Presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
Location: Shrine Auditorium Expo Hall, Los Angeles
Stars who attended: Chris Rock, Larry David, Billy Crystal, Tyne Daly, James Belushi, Jon Stewart, Chris Noth, Helen Mirren, Martin Sheen, Jeffrey Tambor, Carson Kressley, Matthew Fox and many more
Executives/industry types who attended: HBO’s Chris Albrecht, Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer, Yair Landau and Steve Mosko, Viacom’s Leslie Moonves, E!’s Ted Harbert, NBC’s Kevin Reilly, “Sex and the City’s” Darren Star, The WB’s Garth Ancier and David Janollari, Fox’s Gail Berman, Imagine’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer and “Ray” director Taylor Hackford
Ambience: The whimsical, romantic theme was “The Imagery of Television,” with a 1960s retro look. Four 35-foot-tall structures were erected around the huge room, with a massive circular truss and sconces; 72 plasma screens that showed original and historical footage and clips and scenes from the just-concluded award show. Some tables had pale-green silk chair covers, napkins and tablecloths. Floral displays around the room and on the tables were in high-tech green containers that caught the light, giving the illusion of floating flowers
Food: Heirloom tomato tartar with Dungeness crabmeat salad, steak au poivre with rock shrimp mashed potatoes, corn and spinach flan with brandy tarragon sauce. For dessert, created just for this event, television de chocolat milk chocolate mousse with cremeux passion, croquant feuilletine and passion fruit juice. Served with chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and champagne
Entertainment: The Wayne Bergeron Orchestra featuring Mark Copeland and Cassie Miller; and The Combolux Latin Band
The buzz: There was a general feeling that the Emmys show was a better, faster-paced show than last year, and host Garry Shandling helped make it more fun. Everybody loved the bit with the “real” man and woman brought in to present the award for best reality-competition program. Most could have lived without the bit involving Mr. Shandling, Ray Romano and Chris Rock in the men’s room
Fun factor: It was both fun and unusual to see movie stars and Broadway stars mixing with TV stars. The most requested drink at the bar was the Time Code Cocktail (a blue concoction of Vox Raspberry Vodka, lemonade and cranberry juice). Every place setting included a silver box of chocolates and a picture frame engraved with “Emmys 2004.”
-Alex Ben Block
Hosted by Matt Blank and Bob Greenblatt
Location: Morton’s Restaurant on Melrose in West Hollywood
Type: Viewing party and after-party
Stars who attended: Emmy nominees James Brolin (with wife Barbra Streisand), Glenn Close and William H. Macy, Tyne Daly, Kirstie Alley (the star of “Fat Actress” premiering later this year on Showtime), Patrick Stewart, Benito Martinez of FX’s “The Shield,” Matthew Fox of ABC’s “Lost,” Hank Azaria (who has a new show, “!Huff,” premiering on Showtime in November), Jon Cryer and stand-up comedian Andre Kelly (who will star with Kathy Griffin in a reality series on Showtime in February)
Executives/industry types who attended: Mr. Blank, Mr. Greenblatt and Richard Licata, corporate communications chief for Showtime, and Dave Collins, executive producer of “Stealing Sinatra,” for which Mr. Macy was nominated
Ambience: The Showtime logo was carved into the ivy on the back wall with a spotlight on the S-H-O part. There were flat-screen TVs outside and a huge projection TV set up inside for partygoers to watch the Emmys. Dress was a mix of formal and semi-formal.
Food: Hors d’oeuvres including quesadillas, crab cakes, chicken skewers, sashimi and vegetable spring rolls. The main course was offered buffet-style and featured serving salad, steak and salmon.
Entertainment: Art Deco band
The buzz: Despite HBO’s “Angels in America” and “The Sopranos” sweeping many awards, the people at Showtime were very happy about their Emmy nominations and were already looking to the future and upcoming shows. Bob Greenblatt said he was pleased with the Emmy nominations for Showtime this year and said that despite HBO’s success with original programming, Showtime would continue to do its own thing. “I don’t worry about HBO. They put a lot of money behind their shows,” he said about the pressure to compete with HBO in original programming. “We are going to continue to be choosy and selective about what we put on the air.” Mr. Macy was nominated for best supporting actor in a miniseries or movie for his role in “Stealing Sinatra,” but he lost to Jeffrey Wright from the Emmy sweeper in the long-form category, “Angels in America.” During the viewing portion of the party, before the category was announced, Dave Collins, who executive produced “Stealing Sinatra,” commented about going up against such strong competition from HBO. He praised Mr. Macy for his “phenomenal” acting ability as well as his friendly, down-to-earth off-screen persona, but said, “We don’t stand a chance. It’s fun now to anticipate a win, but I don’t think it will happen.”
Fun factor: The party was very crowded and very loud for a long time, always signs of a successful gathering.
Location: Spago in Beverly Hills
Stars who attended: Sharon Stone, James Spader, William Shatner, Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Bateman, Jessica Walter, Aisha Tyler, Portia de Rossi, Francesca Gregorini, Cloris Leachman, Nicole Richie
Executives/industry types who attended: Hosts 20th Century Fox Television Presidents Dana Walden and Gary Newman; Fox Broadcasting Entertainment President Gail Berman; Fox 21 President Jane Leisner; Imagine’s Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, David Nevins and Katie O’Connell; 20th Century Fox TV’s Patrick Moran, Quan Phung and Lisa Katz; Wonderland Sound & Vision President Peter Johnson, Fox network’s Samie Kim, Susan Levinson and Jonathan Wax; DreamWorks Television’s Justin Falvey; and UTA’s Matt Rice
Food: Plenty of Wolfgang Puck signatures, including mini-hamburgers, mushroom risotto in mini-coffee cups, Chinese chicken salad in takeout containers, beef satay and a full sushi bar
Entertainment: DJ A.M. was spinning a fair share of ’80s remix, including music by Prince and Hall & Oates.
The buzz: A happy mood with wins for “Arrested Development” and 20th Century Fox TV’s “The Practice” star James Spader. The patio broke into cheers with the replay of the best comedy win. William Shatner was holding court at a table toward the back of the restaurant, near the reserved booths for top network and studio execs. “I bet him $10 he was going to win” Mr. Shatner said of Mr. Spader. “He thought [`The Sopranos’ star James] Gandolfini would win. Not only did my friend and fellow actor on `Boston Legal’ win, but I made $10.” A “stunned” Mr. Spader said he was glad he didn’t owe Mr. Shatner more than $10. “If Bill hadn’t set the price, I would have bet a lot more on James Gandolfini,” he said.
Fun factor: Most unexpectedly celebratory of the Emmy parties, owing to the wins of “Arrested Development” and Mr. Spader
Location: Mondrian Hotel on the Sunset Strip
Stars who attended: Simon Cowell, Fran Drescher, Kelsey Grammer, Tom Green, Allison Janney, Anthony LaPaglia, George Lopez, David Hyde Pierce, Patricia Richardson, Jason Ritter, Diana Ross, Ryan Seacrest and four of the “Queer Eye” Fab Five: Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia and Carson Kressley
Executives/industry types who attended: “Entertainment Tonight’s” Linda Bell Blue, People magazine Managing Editor Martha Nelson, Viacom’s Leslie Moonves with “The Early Show’s” Julie Chen, “The O.C.’s” Josh Schwartz and many others
Ambience: Indoor/outdoor fanny-bumper packed with so many twenty- and thirty-something operators that admissions were slowed to a trickle for a time. Gorgeous setting with a fabulous vista of Los Angeles, plenty of bars and mountains of food. Most popular spot: The Revlon Beauty Bar, where all sorts of free makeup was dispensed. Most unusual spot: The candy station, w
hich offered towers of M&Ms in exotic colors, including violet, turquoise and gray. Most claustrophobic spot: jammed-to-the-rafters Skybar, which had been especially redesigned for the occasion as part of a “Designers’ Challenge” episode scheduled to air on HGTV in November. Big downer: Forty-minute wait for cars at the end of the evening. Mitigating factor: Deluxe zippered leather goodie bags in red, tan, brown or black crammed with 30 pounds of grooming supplies, candy, tea, CDs, DVDs, gift certificates and more.
Food: Specially designed menu by on-premises Asia de Cuba’s executive chef included five-spiced New York strip steak, yucca-crusted miso-glazed grilled chicken and panko-crusted shiitake mushroom sandwiches, sweet-soy-lacquered BBQ salmon, citrus salad and chocolate-covered strawberries
Entertainment: Goo Goo Dolls in the outdoor living room, plus celebrity karaoke inside at Asia de Cuba benefiting Rock the Vote. Highlights: The “Queer Eye” guys and Pat O’Brien singing “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” and Tom Green warbling Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.”
The buzz: “Just exactly who is Elaine Stritch again?”; “Can you believe they didn’t start the orchestra during Pacino’s speech?”; “I’m amazed John Ritter didn’t get it.”
Fun factor: Hands down the hippest location of all the Emmy parties. A human chain formed to provide a barricade against the crowd for the Goo Goo Dolls’ entrance added suspense and drama to the evening.
Location: Pacific Design Center courtyard in West Hollywood
Stars who attended: Pretty much every actor from every 2004 HBO series, movie or special was in attendance. Unlike last year, when many of HBO’s illuminati made obligatory appearances, a spectacular winning year kept many performers planted in the network’s tent after picking up their trophies. Sarah Jessica Parker, James Gandolfini, Drea de Matteo, Chris Rock, Al Pacino, Sharon Stone, Larry David, Ellen DeGeneres, Matthew Broderick and many more were on hand.
Executives/industry types who attended: HBO Chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht, HBO Films President Colin Callender and Executive VP of Original Programming Carolyn Strauss; “The Sopranos” partner Brad Grey; and “Deadwood” creator David Milch
Ambience: Appropriately, everything was coming up roses. HBO erected a large tent and scattered tables and couches were enclosed by myriad open bars and buffet stations. Roses were projected onto the tent ceiling and rose pedals were scattered on the tables. Everything else was rose-red-including the sofas, pillows, table clothes, candles, champagne flutes and more. Party designer Billy Butchkavitz said the red theme was inspired by the Pacific Design Center itself. Architect Cesar Pelli originally designed the center to include a green, a blue and a red building. With only the blue and green currently built, Mr. Butchkavitz temporarily erected a red edifice to complete the effect.
Food: Tasty, if theme-free, mascarpone lasagne, halibut, roasted potatoes, heirloom tomato and hearts of romaine salads
Entertainment: In a room stuffed with stars, any distracting entertainer would have been quickly hushed. That said, the outdoor section of the party included a dance floor and tunes spun by Qool DJ Marv, who was flown in from New York for the occasion. Only a few souls were brave enough to take to the dance floor, but those who did often carried the rather neat hand-held glow balls that were readily available on nearby tables.
The buzz: Victory. While monitors played clips of HBO talent accepting their trophies, attendees savored the moments. Some noted, however, that with the epic sweep of nominations for “Angels in America” and the absence of “Sex and the City” and “Sopranos” next year, those moments are going to be tough to replicate.
Fun factor: The undisputed champion of 2004 post-Emmy parties, the experience was entirely dependent upon one’s attitude toward celebrities. With more than 2,000 in attendance, being in the jam-packed main tent was to feel like a pinball bounced between Al Swearengen, Samantha Jones and Paulie Walnuts.
TV Guide Emmy party
Sponsored by Dell
Location: TV Guide Central-a tented space built exclusively for the event, located across the street from the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood
Stars who attended: Jillian Barberie, Mischa Barton, Catherine Bell, Billy Bush, John Cryer, Famke Janssen, Jimmy Kimmel, Nancy O’Dell, Joe Pantoliano, Jeremy Piven, Jason Ritter, Melissa Rivers, Diana Ross, Amber Tamblyn, Jeffrey Tambor, Mark Wahlberg and others
Executives/industry types who attended: Live Planet’s Sean Baily, NBC Universal’s Angela Bromstad, William Morris Agency’s John Ferriter, director Antoine Fuqua, Dick Clark Productions’ Jules Haimovitz, “Traffic” producer Stephen Hopkins, MTV’s Maggie Malina, NBC Universal’s Ghen Maynard, “CSI’s” Carol Mendolsohn, NBC Universal’s Michael Thorn and USA Network’s Jeff Wachtel
Ambience: Who knew tents could be so glamorous? Red carpets and vases upon vases of red and white roses set the scene, while an impressive tower of television sets showed snippets of the show and red-carpet party arrivals. As a bonus, multicolored square tiles randomly lit the floor.
Bonus: Guests who stayed late enough were given bags of treats upon exiting. Goodies included $300 Dell gift certificates, various health and beauty products, Equinox guest passes and an Elyssa B jewelry gift certificate nestled in its own jewelry box.
Food: Hors d’oeuvres and drinks were designed with television themes. The color-television palate of hors d’oeuvres included red tandoori chicken, blueberry hoisin duck confit and, a big favorite, the orange blini. The blinis were topped with chive-orange creme fraiche and chartreuse wasabi caviar. The black-and-white TV hors d’oeuvres featured blackened steak, halibut and white corn salad, black bread canapes and white asparagus. Even better than the delectable snacks were the cleverly named adult beverages such as the TV-tini, the Test Pattern and the Technicolor.
Entertainment: Velvet Revolver, featuring Slash and Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, kicked out an impressive set and left the 1,000-plus crowd wanting more.
The buzz: Event sponsor Dell gifted four A-list actors with 17-inch flat-screen televisions.
Fun story: A TV Guide source said Joe Pantoliano saved the day when his “dr. vegas” co-star Sarah Lancaster experienced a wardrobe malfunction after her dress strap broke during the party. A resourceful Mr. Pantoliano used one of the TV Guide entry bracelets to reattach dress to strap and the evening played on.