2010 Emmy Awards Roundup

08/30/2010 10:47 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Ken Levine Emmy-Winning Writer/Director/Producer, MLB Announcer

Shorter than the Oscars and gayer than the Tonys -- it's the 62nd annual Emmy Awards! This year starring Betty White and Temple Grandin.

For the first time ever, the Emmys were shown live in Los Angeles. NBC recognized they were up against very stiff competition this year -- the Chabad Telethon.

What an inconvenience that three-hour tape delay used to be. Every year my wife would have to excuse herself in the middle of the show, call home, and say, "Daddy lost. Go to bed."

Jimmy Fallon was this year's host. He was amusing at times. But my choice would have been Joel McHale. Or Rabbi Boruch Schlomo Cunin, who killed at the Chabad telethon!

The opening production number was great fun. And they established right away, if you need a laugh -- go to Betty White. She was in skits, promos and film clips. I was surprised she didn't appear in a scene from The Pacific blasting the shit out of the Japs. But Betty coaching Jon Hamm on dance moves was hilarious, and in general the number got the show off to a spirited start.

NBC is now so afraid of defecting viewers that during winners' speeches they alert you to upcoming star appearances. How'd you like to be on stage, maybe celebrating the single greatest moment of your life and on the screen they flash: "In Memoriam in 4 1/2 minutes"?

Lots of surprises this year: Aaron Paul won for Breaking Bad. He starred in one of our failed pilots a couple of years ago, and I just knew if he ever got attached to decent material his career would take off!

A big shocker was Archie Panjabi from The Good Wife. She's the researcher. So she won an Emmy for, "I was able to retrieve his phone records for the last three years"?

More surprises: Kyra Sedgwick, Top Chef beating perennial winner The Amazing Race (they shouldn't have cut corners by having the teams race through "It's a Small World" this season), the scarcity of Conan jokes (the over/under was fifty), and the discovery that Julia Ormond is certifiably insane.

Otherwise, was anybody shocked that Kim Kardashian can't sing or that The Pacific won for Best Miniseries? It was basically the only nominee, and she has no talent at all.

What was with that set? Every time they went to a tribute to Comedy or Drama or whatever, it was like the Caesar's Palace Sports Book exploded.

I was thrilled that Modern Family copped Best Comedy, thus keeping the tradition of comedic excellence alive for ABC. First Taxi in 1978, then The Wonder Years in 1988, and now this.

Mad Men again deserved Best Drama. It's still the best show on television. Although a note to Matthew Weiner -- when you win for writing, it's usually good form to wait for your co-writer to join you and not trample her on your way to the stage.

This was a bittersweet night for Matt. Yes, he won two Emmys but Temple Grandin got more attention.

Jane Lynch was even more of a lock than The Pacific. And she looked fabulous. She could even get girl parts.

But what was with Lauren Graham? Did she leave a napkin in her dress? It looked like she was wearing a black gown and a white lobster bib.

Eric Stonestreet's acceptance speech was heartfelt and lovely. And it was his first time. Al Pacino's won a million awards, and his speech was like your Uncle Lou's just before the paramedics came.

It was clearly Modern Family's night. Congratulations to Steven Levitan and
Christopher Lloyd for best script. Great speech by Steve, but where was Chris? Was there a Clippers game last night?

How could they do a tribute to the year in Drama and not include Defying Gravity? Or a Comedy tribute and omit Hank?

Edie Falco may be the only actress to win a Best Comedy and a Best Drama Emmy. Gotta applaud her honesty. "I'm not funny!" she exclaimed. Neither was that running Twitter bit.

January Jones wore a giant blue drink umbrella. Why have her present the award for Best Miniseries when she can't even pronounce Miniseries?

You realize of course that you watch a lot more television than the people who made these decisions? If it weren't for screener DVD's, many Academy members would still be voting for Hill Street Blues.

It's about time that Jim Parsons won for The Big Bang Theory. He's the young David Hyde-Pierce.

Did you notice that not one winner all night, any category, thanked a network or studio for notes?

Sofia Vergara came dressed as an Emmy.

Equally as stunning was Claire Danes -- and she did it without cleavage.

Meanwhile, Lea Michele was quite fetching in her tailored Glad bag.

Hugh Laurie will never win. And Bryan Cranston will never lose.

George Clooney received the Bob Hope Award for Major Movie Star who agreed to appear on the Emmys.

Best line of the night: Writer Adam Mazer, winner for You Don't Know Jack: "Jack Kevorkian, I'm so grateful you're my friend. But I'm even more grateful you're not my physician."

Jack Kevorkian was in attendance, although at first I thought it was David Caruso.

Anna Paquin came as King Tut.

What was that hideous song Jewel sang? I hate to say it, but it really brought down the "In Memoriam" section.

Dexter's John Lithgow, winner of best guest actor in a drama series (even though
he was in 13 of 13 episodes) thanked HBO, which is gracious, except Dexter is on Showtime.

Did anybody else notice that host network NBC didn't win a single Emmy during the broadcast? Again, how does Jeff Zucker keep his job???

Most deserved Emmy: Jeff Greenberg for casting Modern Family.

The musical salute to 24/Law & Order/Lost was good, but I dunno, over at the Chabad telethon, Avraham Fried was kicking ass.

Why did they have to ruin director Mick Jackson's big night by mentioning he also directed Volcano?

As Emmy shows go, I thought this was a pretty good one. It was a nice balance between new blood and Betty White. Thanks to my daughter Annie for helping with the snark. Happy birthday, kiddo.


I can't let an Emmy review go by without a nod to KTLA's inane Red Carpet arrival show hosted by the "footstool of the footlights," Sam Rubin and his bimbo de jour, this year -- Jessica Holmes, whose qualifications for this assignment was helicopter traffic reporter.

When Paula Abdul told Sam that Simon Cowell will always be in her heart, he's like a fungus, Rubin sought clarification: "So (he's) like toe jam?" What does it say when Sam Rubin is in a conversation with Paula Abdul and she comes off the smart one?

Not that Holmes is a Mensa candidate. To Jesse Brandt of Breaking Bad she
asked: "So does everybody in Hollywood know each other?" I guess when you cover the industry from 20,000 feet you might think that.

In discussing Dexter with two of its cast members, she said, "It's so funny that he's a serial killer."

And just when you thought they couldn't be any more self-congratulatory, they add this new little wrinkle: a running crawl at the bottom of the screen with text messages from the audience repeatedly telling Jessica and Sam how beautiful they look. I sent a text: "Sam & Jessica are insipid," and KTLA didn't air it. But with just a $30 donation, the Chabad telethon did.