- The Washington Times - Monday, September 22, 2008

LOS ANGELES | The sleek ‘60s drama “Mad Men” made Emmy history Sunday as the first basic-cable show to win a top series award, while the sitcom “30 Rock” and its stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin also emerged as winners.

“We’re all so very grateful to have jobs in this turkey-burger economy,” Miss Fey said after accepting the best comedy series trophy for her satire about a late-night TV show.

Glenn Close of “Damages” and Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” captured drama acting trophies at the 60th annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

“This is the greatest job I’ve ever had in my life,” Mr. Baldwin said of his role an a network executive.

He paid tribute to Miss Fey, the show’s star and creator, as “the Elaine May of her generation.”

“I thank my parents for somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate with my looks and abilities. Well done. That is what all parents should do,” said Miss Fey, who also won for best actress and writing in a comedy series.

Miss Close, honored for her portrayal of a ruthless lawyer, complimented her fellow nominees, including Holly Hunter and Sally Field. “We’re proving that complicated, powerful, mature women are sexy and are high entertainment and can carry a show,” she said.

Mr. Cranston won the trophy for his role of a desperate man who turns to making drugs.

Dianne Wiest of “In Treatment” and Zeljko Ivanek of “Damages” won supporting acting honors for the drama series. Jean Smart of ABC’s “Samantha Who?” was honored as best supporting actress in a comedy series, with Jeremy Piven her actor counterpart for “Entourage.”

Don Rickles was honored for best individual performance in a variety or music program for “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project.”

Best reality-competition program went to “Amazing Race,” the show’s sixth award.

Jeff Probst of “Survivor,” one of the ceremony’s masters of ceremonies, claimed the first award for best reality series host.

As the evening progressed, politics went from having a cameo to a co-starring role.

“I really look forward to the next administration, whoever it is,” Jon Stewart said as he accepted the best variety, music or comedy series award for “The Daily Show.” “I have nothing to follow that. I just really look forward to the next administration.”

Later, Mr. Stewart and Stephen Colbert, whose “The Colbert Report” won a writing trophy, teamed to present an award — and exchange banter in which they used a package of prunes as a metaphor for the upcoming presidential election.

“America needs prunes. It may not be a young, sexy plum. Granted, it’s shriveled and at times hard to swallow. But this dried-up old prune has the experience we need,” Mr. Colbert said.

Tommy Smothers received a commemorative writing achievement for his work on the cutting-edge “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” from the late ‘60s.

The award for best TV movie went to “Recount,” about the contested 2000 Bush-Gore contest.

“John Adams,” about the founding father, was named best miniseries and won other awards including acting trophies for Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson.

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