"TV is a vast wonderland. There's no place like TV. Except for HBO, it's not TV."
That was the opening lyric sung by Jane Lynch, and it left me ice cold. It didn't work as a show tune, and it failed worse in its attempt to cut it as both salute and irony.
Lynch is pumped on an adrenaline, and cannot find the right voice for music or comedy. This Fox telecast could make for a long night, and might be really tired of her by the start of the late news.
Baltimore native Julie Bowen, of "Modern Family," won the first Emmy of the night -- for best supporting actress in a comedy.
"Oh my god. Oh my god. Are you kidding me? I don't know what I'm going to talk about in therapy next week. I actually won something," Bowen said onstage.
She offered special thanks to her "two husbands -- Ty Burrell, my TV husband, and my real husband, Scott Phillips. Happy anniversary, honey."
Bowen was up last year for the same award, but did not win. This is her first Emmy.
(See my post-telecast piece on Bowen here.)
Who is doing the audio for this Fox telecast? It's awful -- up and down, in and out.
Burrell won the next Emmy of the night, for best supporting actor in a comedy series. His speech was longer than Bowen's, and I am not quite sure what he was trying to say. But it had a lot to do with gender.
And the third Emmy goes to...
Michael Spiller for his directing on "Modern Family." If the show ends now, the ABC sitcom has had a great night already. Three for three.
Wow, four-for-four -- the Emmy for best writing for a comedy went to Steve Levitan and Jeffrey Richman of "Modern Family."
This is the best comedy on network television, but this is an outrageous start for any show.
Backstage. AP is reporting "that a taped comedy routine by Alec Baldwin for the show was cut from the telecast because it contained a joke about the News Corp. phone hacking scandal."
According to AP: "The actor was to be part of an opening video for Sunday night's ceremony airing on Fox, a News Corp.-owned network. But he tweeted before the awards that the network had killed his joke about the hacking scandal in Britain involving the now-closed News of the World tabloid. Fox said it believed the joke was inappropriate to make in light of an issue being taken very seriously by the company."
After the first commercial break, Lynch greeted viewers saying, "Welcome back to the 'Modern Family' awards." Lynch was up against Bowen, by the way, and Lynch was the favorite to win.
Charlie Sheen came on as a presenter and said, "From the bottom of my heart I wish you nothing but the best from this upcoming season. We spent eight wonderful years together and I know you will continue to make great television."
He acted like it was big moment.
Who cares? It meant nothing. Sheen is a fool. Will someone tell me why anyone pays attention to him? Really. I don't care about his "redemption tour" nonsense.
Enough with Sheen.
Finally, someone not on "Modern Family" won -- Jim Parsons, from "The Big Bang Theory," wins for best lead actor in a comedy.
Good moment getting all six best actress in a comedy nominees onstage. The standing ovation for them was lovely.
Melissa McCarthy, of "Mike & Molly," wins the Emmy. She won over the likes of Laura Linney and Edie Falco. Yikes. That is all I will say.
"The Amazing Race" wins as best reality-competition series. CBS is having a pretty good night with Parsons, McCarthy and "Race."
Outstanding writing for a variety, comedy or music series goes to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." No surprise there. This is the seventh Emmy out of 11 nominations for the Comedy Central show.
Best directing in variety, comedy or music goes to Don Roy King "Saturday Night Live." NBC gets on the board.
Outstanding variety, comedy or music series again goes to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." This is the nith straight year -- that hardly seems fair.
I hate the Emmytones singing group. And they are emlematic of how this entire Mark Burnett prodeuction cannot find a proper voice between salute and camp.
A big favorite, Jason Katims, won for best writing in a drama series for "Friday Night Lights." This is a great and deserved win for the high school football drama, one of the finest series network TV has ever produced.
Best supporting actress in a drama series went to Margo Martindale, of "Justified."
The Emmy for outstanding directing in a drama series went to Martin Scorsese for HBO's "Boardwalk Empire." The award brings a nice bit of stature to the evening -- and HBO has some catching up to do. It will catch up, don't worry.
Peter Dinklage, HBO's "Game of Thrones," won best supporting actor in a drama beating out Baltimore's Josh Charles, "The Good Wife." See what I mean about HBO catching up.
Dinklage thanked his dog sitter -- good for him and the dog sitter ... and the dog.
Outstanding lead actress in adrama series: Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife." She desrves. She's terrific, and she makes this the one network drama that can compete with the cable productions.
Kyle Chandler, of "Friday Night Lights," wins best actor in a drama series, and this is a good one, too.
Outstanding writing for a movie, mini-series or dramatic special: Julian Fellowes, of "Downton Abbey on PBS. "Masterpiece Theatre" went all out on this production -- good to see it win.
The lead acting award in a movie or mini-series went to Barry Pepper for "The Kennedys."
The lead actress in a mkovie or mini-series was one of the most richly deserved of the night for Kate Winslet in "Mildred Pierce."
"Downton Abbey" was a big winner for PBS, earning Maggie Smith an Emmy for best supporting actress, as well as one for best direction in amovie or kini-series.
HBO had one of its weakest Emmy nights in recent memory, with public television's "Downton Abbey" upstaging anything the premium cable could offer as the quality production of the night.
The two biggest awards of the night went to "Modern Family" for best comedy and "Mad Men" for best drama. It was the second year in a row that "Modern Family" took the top comedy honor, while this was the fourth year in a row for "Mad Men" as best drama.
No network series had a better night than "Modern Family," whick picked up four other major awards. And it all started with Bowen's opening trophy.