EMMY 2001 ~ Behind the Scenes at the Emmys

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Find out what goes on backstage

TRO Exclusive ~ What Went on at the 28th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards

Award show production is famous for the hustle and bustle, lack of adequate rehearsal time, and a number of near catastrophes.  Several years ago, one presenter expressed this sentiment about the backstage experience:  "It's a cluster f___!"   It seems that at award shows, invoking Murphy's Law would leave much to be desired.  Better to defer to the lesser-known Marshall-Smith's Law, which is: "Murphy was an optimist!" LOL Yet, through it all, the show goes on, and dick clark productions succeeds in putting it together and pulling it off year after year, show after show.

So, what happens after the presenters announce the winners and the winners take to the stage to express their thanks?  Usually, someone who is just an average everyday person, or maybe even a movie or TV extra, rushes to occupy the seat in the audience that the winner vacated, so when the camera again pans the audience for the next category, there are no empty seats.   Meantime, the winner, who is usually in a daze at this point, is escorted backstage where he is lead through a maze of corridors, people, and rooms, until he arrives at the press area.  There are usually several pressrooms. One for writers and video news crews, one for photographers, and smaller "one-on-one" rooms where shows like "Entertainment Tonight," "Access Hollywood," "E! Entertainment," etc., tape private interviews with the winners for airing on their respective shows at a later date.   The press rooms are decked in network identification backdrops, promoting not only the stars and shows that win, but also the network that is broadcasting the Awards Show that year.

With cybermedia taking its rightful place among print, broadcast and radio, there are now computers logged on to the internet so that correspondents from eZines can write their coverage, hit send, and off it goes to the online editor for next-to-immediate publication.   There are also phones available (although many reporters now carry their own cell phones) so that print journalists can likewise call in and dictate their coverage.

But what went on in the press room this year?  First of all, each and every winner grips that statue as if their lives depended on it.  The first stop is usually the photo room, where cameras click and flashes pop in dazzling repetition. After the photo fest, winners adjourn to the writers' room, where journalists attempt to elicit witty quips from winners who are still rather dazed and on an amazing high. Justin Torkildsen (Rick, B&B) and co-star Adrienne Frantz (Amber, B&B) mugged it up for cameras, hugging and smiling and languishing in their respective wins.  This despite the fact that Frantz was a little unnerved after her limo was hit in a fender bender on her way to Radio City.  "I was freaking out," she admitted!

Michael E. Knight (Tad, AMC), always so gracious and charming, continued to work his magic with the press.  (In 1999, when Knight's name was announced as part of the list of nominees in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category, he was the ONLY actor who received a raucous round of applause from the pressroom, just at the mere mention of his nomination!  Knight is definitely a favorite.) 

There was a bit of a controversy in regard to just who is responsible for turning around "As the World Turns," Headwriter, Hogan Sheffer, or Executive Producer, Chris Goutman?  Probably feeling a little left out, after all, Goutman was responsible for hiring Sheffer in the first place, Goutman commented, "The (win) is shared by everyone.  I think to designate anyone, including myself is unfair to everyone."  Do I sense some sour grapes, here?  Sheffer, on the other hand, could not stop crediting the turnaround to the joint effort of everyone involved. 

"As the World Turns" was the big winner of the evening, and everyone associated with the show could not be more delighted.  On the air, Goutman mentioned in his thank-you speech that if you haven't tuned in lately, do tune in, as you may be pleasantly surprised.

Visibly missing from this year's nominations and therefore awards, were longtime multiple nominees and winners, the "Young & the Restless," "General Hospital, " and even "Days of Our Lives," although Y&R did win for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series this year. A spokesperson for DOOL admitted that they were very disappointed in their lack of nominations.  Could a slipshod response to submitting ballots be credited with the lack of Emmy nods for shows that usually do so well?  "We were asked to fill out our ballots and bring them to work on a certain day," revealed Lesli Kay (Molly, ATWT) in regard to their whopping 25 nominations this year.  "It was just like elementary school."  As it turned out, "As the World Turns" was the teacher's pet!