"Mature" performers dominated Emmy Awards 2009, a testament to the meaty roles being written for older actors in a medium whose audience is also graying.
The winner in every acting category but one was more than 40 years old, including the two repeat drama winners: 62-year-old Glenn Close and 53-year-old Bryan Cranston. The exception was Toni Collette, who will be 37 on Nov. 1 and was the surprise winner for comedy actress for her performance in "United States of Tara."
The prevalence of older actors was particularly noteworthy in the category for outstanding actress in a drama series. Close's fellow nominees were Sally Field (63 on Nov. 6), Holly Hunter (51), Mariska Hargitay (45) and Kyra Sedgwick (44). The only one under 40 was "Mad Men's" Elisabeth Moss, age 27.
"We all go where there's great writing," Close said in her acceptance speech. "That's what we live off of," The Los Angeles Times reports.
Hosted by a wry Neil Patrick Harris, the three-hour-long program was spiked with jokes about the diminishing influence of broadcast television and old-fashioned, crowd-pleasing musical numbers.
NBC's "30 Rock" had gone into the awards show with 22 nominations, more than any other series. But as the night went on, it won only a handful, including Matt Hubbard for writing and Alec Baldwin, who won for lead actor in a comedy for the second year in a row. The win for comedy series made it all go down a bit easier.
"Whew! That was a nail-biter," exclaimed Tina Fey, the show's creator, star and writer as she collected the statuette. "The night was full of interesting and unexpected things, and I thought that didn't bode well for us," she told reporters later.
The win for "30 Rock" was no doubt a disappointment for "Family Guy" fans: The bawdy Fox show was the first animated series to be nominated in that category since "The Flintstones" 48 years ago.
HBO continued its domination, winning 21 Emmys to lead the pack, including three Sunday for "Grey Gardens," named best made-for-TV movie.
The film's Jessica Lange also won lead actress for playing an eccentric relative of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy. Lange appeared genuinely stunned.
"I can't believe I'm standing here," said Lange, 60, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Hollywood Reporter qouted Alec Baldwin as saying, "Paul McCartney. We're working on it." That was lead actor in a comedy winner Alec Baldwin's quick response to who he'd like to see guest star on NBC's "30 Rock." Winning for the second time out of his three nominations for his role as Jack Donaghy, Baldwin joked when asked if he could get "Twilight's" Robert Pattinson to guest star as a favor for his teenage daughter. "I'm sure he has no shortage of shows that want him to come on, like 'Desperate Housewives.' I'm sure those women would want to get their hands on him."
Creator Matthew Weiner credited "Mad Men's" back-to-back best drama Emmy victories to the show's creative team that's "firing on all cylinders and (they have) the ability to have creative freedom to do something that's eccentric and speaks to people. It's about human emotions, and I think that's what brings people to the show." Series star Jon Hamm added that the repeat win was "completely historic for a basic cable show to win not just one but two" Emmys. As for what's next this season, Weiner teased that Season 3's story line is "about to explode, and tonight's episode will feel very explosive for people who see it. There's a lot of curiosity about the cliffhangers, but something big is about to happen,"Hollywood Reporter reports.