The 30th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards are now in the history book. But this was a decidedly different Daytime Emmy Awards. In fact, you could almost hear the murmurs of, "This is not your mother's Daytime Emmys." From the first nomination to the last acceptance speech -- there was a certain level of excitement that hasn't been present in quite some time.
After years of complaints by fans, media and show execs that the entire Emmy process wasn't fair, there were changes. Instead of allowing shows with the biggest casts to "bloc vote" their way into multiple nominations, safeguards were put in place to ensure that no one soap could dominate any given category. And the process seemed to work. Many of this year's nominees were first-time nominees. After 25 years as The Young and the Restless' Paul Williams, Doug Davidson received his first nomination.
The two half-hour soaps -- Port Charles and The Bold and the Beautiful -- also received overdue recognition. Both programs received their very first Outstanding Daytime Drama Series nominations this year. Three performers from each show also received acting nominations, equaling or besting the totals of established hour-long programs like All My Children and Days of our Lives.
Even this year's Emmy telecast was different. There was a time when the Daytime Emmy telecast was relegated to the daytime hours. Tucked safely between local news and afternoon talk shows, the Daytime Emmys were low-profile. The first Daytime Emmys were held in 1973 and featured just three categories. 30 years later, the number of categories has grown exponentially and this year's telecast was a whopping three hours long.
While a major nor'easter storm bearing down on the East Coast, weather forecasters predicted a red carpet wash out. Heavy rain and winds were expected for all of the day Friday and parts of the weekend. Even the Emmy planners hadn't figured out quite what to do in the event of rain. While a few drops of rain did fall sporadically, the magic of Emmy night kept the elements at bay and the red carpet ceremony went on as planned.
Broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in the heart of New York City, the show opened with host Wayne Brady - himself a four-time Emmy nominee - parodying Sugar Hill Gang's rap classic, "Rapper's Delight." As the audience clapped along to his freestyle rap, Brady mused about the antics of the past year on the soaps. "With all the things going around wear condoms on your fangs," Brady joked of Port Charles.
With the musical montage out of the way, it was time to get down to the business at hand - handing out the Emmy Awards.
PART TWO: SUPPORTING ACTOR AND ACTRESS