The “fempire.” It’s a term we first heard Fox’s Kevin Reilly use at the network’s recent upfront presentation in New York, and it applies perfectly to the overarching theme of the 37th Annual Gracie Awards, handed out at a Beverly Hilton gala on May 22, 2012.
The Gracies, named after legendary comedienne Gracie Allen, are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation and recognize the best work of women in media, with a strong focus on television, including news, drama, comedy, commercials, talk, documentaries and sports, and also encompassing radio and new media.
“We’re thrilled to honor women who create innovative, intelligent and insightful programming at our signature event,” said AWMF President Erin Fuller.
Angela Kinsey of “The Office” hosted the festivities, which also featured musical performances from Vicci Martinez, a finalist from the first season of “The Voice,” and Hannah Mclalwain, a contender from season one of “The Glee Project.”
From Angie Harmon to Emilia Clarke, Lady Gaga to Oprah, Sarah Shahi to Loretta Devine and Chelsea Handler and Christina Applegate, it was an inspirational group of people who were awarded the 44 statuettes for the excellence of their work during the past year.
Harmon, for Turner’s femme-centric “Rizzoli & Isles,” and Callie Thorne of USA Network’s “Necessary Roughness” took the prizes for outstanding female actor in a leading role in a drama series or special.
Applegate won that distinction for comedy series or special for her role in “Up All Night” while Clarke took the Gracie as outstanding female rising star in a drama series or special for her powerful breakout role on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Shahi was lauded as outstanding female actor in a breakthrough role for USA’s “Fairly Legal.”
“Hot in Cleveland” was awarded the trophy for outstanding comedy and “Harry’s Law,” “Five” and “Revenge” took prizes for outstanding drama.
House of Mandela, the South African winery launched by Nelson Mandela’s family and run by his daughter Makaziwe and granddaughter Tukwini, was the official wine, offering attendees a taste of the spirit of unity the Mandelas hope to evoke with their winemaking.
A complete list of the Gracies winners can be found here.