NEW YORK Susan Lucci, always an Emmy nominee but never a winner, remained that Thursday for a record 12th time. Finola Hughes of ABC's "General Hospital" won the season's best actress daytime Emmy.
It was Peter Bergman who was near tears as he accepted his best-actor Emmy for his work in CBS' "The Young and the Restless." He praised what he called "my conscience, my best friend" --his wife.
CBS' venerable "As the World Turns" won as best soap opera at Thursday's Daytime Emmy Awards ceremonies, broadcast by CBS in prime time for the first time in the show's history. Winners were named in 17 categories.
Hughes didn't attend the ceremonies because she had to return to London on personal business.
But Lucci, the bad-tempered Erica Kane of ABC's "All My Children," was there, hosting a segment saluting soap opera stars who have gone on to films and prime-time television.
CBS, which led this season's daytime nominations with 78, won the most awards -- five. Cable TV's only winner was the Disney Channel's "Lost in the Barrens," a Canadian film honored as best children's special.
Talk show star Oprah Winfrey, a previous winner, won twice, honored for her show and as television's top talk show host.
She accepted the host's Emmy with gratitude, but didn't erupt in emotion. It was in sharp contrast to last year's talk-show winner, Joan Rivers, who took her first-ever Emmy with a tearful acceptance speech.
This time, Rivers, as an awards presenter, was full of acid mirth, joking about Lucci and also film star Julia Roberts, who earlier this month abruptly called off her gala Hollywood wedding to actor Keifer Sutherland.
"She thinks AT&T;'s motto is 'Reach out and dump someone,' " Rivers said. She described Lucci's soap opera character as "the touch tone of the daytime tramps."
Bob Barker, the show's master of ceremonies, won an Emmy Thursday as best game show host for his work on CBS' "The Price Is Right." An animal lover, he joked that his Emmy's inscription read: "Have your pet spayed or neutered."
The syndicated "Jeopardy" series won an Emmy as the season's best game show, while Jess Walton of CBS' "The Young and the Restless" and Bernie Barrow of ABC's "Loving" won best supporting actress and supporting actor in the early awards.
Rick Hearst of CBS' "Guiding Light" and Anne Heche of NBC's "Another World," won Emmys as best younger actor and actress.
Steven Spielberg's syndicated "Tiny Toon Adventures" won as best animated program, while a best-performer Emmy went to Tim Curry, voice of Capt. Hook in Fox's "Peter Pan and the Pirates."
PBS' multi-Emmy winning "Sesame Street," now 22-years-old, won another as best children's series.
NBC's "Santa Barbara" won Emmys for direction and writing.
In addition to Hughes, Lucci's Emmy rivals this year were Julia Barr, also of "All My Children," and two CBS contenders, Elizabeth Hubbard of "As the World Turns" and Jeanne Cooper of "The Young and the Restless."
Bergman had contended for best-actor honors with David Canary of "All My Children," and with three NBC rival -- James Reynolds of "Generations," and A Martinez and Nicholas Coster of "Santa Barbara."
Procter & Gamble Productions, the soap company's production arm and a maker of soap operas since the early days of television, was awarded a special Lifetime Achievement Emmy for daytime TV. It was the first time a company had won the award.
Thirty-three other awards were announced last weekend by the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Emmy nominations for prime-time shows will be announced July 18 in Los Angeles, with the Fox network televising the prime-time Emmy show from Pasadena, Calif., on Aug. 25.