- Associated Press - Monday, September 24, 2012

What did we learn from Sunday’s Emmycast?

We learned who won the Emmys, of course. But there were other lessons to be gained from the three-hour trophy handout, aired on ABC from Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre.

For instance, when you win 10 Emmys in a row, you apparently get license to drop an f-bomb. Jon Stewart did, on accepting his annual statuette for “The Daily Show.” But it was bleeped. Social media yawned. Life went on.

A seismic shift could be felt by the audience as terrorism thriller “Homeland” seemed to shove aside “Mad Men” as TV’s reigning prestige drama, winning four trophies while “Mad Men” was shut out.

Though the Emmycast moved briskly, its efficient pace was partly explained by the trigger-happy music cues applied to acceptance remarks. This led to one act of defiance, from “Homeland” executive producer Alex Gansa accepting the award for best drama.

“I don’t know when they’re going to cut me off,” he said, “but this is the biggest night of my career. I’m going to keep talking until they do.”

Cheers from the audience as a new movement was born: Occupy Podium.

We learned that fans of social media are game for a prank — and also are ripe to become victims of it.

Midway through the show, host Jimmy Kimmel instructed people to go on Twitter and Facebook and post “OMG, Tracy Morgan just passed out at the Emmys. Turn on ABC right now!” It was a joke, just to see how swiftly the alarm would spread (and maybe bring in new viewers). Mr. Morgan, star of “30 Rock,” who was in on the gag, complied by lying on the stage for several minutes. The message went viral, and presumably loads of bemused followers tuned in to check on Mr. Morgan’s condition.

And what of Mr. Kimmel?

Presiding over the glitz and tributes, he didn’t break a sweat. Nor did he break any records for laughs or memorable moments.

His opening monologue was routine, with a few political jokes not quite hitting the mark.

He compared the proper, regal world of “Downton Abbey” to “what it must have been like to grow up in Mitt Romney’s house,” and cracked that “being a Republican in Hollywood is like being a Chick-fil-A sandwich at the snack table at ‘Glee.’”

Later on, he offered up a spoof of the “In Memoriam” fixture that’s a part of all awards shows. This one, Mr. Kimmel explained, was meant to pay tribute to someone still living — “to the life and work of someone everyone in this room admires, respects and loves.”

That person, of course, was Mr. Kimmel, who was displayed in slow-motion video clips while Josh Groban sang “What Makes You Beautiful.” It was amusing.

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