2012 Emmy Awards Live-Blog

Join HitFix as we chatter through Sunday's Emmys telecast

<p>Jimmy Kimmel</p>

Jimmy Kimmel

Credit: ABC

It's Emmy night, kids! 

How pumped are we?

I've already watched two-plus hours of Red Carpet coverage.

And Sepinwall and I have already made our predictions.

But enough prelude... Let's get to the main event, hosted by Mr. Jimothy Kimmel.

Come say "Hi"! I'll try to join the comments at the commercial breaks if anybody is chatting...

5 p.m. PT. We begin with a filmed bit with Zooey Deschanel, Christina Hendricks and Mindy Kaling practing their Emmy faces. Tehy're soon joined by Martha Plimpton, Connie Britton and... A NAKED LENA DUNHAM. Is America really ready for a Naked Lena Dunham in primetime? Jimmy Kimmel's in the bathroom crying. He got Botox. "I can't host the Emmys," Kimmel says. "We'll do it!" say the Reality Hosts who did such an awful job the last time ABC had the telecast. Heh. Nice joke. "We can punch it back in," the women say of Jimmy's unfortunate Botox. They beat his face back into shape. Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets in the last punches. And did I mention that Naked Lena Dunham is eating cake? The bit ends with Ellen lending Jimmy her pants. 

5:03 p.m. Disappointingly, Jimmy takes the stage not wearing Ellen's too-short pants. BOO. 

5:04 p.m. Ouch. First joke is about Cat Deeley and Best Reality Host. "The only American product the Chinese haven't figured out how to make," Kimmel says of quality TV. And there's our first "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" reference. "I guess we're supposed to reward them because their actors went to the Royal Shakespeare Academy and ours were discovered at the mall?" Kimmel says of all of the British acting nominees. "Are any of you voting for Mitt Romney?" Kimmel asks after making a "Downton Abbey"/Mitt Romney joke. "Being a Republican in Hollywood is like being a Chick-fil-A sandwich on the table at 'Glee,'" Kimmel says. On to Lena Dunham. She's bracing herself for the "naked" joke. But it doesn't come. Instead? Transition into a "Luck" joke. And no, Jimmy, it wasn't cancelled half-way through the first season. But, hey, a joke about dead horses and sliders? Always semi-funny. "I, for one, am shocked that you did not win tonight," Kimmel says to Jon Hamm. "He'll be fine. Look at him," Kimmel says, as Hamm laughs enthusastically. "Tonight, you will be asked to play your most challenging role to date: That of an actor who is happy for the success of another actor," Kimmel says.

5:08 p.m. We start the night with... COMEDY. Please show a "Work It" clip... Please show a "Work It" clip... Please show a "Work It" clip... Nice to see a little "Happy Endings" and some "Raising Hope" amidst the more predictable options. Oh right. "Parks and Recreation." Emmy voters mostly skip that one. OK. The "New Girl" towels scene remains one of last season's funniest sequences. They were not, in fact, able to find a "Veep" scene that didn't require bleeping.

5:11 p.m. Amy Poehler and Louis C.K. -- Exes on "Parks and Rec"! -- are the night's first presenters. "Everyone knows that the first presenters set the tone," Amy says. She talks about all the great things they could do to set to make things great for the show. "You look really nice," Louis says. Clearly he didn't get David Lynch's advice before taking the stage. 

5:12 p.m. The winner for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy is... Eric Stonestreet for "Modern Family." God, Emmy voters LOVE freakin' Fizbo. He loves all the other people in his category and gives Jesse Tyler Ferguson particular credit. Awww. Lots of credit, in fact, to Ferguson. "I never knew I'd be on TV as a gay man, but I love the pictures of hairy chests you guys are sending me," Stonestreet says. "I just want to share this with every actor out there who has an audition tomorrow at 5 in Santa Monica," Stonestreet says.

5:18 p.m. "Try to imagine all of your favorite television stars... in one room... looking at their phones and ignoring each other," Kimmel says of what happens at commercial breaks.

5:19 p.m. Jim Parsons and Zooey Deschanel's Bangs are presenting next. They're struggling to read a teleprompter about how people confuse them with their characters. But the joke is that people think Zooey is like Sheldon. That... didn't work.

5:19 p.m. The Comedy Writers are talking about how their teachers would have described them. Danny Donald Glover answers for Chris McKenna. Mike Schur and Amy Poehler are funny. Louis C.K. submits a still photo. And the winner is... Louis C.K. for the episode that was a fart joke. Wow. Go Louis, even if he wasn't my choice here. ["Melissa McCarthy in seven minutes"? Great...] Louis C.K. thanks Pamela Adlon and credits her with helping him write every episode.

5:22 p.m. In the crowd, Jimmy Kimmel asks Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul if they've ever wondered what their shows would be like pre-cable. They haven't, but this sets up an amusing black-and-white clip setting up "Breaking Bad" like "The Andy Griffith Show," complete with Walt and Jesse killing Don Knotts.  "Brought to you be... Meth."

5:22 p.m. Hello Jon Cryer and Kat Dennings' Cleavage. They're presenting Supporting Actress in a Comedy. They don't have any banter. The winner is... Kat Dennings! Oh. Wait. The winner is actually Julie Bowen of "Modern Family" for the second straight year. She had dental problems in that one episode. Sofia Vergara is very happy and enthusiastic in the crowd. "My job really amounts to me falling down and making faces while wearing lipsticks and nipple covers," Bowen says. She repeats "nipple covers." And repeats "nipple covers" again, thanking the censors at ABC. "Sofia, man, I know you're younger than me, but I want to be you when I grow up," Bowen says. 

5:30 p.m. Matthew Perry doesn't have to present with anybody else. He's special. Then again, he's announcing winners who were already announced. "My first thought was, 'Why would I do that? They've already been announced?' And then I remember: I like attention," He says. The winners, BTW, were Kathy Bates and Jimmy Fallon.

5:32 p.m. Oh look. It's Kathy Bates and Jimmy Fallon. They're presenting Best Comedy Direction. The directors are asked "What kind of people make the best comedy directors?" "Jewish men," Lena Dunham responds. "Jews," Jason Winer says. Steven Levitan's intro is a weird composite sequence with a current Dustin Hoffman cut into "The Graduate." It's good enough that I'm happy for the winner... Steve Levitan of "Modern Family." But Louis C.K. should have won. "I want to thank me for hiring me as a director when no one else would. I wouldn't be standing here without my faith in me," Levitan says. Wait. I was promised Melissa McCarthy in seven minutes. WHERE WAS MY MELISSA MCCARTHY?!?! 

5:35 p.m. Nice. A filmed scene about how everybody on "Modern Family" hates New Lilly. It's funny because I bet it's true. And it's even funnier, because New Lilly isn't funny even in the clips. She's still a monotone little robot. "We've replaced Lilly before. No one will notice." Ed O'Neill says to Ken Jeong, in pigtails. 

5:37 p.m. On to Mindy Kaling and Melissa McCarthy.  It's been eight minutes, ABC. EIGHT. They're presenting Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy by objectifying the lead actors. Or Melissa McCarthy is objectifying the men. It's semi-funny. But only semi. The winner is... Jon Cryer for "Two and a Half Men." I didn't predict this, but I told y'all he had a good episode. "Something has clearly gone terribly wrong," Cryer says. Sigh. Oh, Morgan Stewart. You'll always be Emmy-worthy to me. He repeats that it's crazy and walks off looking incredulous. 

5:43 p.m. "So far we've had a winner in every category," Kimmel says. We've also given up on trying to make jokes already.

5:44 p.m. Stephen Colbert is presenting Lead Actress in a Comedy. He's talking about The War on Women. "We should not have a War on Women. We should be celebrating Women. Women are wonderful. For the most part, obviously. Some Women are awful," Colbert says. "Five of them are just great..." Colbert says of the seven nominated actresses here. The winner is... Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "Veep." Is it possible that that's the first win I predicted correctly? Amy Poehler is very sweetly enthusastic for her. Then... Julia begins reading Amy Poehler's "Thank You" speech, which is... AWESOME. And very sweet. Amy Poehler makes all awards better. She should WIN some. But good for Julia Louis-Dreyfus. "I don't see anything funny about me being vice president of the United States," she says. She ends with "Isn't it a shame that Amy Poehler didn't win" and we cut to Amy in the crowd with a pencil. Good stuff. And? A Vada Sultenfuss shout-out.

5:49 p.m. After an awkward and confused pause, we appear to be transitioning into a Year in Reality montage.

5:50 p.m. Lots of Housewives. An appearance by That Pretty Guy Who Used To Host "The X Factor." And now... James Van Der Beek and Damon Wayans Jr. Thank you, Damon for telling me that the Patriots are winning 3-0. They're presenting Outstanding Reality Competition. The winner is... SHEER LAZINESS. I mean... "The Amazing Race." I may be wrong, but I think every person who has won an Emmy tonight already had at least one previously, right?

5:56 p.m. The characters from "The Big Bang Theory" are watching the Emmys. Sheldon likes watching for the accountants. He knows them by name. I guess this is kinda a way to get people to pay attention to the accountants? So... yay? But they don't ever have to really be on camera? Whatever...

5:58 p.m. They haven't figured out how to mic Seth MacFarlane. Or maybe he doesn't know where the mic is? "This is what happens when you don't go to rehearsal" he says as Stewie. He's presenting Outstanding Reality Host, referencing Brian Dunkleman and Roger Lodge. As auditions to host FOX's next Emmys go, this was a bit weak. Anyway, the winner is... [Please be Cat Deeley. Please be Cat Deeley.] It's Tom Bergeron for "Dancing with the Stars." And he's our first first-time winner tonight. Yay! "This is particularly satisfying since Betty White always kicks my ass in our mixed martial arts class," he cracks. He also thanks Jeff Probst for not being nominated. Bergeron plugs the "DWTS" season premiere.

6:02 p.m. The Year in Drama montage is introduced with... a "Hunger Games" video? Weird. Nice to remember "House." Nice they worked in Jessica Pare and Jon Hamm getting kinky. Nice that they were able to plug ABC's "Once Upon a Time" and "Grey's Anatomy" and "Revenge." Zombies! SMASH!

6:04 p.m. "I've gotta get out less," Kimmel says. "Our next presenter has a baby in her, but she will be presenting alone, because the baby cannot read yet," Kimmel says, introducing Claire Danes. Hmmm...

6:04 p.m. Danes is presenting Supporting Actor in a Drama. The winner is... Aaron Paul for "Breaking Bad." It's completely deserved, but it's also nice that Giancarlo Esposito loudly and demonstrably yells, "Yes!" Good for Gus Fring, who also would have completely deserved to win. "I truly didn't even attempt to prepare a speech," says Paul, clearly touched. Awww. He's all teary as he thanks the writers for not killing him off. "We're in a room full of people just chasing their dreams," Paul says, eyes red. He also thanks his very attractive bride-to-be for saving him.

6:12 p.m. "Are you hanging in there? Everybody alright?" Kimmel says. He calls Tracy Morgan to the stage to pull a prank on the people not watching. He tells us to go on Facebook or Twitter and post "Oh my God, Tracy Morgan just passed out on stage at the Emmys, turn ABC on now." I'm not your monkey, Kimmel.

6:14 p.m. Tracy Morgan remains passed out on the stage as Connie Britton and her dwarf co-star take the stage to present Drama Writing. The writers get showcased to talk about how they handle writers' block. The winner is... Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff for "Homeland." That was one of my precursor "Homeland" picks leading up to my big upset prediction for Outstanding Drama. So far so good. Alex and Howard refuse to let only one speak. They trade back and forth, remembering that they were writing partners way back 30 years ago. In retaliation, they get played off the stage...

6:17 p.m. The winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama is... Maggie Smith for "Downton Abbey." Naturally, she's not here, so the dwarf accepts on her behalf. And, in Dame Maggie's absence, I'll say say that Christina Hendricks was robbed.

6:22 p.m. Tracy Morgan is removed from the stage. "Tell Kerry Washington I'm alright," Morgan says.

6:22 p.m. Giancarlo Esposito to present. Chicken Man! He's introducing the previously announced winners of Guest Acting in a Drama. That would be Martha Plimpton and Jeremy Davies, if you've forgotten.

6:23 p.m. Out come Davies and Plimpton. They could have given Giancarlo more to do. they're presenting Directing for a Drama Series. The winner is... Tim Van Patten for "Boardwalk Empire." That's a real surprise for me and it breaks up my "Homeland" narrative. That being said, it's at least somewhat deserved.

6:25 p.m. It's a Pre-Necrology. Tonight, we're paying pre-tribute to Jimmy Kimmel, with Josh Groban singing accompaniment. Lots of clips. This is... not funny. A self-indulgent tribute to the host, even as a joke, is a complete and total waste of time. "I will be missed," Kimmel says.

6:27 p.m. Julianna Margulies is presenting Lead Actor in a Drama. Wow. This is really early in the show for this category. The winner in this terrific category is... DAMIAN LEWIS FOR "HOMELAND." Wow. That's actually a bit awesome and a bit stunning. "I'm Damian Lewis. I'm one of those pesky British." Lewis introduces himself. "I don't really believe in judging art, but I thought I'd show up just in case," he cracks. I'm perfectly pleased with this. And with Danes' win inevitable, this puts my upset pick back on track. Lewis thanks both Danes and Morena Baccarin.

6:35 p.m. "Everybody OK?" asks Jimmy Kimmel, who has to be the most caring and reassuring host in Emmys history. "Our next presenters are here tonight," he says, before introducing Tina Fey and Jon Hamm. Tina Fey is saying funny things and pretending she forgot her glasses. Oh, Tina Fey. So awesome. 

6:37 p.m. I'm glad they brought Tina Fey to be funny, because we all knew Lead Actress in a Drama was going to be...  Claire Danes in "Homeland." Duh-doy. Yay for her. She starts by thanking the writers, taking faux offense to their being cut off. "Mandy Patinkin... Holla!" she says. Holla, indeed. She also thanks her "baby daddy" Hugh Dancy, who's just a bit teary-eyed.

6:40 p.m. Genre transition! Off to "Variety."

6:42 p.m. "Mad Men" has won Drama Series without winning anything else. Just in case I start getting cocky.

6:42 p.m. Aziz Ansari is paired with the surprisingly lovely Jane Levy. Aziz does a British accent to thank voters for saluting so many British stars. Inexplicably, they cut to Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, who are Australian. Aziz and Jane then read the nominees in awesomely awful British accents. They're presenting Writing for a Variety-and-Stuff Series. The winner is... Mr. Louis C.K. His second writing Emmy of the NIGHT. He's talented. "I wanted another one, so that's nice," he says. Oh and four minutes til Ricky Gervais.

6:50 p.m. "Our next presenter has two Emmys and a tremendous amount of distain for you and everything you stand for," Kimmel says, introducing Gervais, who calls this "so much better than Golden Globes." He's doing Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special. "It's a good job this is live, because if it wasn't, this would not make the edit," he cracks. ["If he wins this, he's a better comedian than me," Gervais says of Louis C.K.] After Ricky says he hopes Louis C.K. wins... the winner is... Glenn Weiss for the Tonys. Awkward. Weiss is working on the Emmys show. He apologizes for not recognizing his parents last time he won and he orders himself to be played off.

6:53 p.m. "Well done to everybody in that category, especially Louis, the second best comedian in the world," Gervais says. Next, Variety, Music, Comedy, Special and Stuff. This is the one that "The Daily Show" always wins, but the presence of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" at least adds some show-related drama or something. And this year's winner is... "Not again..." Gervais says. It's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Stewart attempts to make it to the stage with Fallon and Colbert trying to pull him down. "I'm not in the kind of shape I should be in to do a bit with Jimmy Fallon," Stewart says, breathing deeply. "Free... sandwich.. after... 10..." Stewart says. He gives a lot of credit to the competition, particularly Colbert, "Saturday Night Life" and Bill Maher. "Years from now when the Earth is just a burning husk and aliens visits, they will find a box of these and they will know just how predictable these [bleeped." Line of the night for Jon Stewart.

7:01 p.m. Jimmy introduces us to his parents in the audience. There's a bit with Tracy Morgan taking Jimmy's parents to task to telling him he can do anything. He has his parents evicted from the theater. Tracy's cousins get to join him.

7:03 p.m. Genre shift! Time for Movies, Miniseries or Whatever The Academy Will Accept in The Category.

7:05 p.m. Nice. One or two of those clips actually were from movies or miniseries.

7:05 p.m. Steve Buscemi comes on-stage to present and gives a cheer for Tim Van Patten. He's presenting Supporting Actress in a Miniseries, Movie or Whatever The Academy Would Accept. The winner is... Jessica Lange for "American Horror Story." No surprise there. "It's been such a wild ride," Lange says, telling the same story about Ryan Murphy making promises that she's told 50 times. 

7:12 p.m. Bruce Rosenblum of the TV Academy is paired with Ellen DeGeneres. Stupidly, Ellen isn't wearing pants, a call-back to the opening joke that Jimmy didn't follow up on. Lame. 

7:13 p.m. Our next presenter is Kerry Washington. She's presenting Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries. The winner is... Tom Berenger for "Hatfields & McCoys." I actually thought that was a really good performance. So... Yay. "I think the Academy should have melted this down into 10 or 11 little tiny, tiny Emmys," Berenger says, referencing all of his "Hatfields & McCoys" colleagues. He's especially gracious to the writers. And he gets played off. 

7:16 p.m. Awww. RIP to Andy Griffith, who will get a special pre-Necrology tribute from Opie, himself. Tom Hanks even likes a good "Opie" reference. "Dang if he didn't make it look powerful easy," Ron Howard says of his colleague, before launching into the full Necrology. They're playing "Memories," but it doesn't seem like it's being performed live. Initially, the crowd volume was on, so we heard audience applause, but eventually they mostly mute the audience, so we don't know who wins. Nice that they found room for "Bones" co-star Heavy-D, who is exactly the kind of person they usually forget in this packages. We lost a lot of great ones this year. Mike Wallace, Ernest Brognine, Harry Morgan and Dick Clark get the closing segments with audio.

7:26 p.m. Lucy Liu and Kiefer Sutherland are up. They're presenting Writing for a Movie, Miniseries. Abi Morgan deserves to win. She won't and that's OK. The winner actually is... Danny Strong for "Game Change." As a "Buffy" and "Gilmore Girls" fan, I'm absolutely pleased as punch for Danny. "Wow. This is really exciting," he says. Oh right. I forgot that Tom Hanks and Playtone produced "Game Change."

7:28 p.m. Lead Actress in a Movie or Miniseries or Fraud goes to... Julianne Moore for "Game Change." That was an easy one to predict, eh? "I feel so validated, because Sarah Palin gave me a big 'Thumbs Down.'" Moore says. She thanks many people and she also gets played off.

7:35 p.m. Jimmy Kimmel catches Jon Stewart out of his seat and accuses him of throwing out his Emmy backstage.

7:35 p.m. Oh look. More ABC stars. It's Ginnifer Goodwin and Emily Van Camp. Time for Directing For a Movie/Miniseries/Stuff. The winner is... Jay Roach for "Game Change." I don't know how the Emmys handled eligibility for "American Horror Story" in this category and writing. So that makes it hard to know if this is any indication that "Game Change" may sneak in and take the overall category. Roach is gracious to all the same people Danny Strong and Julianne Moore were gracious too. And he gets played off as well.

7:37 p.m. Not to be mean, Emmys, but maybe if you hadn't wasted time on paying tribute to Jimmy Kimmel, you wouldn't be playing EVERYBODY off.

7:38 p.m. Lead Actor in a Movie/Miniseries/Stuff goes to... Kevin Costner for "Hatfields & McCoys." That puts him one step closer to EGOT. "This didn't really figure to happen," Costner says, thanking the Romanian film community. Kevin Costner gets to ramble. He loves being an actor and he loves this life.

7:45 p.m. ABC star Andre Braugher is out to present. He's presenting Outstanding Movie, Miniseries or Bald-Faced Lie. The winner is... "Game Change." Hah. Sepinwall and I got so distracted by "Hatfields & McCoys" versus "American Horror Story" that we forgot about HBO. Tom Hanks thanks the Founding Fathers for the democratic process. Tom Hanks is efficient. He doesn't need to get played off.

7:47 p.m. Julianne Moore gets to come back to present something as we move into the series prizes. She's got a big one. It's Outstanding Drama Series. The winner is... "Homeland." Alex Gansa calls this the biggest night of his career and vows to keep talking until they play him off. Alex has been properly briefed that this is Showtime's first-ever win in this category. And, like a broken watch, I got to be right on this one by dumb luck. Dan's predictions, FTW!

7:54 p.m. The gospel-tinged promo for "Last Resort" is every bit as ridiculous as the one that called it "an epic romance."

7:55 p.m. Michael J. Fox gets to close the show presenting Outstanding Comedy. Everybody likes Michael J. Fox. He gets a standing ovation just for showing up. The winner is... Duh. "Modern Family." It's an unstoppable force of nature, y'all. Steve Levitan rushes up for more time in the spotlight. He recalls pausing shooting to watch Endeavor pass by. He doesn't say anything other than how lucky he feels before getting played off. Seriously? They don't just play them off. They shut the lights off. On their own show. Classy, ABC.

Thanks so much for following and commenting, everybody!!!!

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Daniel Fienberg
Executive Editor
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.
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