EMMY 2001 ~ East Coast Nominees Honored by NYC Mayor

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Gracie Mansion plays host to NY Emmy Nominees

NYC Mayor's Office Honors East Coast Daytime Emmy Nominees at City Hall Reception

The 28th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards festivities kicked off in New York at City Hall as the Mayor's Office honored the East Coast nominees on May 1, 2001. Karen Wolitzer, TRO's NY reporter, and former Features Editor for "Soap Opera Magazine," shares her take on the event.

For the past ten years I've been attending soap opera events (for various magazines), and I have to admit, I still get a little thrill every time I walk into a room full of soap stars. So, when Linda told me about an event at City Hall (in New York) honoring the Daytime Emmy nominees, hosted by Mayor Giuliani, and asked me to cover it, I said yes, yes, yes!

Some of my favorite daytime stars are up for awards this year, including Eden Reigel (Bianca, AMC), for her portrayal of a teenage lesbian, Susan Lucci (Erica, AMC) who's had a great year, Josh Duhamel, (Leo, AMC) who makes you want to grab Leo every time he walks on screen, and Martha Byrne (Lily/Rose, ATWT) who's marvelously portraying two very different characters. I want all of them to win. And I looked forward to seeing each and every one of them at City Hall. Oddly enough, I was looking forward to seeing the Mayor, too. After all, NYC Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani is quite a celebrity himself!

I had never been to City Hall before. The room the event was held in was beautiful. I was very impressed. Patricia Reed Scott, Commissioner of the Mayor's office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting (I had never heard of it) welcomed us and apologized for the Mayor, who was attending a funeral and couldn't join us. I had figured that some of the stars wouldn't be there, due to conflicting work schedules, but I was sure the Mayor would show up for his own party! I was disappointed, but not as disappointed as I was when I realized Josh and Eden hadn't made it either.

On the positive side, Susan Lucci was there -- charming and beautiful as ever. And Montel Williams, who is up for an award, was watching from the side of the room, looking extremely sexy.

The purpose of the event was to award certificates of honor to the nominees, and to thank them for helping to foster the television production industry New York City. Their being recognized for their work and achievement by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in the form of their Daytime Emmy nomination makes the City proud.

After we were welcomed, Deputy Mayor Joseph J. Lhota joked that his speech wouldn't be up to par because his writers were going on strike, too. Then he told us that his mom is a huge ATWT fan. (My mom was a huge "Another World" fan.) I was hoping all the nominees would say something, but the entire event consisted of the nominees posing for photos with the Deputy Mayor and John Cannon, President of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Needless to say, it wasn't the most exciting event I've ever been to, but it was affirming to see the City recognize and support the hard work of daytime television industry.

For me, the real fun began when the ceremony ended. Everyone went out into the rotunda for seafood and drinks. Thats when I got a chance to speak with AMC's adorable Jesse McCartney (J.R.), who told me he was at school when he found out he was nominated. (He's in 8th grade) "My dad came to tell me," he said. "They called me down to the principal's office. I was scared to death. But I was thrilled when I found out. I told my best friend and then they announced it on the loud speaker." Jesse's had a wonderful year, going from a little boy named Junior to a teenager who wants to be called J.R. AMC fans, stay tuned. J.R. is in for a roller coaster ride ahead.

I tried to talk with Susan Lucci, but she was surrounded by reporters with TV camera's and all I had was my little tape recorder. Rebecca Budig, who plays Greenlee, Erica's least favorite person in the world, was by Susan's side during the entire event. I couldn't get near her either.

I did get to speak with Martha Byrne, who looked gorgeous. She even shared some big news with us! "Paulo Seganti (Damian) is back, and I'm so excited to be working with him again," she told me with a smile. "I'm having so much fun. I love playing Lily because of her history -- and Rose is funny -- so I get the best of both worlds."

ATWT's Lesli Kay (Molly) was also at the event, but I didn't have a chance to speak with her. However, I did have the pleasure of connecting with ATWT's lovely Terri Conn (Katie). She wouldn't tell me what she was wearing to the Emmy Awards, but she assured me that her dress is beautiful. And as for her storyline, all she would say is "Henry and I go off on an adventure." My trip to City Hall was an adventure, too. (Reprinted from Top of the Week 5-7-01)