Daytime Emmys get prime-time spot at last


Los Angeles -- Soap opera stars often complain they feel like the deprived stepchildren of their counterparts on evening sitcoms and dramas. The rivalry between daytime and prime-time shows is emphasized when it comes to handing out kudos.

The television academy gives out Emmys in two separate ceremonies: one specifically saluting daytime programs and the other strictly honoring prime-time shows. For the past 17 years, theDaytime Emmy Awards have been shown during the day in late spring, while the 42-year-old Prime-time Emmy Awards have been presented in an evening broadcast in late summer, usually amid more fanfare and increased viewership.

Tonight at 9 (Channel 11), CBS takes the first step to break that pattern, allowing daytime performers to bask in the glory of a prime-time audience.

"We're putting them on at night because we thought it's much more prestigious," said Barbara Hunter, director of daytime programs for CBS. "We're hoping that more of the prime-time audience will watch and have more interest in daytime television."

"The Price Is Right" host and executive producer Bob Barker will be running the show this year as he hosts "The 18th Annual Daytime

Emmy Awards," shown on tape delay from the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The five-time Emmy winner is also up for two awards: outstanding game-show host and outstanding game/audience-participation show.

Although the Daytime Emmy Awards honor excellence in areas such as game shows, talk shows and children's series, the focus is primarily on soap operas.

Once again Susan Lucci has been nominated for outstanding lead actress in a drama series. This comes as no surprise. She has been nominated -- and has lost -- 11 times.

"The Young and the Restless," the highest rated daytime series, earned 12 nominations, including one for outstanding drama series.

The most nominations -- 16 -- went to "Guiding Light," the longest running soap opera in television history. It also is in the running for outstanding drama series.

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