Comedian Ellen DeGeneres dominated the 34th annual Daytime Emmy Awards Friday, winning awards for best talk show and best host for the fourth consecutive year. But she said the combative Rosie O'Donnell should have been honored in her stead.
Meanwhile, the Daytime Emmy for best dramatic series--also known as soap operas--ended in a tie for the first time, lending a note of unexpected drama to the evening.
The 70-year-old CBS show Guiding Light, the oldest continual dramatic series on American television, shared the spotlight with another CBS show, The Young and the Restless.
Despite its longevity, it was only the third time Guiding Light has won the top soap opera award. It was the seventh time The Young and the Restless has won.
When her syndicated program won the award for best talk show host, beating O'Donnell and the other cohosts of ABC's The View, DeGeneres said the prize really belonged to O'Donnell, whose outspokenness shook up the program before she left this spring after a fight with a cohost and a failure to reach a new contract.
"I liked what she did. This was the year she should have won. I wanted to acknowledge Rosie because she has done a lot...I don't know who should replace her, but I don't think it should be Paris Hilton. That would not work," she said.
Bob Barker--who has just retired after 50 years as host of The Price Is Right, with CBS airing his final episode Friday night--was named best game show host. He said afterward that the producers of the program were talking to O'Donnell as his replacement, though he did not think that would happen. He, too, declared himself a fan of O'Donnell, who did not attend the show.
Maura West of As the World Turns (CBS) was named best dramatic actress, and Christian Jules LeBlanc of The Young and the Restless was named best actor.
Genie Francis, whose character on ABC's General Hospital was written out in 2002 in traditional soap opera style--by having her fall into a coma--was named best supporting actress for her triumphant four-week return.
"I have waited 31 years for this moment," Francis, who plays Laura Spencer, said in reference to her many years on the show, which started when she was a 14-year-old.
Rick Hearst, who plays D.A. Ric Lansing on General Hospital, was named best supporting actor, winning his second Daytime Emmy .
Kevin Clash, who plays Elmo on the PBS show Sesame Street, tied for best performer in a children's series with Carroll Spinney, who plays Oscar the Grouch on the show.