Guiding Light shines brightest at Daytime Emmys

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CBS's Guiding Light led the 33rd annual Daytime Emmys with four awards, but ABC's General Hospital won for best drama series during Friday's ceremony in Hollywood, the first time the event has taken place outside of New York.

Meanwhile, The Ellen DeGeneres Show won the best talk show host award for a second year and best talk show for a third. The ceremony, which was hosted by Tom Bergeron and Kelly Monaco, was broadcast on ABC from the Kodak Theatre.

General Hospital's win was its second consecutive drama series award and its ninth overall in the category. The show also won in the drama series directing category, while Anthony Geary, who portrays Luke Spencer on the show, received his fifth award for lead actor in a drama series.

Guiding Light nearly swept the other acting categories. Kim Zimmer, who plays Reva Lewis, won her fourth Daytime Emmy for lead actress, and three other cast members won their first Daytime Emmy: Jordan Clarke, who plays Billy Lewis, won for supporting actor; Gina Tognoni, who portrays Dinah Marler, won supporting actress; and Tom Pelphrey, who plays Jonathan Randall, won in the younger actor category.

Jennifer Landon, who portrays Gwen Norbeck on CBS's As the World Turns, won her first Daytime Emmy, in the younger actress category. Onstage, the actress thanked her family, including her father, the late Michael Landon.

In accepting her best talk show award, Louisiana native DeGeneres reminded viewers that the victims of Hurricane Katrina are still in need of help.

Barbara Walters, creator/executive producer of ABC's daytime talk show The View, made the expected announcement that Rosie O'Donnell would be joining the show in September for its 10th season, replacing Today-bound Meredith Vieira. The news had been widely buzzed about since syndicated newsmagazine Extra posted it on its Web site Thursday.

Joining Walters onstage, O'Donnell said she was "honored" to take the job, joking that "it was either that or Celebrity Fit Club."

Backstage, Walters said that she had approached O'Donnell at the premiere of HBO's documentary All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise, asking if she'd consider coming on board as cohost, and "she said yes. The way it happened, I was stunned." Walters said O'Donnell will fill the moderator role that Vieira has held and that the cohosts' seating arrangements will probably "move around a bit."

O'Donnell said backstage that she has admired Walters for some time.

"No woman would be successful in any capacity in television if it weren't for Barbara Walters," she said.

Meanwhile, Alex Trebek took home his fourth Daytime Emmy as best game show host for the syndicated Jeopardy!.

"I'm going to do something I never would have dared do before: I want to thank myself," Trebek said onstage, saying he had many career opportunities upon graduating from college 45 years ago but chose television. "I have never ever regretted that decision. Look at how far we've come. We're the most powerful medium in the history of the world, and we make a difference."

A visibly surprised Suze Orman was named best service show host for a second time for PBS's For the Young, Fabulous & Broke. Orman beat out fellow nominees Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, and Emeril Lagasse.

"I can't believe I'm standing up here again," she said onstage. "For 25 years, I've been talking to all of you about money. I can't believe I'm standing up here holding something that all the money in the world could never buy."