After 41 years of evil twins, baby-swapping, and back-from-the-dead surprises, the Daytime Emmys ceremony still found a way to break new ground with its 2014 broadcast. It was a night of many firsts, some of them memorable and some that soap fans wish they could forget.
Despite a resurgence of the daytime drama over the past year, this year's Daytime Emmy ceremony failed to secure a broadcast network to televise the annual awards show. Perhaps unwittingly and maybe even somewhat ironically, not having a television broadcast allowed the ceremony to become the first major awards program to be streamed exclusively online.
The Daytime Emmys ceremony also, for the first time, embraced so-called new media, or programming created exclusively for online/Internet viewing. One Life to Live and All My Children, which were broadcast via TOLN.com in 2013, were deemed eligible for Emmy consideration in all of the soap categories. NATAS also created the Outstanding New Approaches -- Drama Series category for web series with fewer new episodes in a given calendar year.
Even the night's Red Carpet preshow embraced new media, though, it arguably didn't go quite as well as the main ceremony. In an effort to expand the show's reach to the hard-to-reach millennial viewers, the Red Carpet show was hosted by four 20something women with a huge social media presence. Unfortunately, their social media savvy failed to transition to... being social with the daytime stars that walked the red carpet.
Four of this year's six acting winners were first-time winners. Of the other two, one was a first-time winner in his category, and the other pulled off the first-ever threepeat in his category.
While five of the six soaps broadcast in 2013 were eligible for awards on Emmy Night, just three soaps took home honors. The Young and the Restless picked up six awards, while Days of our Lives earned three. One Life to Live took home one award. For the first time since 2001 and 2008, respectively, General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful were shut out.
Adding in Friday's Creative Arts awards, each of the six soaps won at least two Emmy Awards this year. The Young and the Restless led the pack with nine total wins.
The Emmy ceremony was presided over by comedienne Kathy Griffin, who reportedly offered her services for free. The funny lady's sharp observations and occasion bleepable word choices seemed well-received by those in attendance at the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton.
But whether or not attempts to make the ceremony hipper or attract more viewers hit the mark, the night's ceremony will be remembered as a night when every acting winner marked some sort of first -- from first-time wins to a soap's first win in a category to the first back-to-back-to-back win in a category.
» PART TWO: SUPPORTING ACTOR AND ACTRESS