Last year’s host, Neil Patrick Harris, was a presenter Sunday and took the time to rib Fallon.
“I want to thank the (TV) academy for allowing a gay man to host the Emmys two years in a row. Congratulations, Jimmy, you’re doing a good job,” Harris said, smiling.
The public had a hand in writing some of Fallon’s material through Twitter for the ceremony, which aired live on the West Coat for the first time in three decades.
HBO came into the ceremony as the kingpin after claiming 17 awards at the Aug. 21 creative arts Emmys, followed by ABC with 15 and Fox with nine. CBS, NBC and PBS each claimed seven.
On Sunday, HBO again was on top with eight trophies. AMC received four, ABC and CBS had three and Fox and Showtime had two. NBC, Comedy Central, Bravo and TNT earned one award each.
“The Pacific,” the World War II drama produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, received the best miniseries award in a category it shared with one other nominee, “Return to Cranford.” “The Pacific” was the was the top nominee with 24 bids and captured a leading seven creative arts awards, which recognize technical and other achievements.
Ratings for the awards have increased importance: The TV academy’s contract is up for renewal with the four major networks that had been airing the show in rotation for eight years, and the academy hopes last year’s 8 percent audience increase is a trend after an all-time low in 2008.
The show’s live nationwide broadcast and scheduling could be factors. The Emmys typically have aired immediately before TV’s mid-September kickoff, but NBC pushed up the awards telecast to avoid a conflict with its Sunday night National Football League games that begin Sept. 12.
But fewer people tend to watch summertime TV, and the 5 p.m. PDT pre-primetime slot for the Emmys on the West Coast also tends to draw a smaller audience.