HBO’s Gold Rush Off to a Fast Start

Sep 20, 2004  •  Post A Comment

HBO took top honors at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards last week, winning 16 awards-nine more than its closest competitor. HBO’s drama “Deadwood” led all shows, winning five awards.

While that is how the scorecard reads after the first of two Emmy award shows, for many of those who were at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles last week, the true beauty of the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys came from honoring individual and team efforts that are often overlooked.

Actress Bonnie Hunt, one of the evening’s many presenters, took time to show her appreciation for makeup artists when she said, “People approach me in the grocery store and say `You look kind of like Bonnie Hunt.”‘

During the four-hour presentation from the pristinely decorated Shrine stage, 73 awards were given out for everything from prosthetic makeup to the first digital 24P imaging system.

When “Saturday Night Live” won the award for outstanding technical direction, camerawork and video for a series, the collective “Oh my god!” from the winning camera and technical direction team seated in the rear of the auditorium let the entire audience know how good it feels to be recognized.

Even Homer Simpson was delighted to be honored. “The Simpsons”‘ Dan Castellaneta, whose versatile voice hadn’t been nominated since he won Emmys for his “Simpsons” work in 1992 and 1993, took this year’s award for outstanding voice-over performance for his work as various characters in “The Simpsons” episode “Today I am a Clown.”

During his acceptance speech Mr. Castellaneta brought out the voice of everyone’s favorite slacker, Homer Simpson, who had a well-thought-out list of five requests for “The Simpsons” creators. Unfortunately, Homer could remember only three. Two of those requests were that “Simpsons” animators “Draw me with more hairs on my head” and that “When Homer is not in a scene, someone on-screen should ask, `Where’s Homer?”‘

John Cleese, the opening presenter, also contributed to the evening’s humor when he explained there would be no single host for the evening because organizers couldn’t find anyone willing to “be dragged back on stage for six hours.” He and many other celebrity presenters kept the night moving along by sharing their humorous “How I got started in the business” stories.

Probably the most colorful moment of the night came thanks to Sharon Stone, who received the outstanding guest actress in a drama award for her performance on “The Practice.” She used her acceptance speech to thank everyone involved with “The Practice,” including all the “gypsies” and especially producer David E. Kelley, who “let me express that God really does talk to me.” Her speech evoked a range of emotions from the audience.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences also took time to honor one of its own. Leo Chaloukian was honored with the Syd Cassyd Award for the impact of his longtime efforts and service on the academy. The Syd Cassyd Award is awarded only when the Board of Governors agrees on a worthy candidate.