"We are stunned and amazed," One Life to Live's executive producer Gary Tomlin said as he struggled to find the words to capture the moment.
This marked One Life to Live's very first win in the Outstanding Drama Series category. In fact, in its 34 year history, the program received only one previous nomination in the category and that came back in 1983.
The key to winning, according to Tomlin, was submitted clips that would distinguish One Life to Live from its competitors. One of the two episodes submitted by One Life to Live was a bizarre July 4th stand-alone episode in which characters swapped personas with their arch rivals.
Though obviously elated by the win, Tomlin seized the opportunity to voice his displeasure with the way that the show's cast had been overlooked in this year's Emmy nominations.
"Not a single [One Life to Live] actor was deserving of an acting nomination?" asked Tomlin, an outspoken critic of the Emmy process, "The nominees are fine, fine performers, but more of the shows need to be represented."
Tomlin shares a great deal in common with As The World Turns' head writer Hogan Sheffer. Like Sheffer, Tomlin is credited with turning around the show he helms. Sheffer infused humor into As The World Turns and focused on the show's decades-long history. At One Life to Live, Tomlin has breathed new life into the show, a show that Tomlin said has been treated as a "stepchild" for far too long. Through humor and a concerted effort to mine the show's rich history, Tomlin has made One Life to Live the talk to the town.
Being named Outstanding Drama Series comes as the proverbial cherry on the sundae of a ground breaking week for One Life to Live. The show broadcast live during Emmy Week. It was the first time that a one-hour soap opera broadcast live in nearly twenty years.
In an unusual Emmy coincidence, One Life to Live did not pick up any other Emmy victories this year. The show had amassed seven nominations overall.