tainted the view of a perfectly fine show for a lot of people. It was really no better or worse than any other recent broadcast.

  25. Profile photo of maxsmom

    As stated above holding the show in August is tough and on a network with shows that don’t repeat well so their already pretty low viewership is even lower. It’s also the last weekend before Labor Day. And finally, all award show ratings are down, I think because when the ratings were high people simply began inventing awards shows. 36 years ago when the Daytime Emmys began, it was the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, Grammys, and Tonys, who could list all the shows there are now.

  26. Profile photo of Cheri la MOO
    Cheri la MOO

    Oh dahling… YOUR Girls are looking for you J……
    Mama Dora is about to bust a gut :^O please drop by and visit us, You were marvelous on the show !!
    We STILL adore you !!!!!!

  27. Profile photo of J Bernard Jones
    J Bernard Jones

     dsrbroadway, I wasn’t criticizing you; just augmenting what you wrote. Sorry if I came off "shor"; my apologies.

    Thing to keep in mind about the Broadcasting & Cable report is that they combined the pre-show with the ceremony telecast, which actually drags the aggregate ratings down.

  28. Profile photo of JLyn23

    I don’t even know where to begin with my thoughts on the Emmys…I thought Vanessa Williams did a good job, and I enjoyed her opening number she did.

    I didn’t like how the whole program seemed rushed and disorganized. Nominees were getting rushed off the stage, and presenters for the next event were waiting in the wings and blatantly obvious to the viewers at home. It seemed like I saw more commercials than actual show, and some parts actually cut to commercial while a winner was giving his/her speech! Ridiculous!

    The GL tribute fell flat for me; Betty White (I love her so) talked longer than the tribute itself, and while I know it’s hard to wrap 72 years up in a matter of minutes, why were there no clips of Ross, Harley, Alan-Michael, and some of the other well known and major characters of the show from past years? I thought it was rather rude that while the cast was on stage for the final time, someone made the decision to fade to black in the middle of it. Awful. Just awful, tacky, and whatever else you can call it.

    And whoever asked what Kim Z was saying, when she was giving the thumbs up and speaking to the crowd, she was saying “Keep us alive”. I’m assuming she meant keep GL alive in memories or what not. That’s all I could make out from what she was saying.

    I’m not a B&B fan at all, but I thought it was extremely rude that Brad Bell’s speech was cut off and the credits rolled. You mean the poor guy couldn’t have his moment? Overall, I think the CW tried to do a classy job, but I feel they were successful in some parts and failed miserably in others.

    Thumbs down, CW. The only highlight for me was Jamey, Nelson, & Stephanie calling the predictions and such before the show. Great job you 3!

  29. Profile photo of doodleynoodle

    For the most part I completely agree with your post J.

    While it’s true there were egregious production errors I found myself captivated by the more obvious seat-of-their-pants direction. Instead of an over-polished lengthy circus, that as I recall people complained about as being TOO lengthy in times past, it felt to me we got a real grass-roots sort of effort by, as you mentioned, a network who has NO vested interest in an awards show of this nature. I thought the result was sincere if not perfect and for the most part I enjoyed the show.

    I understand the frustration but I’m just thankful it was aired at all. I’m hoping it’s the kind of life support that the soaps desperately need to either prolong the inevitable OR make a miraculous comeback. I’m personally hoping for the latter.

  30. Profile photo of doodleynoodle

    As a postscript…

    While most of us take it for granted not everyone enjoys Cable or Satellite Television services nor does every cable affiliate broadcast the CW Network. On the other hand, anyone with a television can watch ABC, CBS or NBC which may have seemingly contributed to the decline in viewership and ratings.

    Just a thought…

  31. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    15 Submitted by J Bernard Jones on August 31, 2009 – 10:19am

    I agree with your thoughts especially the bitchin’ n moanin’ about this broadcast when there wasn’t going to be a broadcast. I applaud CW for picking it up however, GL’s tribute should have been scheduled ‘earlier in the broadcast’ to be assured not to get the bum’s rush…

    And yes the fashion show I started watching soaps and got into them when some became glamourous: the hair, the dress, and all that.

    Even though it lasted 2min 31 sec some of the podcast hosts didn’t seem to like it.

    It was enjoyable, a fun watch seeing the casts pay tribute to their costume makeup/hair artists they work with everyday..in their skits with their 7,594 views on uTube some seem to have enjoyed it too….

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