Date: 11th September 2000
NBC's The West Wing won by a landslide at the Emmys Sunday night, picking up nine statuettes, the most ever won by any show in one year. The first-season drama had gone into Sunday night's telecast tied with HBO's The Sopranos for the most nominations -- 18 -- but the gangster drama wound up with only a single win as James Gandolfini beat out West Wing's Martin Sheen for best actor in a dramatic series. NBC's gay-themed Will & Grace was the surprise winner for best comedy series.
In accepting the award, co-creator Max Mutchnick, who is openly gay, remarked, "This award really indicates a whole new meaning to the phrase 'acceptance speech.'"
The top Emmy winners:
Drama Series: The West Wing, NBC; Comedy Series: Will & Grace, NBC; Actor, Drama Series: James Gandolfini, The Sopranos, HBO; Actor, Comedy Series: Michael J. Fox, Spin City, ABC; Actress, Drama Series: Sela Ward, Once and Again, ABC; Actress, Comedy Series: Patricia Heaton, Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS; Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Jack Lemmon, Oprah Winfrey Presents: Tuesdays With Morrie, ABC; Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Halle Berry, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, HBO; Directing for a Comedy Series: Todd Holland, Malcolm in the Middle: Pilot, Fox; Directing for a Drama Series: Thomas Schlamme, The West Wing: Pilot, NBC; Directing for a Variety or Music Program: Louis J. Horvitz, 72nd Annual Academy Awards, ABC; Directing for a Miniseries or a Movie: Charles S. Dutton, The Corner, HBO; Writing for a Comedy Series: Linwood Boomer, Malcolm in the Middle: Pilot, Fox; Writing for a Drama Series: Aaron Sorkin and Rick Cleveland, The West Wing: "In Excelsis Deo," NBC; Miniseries: The Corner, HBO; Made-for-TV Movie: Oprah Winfrey Presents: , ABC.
Early reviews of the awards telecast were virtually all upbeat, with much praise showered on host Garry Shandling and the show's writers. The Washington Post called it "a delightful triumph," adding: "Chiefly responsible for that was host Garry Shandling, who helped rescue what had become an annual wake into a festive and funny occasion." USA Today said that Shandling "brought a lively and much-needed dose of humor to the show." Joanne Weintraub wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "The tone of the three-hour show, hosted by comic Garry Shandling, was saucier, snappier and a lot spicier than usual." The AP's television writer, Frazier Moore, commented, "Neurotic, self-embarrassed and fearlessly ironic, Shandling turned Sunday's Emmycast into a one-man show." The Los Angeles Times observed that Shandling "elevate(d) the evening with hysterically funny gibes."
Overnight ratings indicated that the Emmy show attracted a huge audience compared with last year. The ABC telecast pulled a 14.4 rating and a 22 share compared with an 11.7/19 for Fox's coverage of the ceremonies a year ago.
Source: Studio Briefing