The main course of the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards won't be served until this Sunday, but over the weekend, appetizers were handed out in the form of the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. This batch of Emmys honors technical achievements such as makeup, casting, editing, music, costuming, and more, as well as guest appearances by actors and animated programs.
HBO was the big winner of the evening, taking home 15 awards in total, three more than second-place NBC. Reps for the pay-cable network walked to the podium for programs such as Rome, Deadwood, When the Levees Broke, and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Wounded Knee won the most awards of any program with five, followed by BBC/Discovery Channel's Planet Earth and NBC's Tony Bennett: An American Classic with four apiece.
Guest acting awards--divided by gender and genre--went to Leslie Caron for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, John Goodman for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Elaine Stritch for 30 Rock, and Stanley Tucci for Monk.
The hotly debated Outstanding Animated Program in the half-hour or less category went to Comedy Central's South Park (sorry, Avatar fans) for the episode "Make Love Not Warcraft," Trey Parker and Matt Stone's take on online PC gaming. This is the second Emmy for the show; Cartman and company won for the episode "Best Friends Forever" in 2005.
Though it isn't much of a reprieve, a handful of shows many thought were snubbed in major categories took home some Creative Emmy statues. Showtime's Dexter and The Tudors each grabbed a pair, even though actors Michael C. Hall and Jonathan Rhys Meyers won't be in the running this Sunday. Friday Night Lights, the critically lauded but barely watched drama from NBC, won the Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series. And finally, TV.com favorite Battlestar Galactica won the award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a series.
Just because the show wasn't live--like the East Coast feed of the Primetime Emmys will be this Sunday--doesn't mean the show was without off-the-cuff controversy. Kathy Griffin, winner of the Outstanding Reality Program for Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, angered the Catholic League, an antidefamation organization protecting its namesake religion, in her acceptance speech when she made some remarks the group decried as "blasphemous."
"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award," said Griffin, according to the Associated Press. "I want you to know that no one had less to with this award than Jesus." She continued, "Suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now!"
Catholic League president Bill Donohue is calling for Griffin to apologize for her comment, saying in a statement, "The ball is now in Griffin's court. The self-described 'complete militant atheist' needs to make a swift and unequivocal apology to Christians. If she does, she will get this issue behind her. If she does not, she will be remembered as a foul-mouthed bigot for the rest of her life."
The Creative Arts Emmys show will be broadcast this Saturday on the E! network. Griffin's acceptance speech will be censored, according to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. For the entire list of winners and nominees, head over to the official Emmys Web site.