2013 Primetime Emmy Awards: Tonight at 8 p.m. on CBS

Good evening everyone! I’m Mike Tyminski and I’ll be here with you watching the Emmys tonight so you don’t have to miss Breaking Bad! Speaking of Breaking Bad, it’s up for a slew of awards tonight in Acting, Directing, and of course, Best Drama, but it will face stiff competitions from other critical darlings such as Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Homeland, and Mad Men.

Another key storyline this year is the breakout of Netflix. The streaming service started producing original programming this year to rave reviews, and early series House of Cards and Arrested Development were both nominated for awards, with House of Cards being the sixth entry in the drama race.

While the major networks seemed to be locked out of the drama race, they seem to have a puncher’s chance in the comedy department, carried by 30 Rock and Modern Family. This is also a very strong year for females in comedy, as both Lena Dunham’s Girls and Julia Louis Dreyfuss’ Veep both received scores of nominations. Rounding out the year in Comedy is FX’s Louie. The show was hailed as ground breaking, but it’s been over a year since a new episode. Did voter’s remember Louie, or was it eclipsed by other new shows since then!

I’ll be a little before showtime (probably around 7:45) with last second news. Tonight’s show is hosted by Neal Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) on CBS.

7:55 pm: First and foremost, a small apology in advance, the Jet game is running very long on WCBS-NY (my local CBS station), so I sense that if the game goes to overtime I might be playing channel/streaming roulette at the last second. That out of the way, a couple of updates on performances tonight: First and foremost, the Elton John performance is slated to be a tribute to Liberace and will presumably be somehow tied to HBO’s Behind the Candelabra. Carrie Underwood’s performance, conversely will be tied to something considerably less related to TV, being a tribute to President John F. Kennedy who was assassinated 50 years ago this November.

In terms of tributes, the show has a particularly special tribute planned for Cory Monteith, in addition to TV heavyweights James Gandolfini, Johnathan Winters and Jean Stapleton.

That’s it for pre-show updates, see you at the beginning of the show!

8:20 pm: Conveniently, the football game ended at 7:59 pm, thus avoiding a potential joined in progress situation, so now we’re live! We open slightly late with a funny video package involving Neal Patrick Harris being forced to binge watch an entire season of TV, with all the highs, lows, weddings and dance sequences. A particularly funny part involved the TV’s giving NPH some harsh advice. NPH gives a pretty gentle monologue including a Paula Deen joke (what, not soon enough?), interruptions by last year’s host, Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon,  (Including a great zinger about tap dancing like at the Tonys), Conan O’Brien, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and a monologue by Kevin Spacey in which he mentions it was plan since he was snubbed for the hosting gig. This ends with NPH kicking it over to Fey and Poehler who present the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and the nominees are:

Jane Krakowski (30 Rock), Jane Lynch (Glee), Sophia Vergara (Modern Family), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Merritt Weaver (Nurse Jackie), Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), and Anna Chlumsky (Veep).

And the winner is: Merritt Weaver!

Her entire speech: Oh! Oh! **emotional tears** I gotta go. Bye!

Pretty good opening all around, and it looks like they made up for the time lost by pushing back the start 5 minutes.

8:32 pm: Malin Ackerman and LL Cool J arrive to deliver the award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series — with a cool video forcing the nominees to say which of their writing partners is funnier and who was funniest to write for.

Jack Burditt (30 Rock), Tina Fey (30 Rock), David Crane (Episodes), Louis C.K. (Louie), and Greg Daniels (The Office).

And the winner is: Tina Fey (and Tracy Wigfield)

Tracy and Liz give a funny speech making funny speech, thanking Robert Carlock in the process!

NPH then introduces Zooey and Emily Deschanel for presenting the award for Best Supporting Actor in a comedy, making fun of the fact that half the nominees play dads on Modern Family, speaking of the nominees, they are:

Adam Driver (Girls), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Ed O’ Neill (Modern Family), Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live) and Tony Hale (Veep). 

And the winner is: Tony Hale!

I must admit, I didn’t see that one coming (despite loving Veep, i thought one of the guys from Modern Family would win). Tony gives the standard issue speech thanking his family and his co-workers at Veep

Robin Williams is here to give a tribute to Jonathan Winters, telling a story about how Jonathan Winters giving an epic improvised bit on Mork and Mindy, before a in memoriam graphic appears.

8:51 PM: Alec Baldwin and Jon Hamm come out to introduce the nominees for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy, and they are:

Tina Fey (30 Rock), Laura Dern (Enlightened), Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Veep).

And the winner is: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss

As a huge veep fan, I’ll be the first to say I’m pleased with the love Veep is getting tonight. Hale is up on stage with Louis-Dreyfuss holding her purse while she gave a very Selina Meyeresque thank you speech (With Hale interrupting and whispering in her ear).

Will Arnett and Margo Martindale then emerge, to both present the awards for Best Guest Actor/Actress on a Comedy Show (awarded last week) and promote their new show The Millers (October 3rd on CBS).

The winners were: Melissa Leo and Bob Newhart!

Leo then appears to present the award for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series, the nominees are which:

Beth McCarthy-Miller (30 Rock), Lena Dunham (Girls), Paris Barclay (Glee), Louis C.K. (Louie) and Gail Mancuso (Modern Family).

The winner is: Gail Mancuso!

Gail gives a quick and heartfelt speech including a pun about Modern Family, and a quick joke about blurred lines before the orchestra kicks in for the first time tonight

Continuing the breakneck pace, Jimmy Kimmel and Sofia Vergara are out to present the award for Best Lead Actor in a comedy series, in which they discuss the murderous effects of laughter (“If a doctor tells you to laugh to feel better, you can SUE HIM!” — Vergara). The nominees are:

Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes), Louis C.K. (Louie), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), and Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory)

And the winner is: Jim Parsons!

Jim gives what seems to be a continues a string of psuedo in-character acceptance speeches sounding awkward until he becomes heartfelt and suddenly wrapping it up with a long list of thank yous.

Rob Reiner is out to memorialize Jean Stapleton (Edith Bunker on All in the Family), giving a very eulogy-like memorial, he looks like he’s struggling through the speech (i’m actually tearing up a little too), before ending with a very heartfelt “I love you”.

9:05 PM: We return to NPH kicking it over to Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, who say a few words about Elton and his legendary career while nodding to Liberace, the subject of Behind the Candelabra. This brings Elton John out, who cracked a few quick jokes about Liberace, before introducing his new track “Home Again”, which is a tribute to Liberace. It’s the typical intimate Elton John piece, before shooting back over to Damon and Douglas with the nominations for the Best Lead Actress in a Movie or Miniseries, whom are:

Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Asylum), Helen Mirren (Phil Spector), Sigourney Weaver (Political Animals), Laura Linney (The Big C: Hereafter), and Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake).

The winner is: Laura Linney!

Laura Linney could not appear, so Damon accepts on her behalf (she’s such a good actress she didn’t need to be here! — Damon)

9:20  PM: We come back to a video package with NPH’s co-stars on How I Met Your Mother discussing EHD, (Excessive Hosting Disorder), including a cameo from Arsenio Hall and

Connie Britton and Blair Underwood appear to present the award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, and the nominees are:

George Mastras (Breaking Bad), Thomas Schuuz (Breaking Bad), Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey), David Benioff (Game of Thrones), and Henry Bromiell (Homeland)

And the winner is: Henry Brommel

Accepting on behalf of Henry Brommel (posthumously) is his wife Sarah Brommel.

They also present Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, the nominees of which are:

Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Morena Baccarin (Homeland), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), and Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)

The winner is: Anna Gunn (cue Skylar haters losing their mind and Breaking Bad fans rejoicing at a potential foreshadowing of a cleanup night).

Anna gives a long winded version of the standard acceptance speech, being the second person to draw the ire of the orchestra tonight.

Jane Lynch is out to memorialize Cory Monteith of Glee. She appealed to Cory’s positive traits in a  very brief speech while not shying away from the cause of his death.

9:31  PM: NPH, comes out to perform a song and dance number called “the number in the middle of the show”. It’s a brief Broadway ditty designed to mock award show patterns, by questioning why there are fewer mid show numbers compared to their opening and closing counterparts, with interruptions by Nathan Fillion and Sarah Silverman. After the whole song and dance number, he introduces Mindy Kaling and Stephen Amell who are out to present the award for Best Reality Competition, the nominees of which are:

Dancing With The Stars, Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance?, Amazing Race, The Voice, Top Chef.

And the winner is: The Voice

The Voice finally triumphs over The Amazing Race for best reality show and we’ll get to see some new…oh wait it’s Mark Burnett, who at this point IS reality TV. Once again we have the standard issue speech, but he manages to sneak in a plug for The Voice, which i’m sure CBS execs are absolutely pleased to hear.

9:49  PM: We’re about halfway through the show at this point, so some quick overall thoughts — the show is moving at an incredibly brisk pace with a lot of awards handed out (if the Oscars are about bracketology, then the Emmys are the most likely about trying to honor everyone in the industry with the strongest emphasis on the awards themselves), but also a lot of downers, probably in part caused by the three memorials sprinkled in that felt more like eulogies then celebrations of life. While the mid-show number existed to try and bring things back up

Diane Carroll and Kerry Washington arrive to present the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Carroll gives a heartfelt speech about race and the Emmys.

Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire), Johnathan Banks (Breaking Bad), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), and Mandy Patinkin (Homeland).

And the winner is:  Bobby Cannavale

Cannavale is flabbergasted and is trying to improvise a speech, before giving credit to Mandy Patinkin as an inspiration. There was a truly great moment of unintentional comedy, as the soft notes of the orchestra hit as he’s describing his character on Boardwalk Empire beating someone with a wrench.

Julianna Marguilies and Dylan McDermott are out to present the award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama, the nominees are:

Bryan Cranston (who got a large pop, Breaking Bad), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Damian Lewis (Homeland), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), and Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)

And the winner is: Jeff Daniels

Daniels is out cracking jokes, mentioning that his last acting award was from the AARP, the orchestra has clearly no patience for such foolery though. I think it’s safe to say this has been our biggest upset of the night so far.

We go from two funny acceptance speeches back to somber mode immediately, as we see a newsreel of JFK’s death. Don Cheadle appears to introduce Carrie Underwood’s tribute to JFK performance. Cheadle then brings up Beatlemania, and how it unified the country after JFK’s death (something most musicians and/or historians will probably question). Carrie then belts out “Yesterday”, but it seemed fairly overdone — is it weird that I wouldn’t have minded seeing Elton John perform double duty? Ugh, that whole segment made less sense than Monday’s episode of Sleepy Hollow.

10:10 PM: NPH introduces both the accountants of Ernst and Young, as well as Jimmy Fallon who is here to present the award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series, which are:

Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Claire Danes (Homeland), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men), Kerry Washington (Scandal), and Connie Britton (Nashville). 

And the winner is **drumroll**: Claire Danes

Danes gives kudos to the writers, before giving a quick tribute to Henry Bromell and everyone who works on the show.

Dean Norris and Emilia Clarke are here to give mention to Best Guest Actors in a Drama Series (awarded last week).

The winners were: Dan Bukitinsky, and Kerry Preston whom are here to announce the award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, and the nominees are:

Tim Van Patten (Boardwalk Empire), Michelle McLaren (Breaking Bad), Jeremy Webb (Downton Abbey), Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland), and David Fincher (House of Cards).

And the winner is: David Fincher

And at 10p.m on September 22, 2013, let it be said: Netflix. has. arrived. Fincher is not here to accept the award.

Jim Parsons and Bob Newhart are here to present the award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Program. Parsons mentions Newhart’s award, and the crowd gives him a long standing ovation. And the nominees are the teams for:

Jimmy Kimmel Live, Portlandia, Real Time w/Bill Maher, Saturday Night Live, Colbert Report, The Daily Show w/Jon Stewart

And the winner is: The Colbert Report

Colbert is here to accept the award, and gives a surprisingly heartfelt speech.

Parsons and Newhart follow up with the nominees for Best Directing in a Variety Show, which are:

Andy Fisher (Jimmy Kimmel Live), Jerry Foley (Late Show w/David Letterman), Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia), Don Roy King (Saturday Night Live), James Hoskinson (Colbert Report), and Chuck O’Neil (The Daily Show w/Jon Stewart).

And the winner is: Don Roy King

King gives an uplifting speech, about working at his dream job at Saturday Night Live, that easily is the third most positive moment tonight.

Michael J. Fox is here to speak about Gary David Goldberg, thus proving that we cannot go two consecutive segments without talking about death. Fox’s speech feels like a celebration of Goldberg’s life, including his distinctive laugh.

10:27  PM: NPH returns to present the award for Outstanding Choreography, and reality show style, they bring the choreographers together to do a “making of” sort of video package. The package itself seems to be built around some of the best nominees in their categories, including Mad Men, American Horror Story, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, and Breaking Bad, and the theme of luck using both “Luck Be A Lady” and “Get Lucky”. Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum get to do the honors of presenting the award.

And the winner is: Derek Hough (Dancing with the Stars)

Alyson Hannigan and Colbie Smaulders are here to present the award for Outstanding Variety Show, the nominees of the award are:

Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Real Time With Bill Maher. 

And the winner is: The Colbert Report! The student has finally overtaken the master, as this is the first time in recent memory that The Daily Show has not taken the award for best variety series. Colbert mentions Stewart in his speech before giving a brief nod to his family.

Edie Falco is here to talk about James Gandolfini in the last of our memorial segments tonight. She talks about Gandolfini as an actor, mentioning that he was not the same as the man you saw on your TV screens every Sunday night for seven years. Not sure i’m fond of these memorial sub segments, as they seem to take away from the celebratory mood in the way the  one segment long form memorial doesn’t.

10:42 :PM Anna Faris and Allison Janney are here to promote Mom and present the award for Outstanding Writing in a Miniseries, Movie or Special, and the nominees are:

Richard LaGravenese (Behind The Candelabra), Tom Stoppard (Parade’s End), David Mamet (Phil Spector), Abi Morgan (The Hour), and Jane Campion and Gerard Lee (Top of the Lake).

And the winner is: Abi Morgan

They also present the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries, Movie, or Special of which the nominees are:

Zachary Quinto (American Horror Story: Asylum), James Cromwell (American Horror Story: Asylum), Scott Bakula (Behind the Candelabra), John Benjamin Hickey (The Big C: Hereafter), and Peter Mullan (Top of the Lake)

And the winner is: James Cromwell

Cromwell gives a simple speech that is notable for being the first the orchestra hasn’t teed off on since around 9p.m.

Kaley Cuoco and the president of the Academy are here to discuss the Archive of American Television (a funny cut-away where Kevin Spacey shoos away the camera that cuts to him on mention of the word “tablet”). This then leads into yet another memorial segment (that makes seven if we count JFK?).

10:50 PM. Mark Harmon and Andre Braugher are here to present the awards for Best Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Special, and they are:

Steven Soderbergh (Behind the Candelabra), David Mamet (Phil Spector), Alison Anders (Ring of Fire), Julian Jarrold (The Girl), and Jane Campion and Garth Davis (Top of the Lake).

And the winner is: Steven Soderbergh

Soderbergh gives a quick speech, thanking Michael and Matt for their performances in the movie, only for Mark Harmon to return looking completely surprised, before bringing up the nominees for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries Movie or Special. The nominees are:

Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Asylum), Ellen Burstyn (Political Animals), Charlotte Rampling (Restless), Alfre Woodard (Steel Magnolias), and Imelda Stulton (The Girl).

The Winner Is: Ellen Burstyn

We get the usual set of thank yous, with a particular thank you to the writers, who she said “wrote a woman over 65 who still has juice.

11:01 PM: It’s almost 11 when the show is supposed to leave the air, and we still have four awards (including three big ones) and hopefully zero memorials.

Bryan Cranston (looking quite dapper and gracious) and Claire Danes arrive to present two awards: first for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie of which the nominees are:

Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra), Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra), Benedict Cumberbatch (Parade’s End), Al Pacino (Phil Spector), and Toby Jones (The Girl).

The winner is: Michael Douglas

Douglas comes out and thanks Matt Damon only catch a verbal slip about a “two-hander”, before asking if Damon wants the bottom or top half of the statue. The orchestra eventually chimes in, but it seems like Michael Douglas got a much longer leash than just about anyone else here tonight.

The second award is for Best Movie, Miniseries, or Special of which the nominees are:

American Horror Story: Asylum, Behind the Candelabra, Phil Spector, Political Animals, The Bible, Top of the Lake. 

And the winner is: Behind the Candelabra (which took it’s 11th Emmy)

Accepting on behalf of the team is Jerry Weintraub. He thanks his production team and the fine folks at HBO.

We’re down to Best Drama and Best Comedy, right after the break.

11:11 PM: Will Ferrell (and kids) are here to present the final awards of the night in a T-shirt and Short, first of which is for best comedy series, the nominees of which are:

Girls, Louie, Veep, Modern Family, 30 Rock, and The Big Bang Theory

And the winner is: Modern Family

Color me surprised on this one, Veep got a ton of love earlier in the night, and Louie was hailed as one of the most brilliant comedies of the year. Maybe the lay-off killed it. Similarly seems like a disappointing night for Girls Modern Family’s speech mocked the tone of the night, stating “it may have been the saddest Emmy’s ever, but we couldn’t be happier.” the speech also thanked our bullies and gym teachers, which led to a super aggressive orchestra entry, but was actually very heartwarming.

That leaves the last award for Best Drama Series, the nominees of which are:

Breaking Bad, Mad Men, House of Cards, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland

And the winner is: Breaking Bad

I think the crowd would have rioted if any other result had been the case. Vince Gilligan does the acceptance honors, and admits that he did not expect to win in this new golden age in TV. He gives a pretty standard acceptance speech otherwise, before NPH quickly does goodbyes and we get credits over generic music.

I’ll have some final thoughts for you in just a few minutes.

11:22 PM: So, 3 hours and 3500 hundred words later, what are my thoughts on the show as a whole? Well, for starters it was quite the downer. Awards shows should –in theory– be a celebration of the industry, the people in it, and the work they’ve done. The celebratory moments weren’t really there for the most part, and the parade of eulogies had much to do with it. Additionally, the comedy, while obviously on a gentler tack than usual, seemed a little too safe at points. If you DVR’d it to watch Breaking Bad, don’t waste your time, if you DVR’d it to watch Dexter, well then I’m sorry that you created that false dichotomy. But either way, the model where they robotically blow through awards to make time for seven memorial segments should be tossed.

NEXT TIME: This week is premiere week, I should have reviews for shows from Monday to Thursday this week! Have a good night everyone!