- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2002

LOS ANGELES (AP) The White House drama "The West Wing" won its third consecutive Emmy as best drama series last night and "Friends" was honored as best comedy for the first time in its eight years on the air.
"I'm just as surprised as you are," Aaron Sorkin, creator of "The West Wing," said in accepting the Emmy. The show also produced acting Emmy winners in Allison Janney, John Spencer and Stockard Channing.
In comedy, the Emmys loved "Everybody Loved Raymond" with acting awards going to Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts.
But "Friends," entering what is expected to be its final season as the most popular comedy on TV, won best series. Jennifer Aniston won best actress, the ensemble's first major acting award.
"This is so amazing, after eight years and the last three hours and 10 minutes. This is so worth the wait," said David Crane, executive producer of "Friends."
In a year when some critics thought edgy fare would win, only Michael Chiklis' best actor award for FX's "The Shield," broke the mold. HBO's undertaker drama, "Six Feet Under," earned 23 nominations but was nearly shut out, with one directing award.
Miss Janney, who plays the president's press secretary in "The West Wing," won the best actress Emmy after winning the past two years as supporting actress in the same role.
"No way. Thank you to the Emmy voters for this promotion," said Miss Janney.
Mr. Spencer, who plays the chief of staff, and Miss Channing, who plays the first lady, won supporting acting Emmys for the drama series.
When Mr. Romano won, he referred to an earlier comment that his parents said they would visit him each year during the Emmys until he won.
"Mom and Dad, we're going right to the airport I'm kidding, of course. This is only special because you're here tonight," he said as he accepted the award for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series.
Mr. Garrett, who plays Mr. Romano's brother, and Miss Roberts, who plays Mr. Romano's meddling mother, both joked about their awards. The 71-year-old Miss Roberts said, "This is what happens when you're young and sexy."
Deadpanned Mr. Garrett: "I just hope that this award breaks down the door for Jewish people who are trying to get into show business."
A puckish Larry Wilmore won the award for best writing in a comedy series for "Bernie Mac."
"I feel like Halle Berry," the black writer said, mimicking the actress' weepy Oscar acceptance speech earlier this year.
Host Conan O'Brien opened the show with help from rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his family, who joined in a skit in which they dressed Mr. O'Brien in outrageous Osbourne fashion and rushed him to the awards, only to put him mistakenly on the set of "The Price is Right" instead of the Shrine Auditorium.
MTV's "The Osbournes" received the best reality series Emmy at an earlier ceremony. The family, who gathered on stage as presenters, let mom Sharon Osbourne do the talking.
"On a personal note, I want to thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. It means a lot to me," she said. Mrs. Osbourne is undergoing treatment for colon cancer.
Last night's event contrasted with last year's somber, post-September 11 ceremony, when participants dressed down. The fashion parade of arriving stars showed that glamour and revealing gowns were back this year.
HBO's "The Sopranos" was ineligible for awards because it sat out a season.
The award for individual performance in a variety or music program went to "Sting in Tuscany All This Time."
Michael Moriarty was honored as outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie for "James Dean." Miss Channing, winning her second award of the night, won best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for "The Matthew Shepard Story."


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