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The 50th Annual Emmy Awards
"Frasier" won an Emmy as best comedy series for the fifth year in a row
The biggest night on TV

'Frasier' sets Emmy record on TV night to remember

Web posted on: Sunday, September 13, 1998 11:26:36 PM

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- "Frasier" set an Emmy record on Sunday night, becoming the first to take top honors for an outstanding comedy series five years in a row.

"This is a historical event for comedy so I'm very pleased that we've won five in a row," said the series' lead actor, Kelsey Grammer, who also won a best actor Emmy for "Frasier."

Pointing to the cast assembled on the stage, Grammar added, "I think this is the best bunch of people that ever lived." Costar David Hyde Pierce was also honored with an Emmy for best supporting actor for the show.

Pierce had faced competition including "NewsRadio"'s Phil Hartman, who was killed this past summer.

Pierce was a gracious winner, and had a special message for his fellow nominees. "I just want to congratulate you on some of the greatest performances on some of the greatest shows on TV in history," he said.

Hunt adds new award to trophy shelf

Helen Hunt continued her award-winning year by taking home an Emmy for best actress in a comedy series. Hunt's third Emmy for her role in "Mad About You," followed on the heels of her Academy Award-winning performance in the big-screen movie "As Good As It Gets."

Helen Hunt won for best lead actress in a comedy series

Meanwhile, ABC's "The Practice" upstaged the competition on Sunday night, winning an Emmy for outstanding drama series in its first season on the air. "The Practice" beat out heavy hitters "ER," "Law & Order," "NYPD Blue" and "The X-Files."

Andre Braugher took home an Emmy for best actor in a drama series for his role in "Homicide: Life on the Street," and Christine Lahti won best actress in a drama series for "Chicago Hope."

Gary Sinise took home an award for outstanding lead actor in a movie or miniseries for playing the title character in "George Wallace."

The TNT movie also took home two other major-category awards: Outstanding directing for a miniseries or movie, and outstanding supporting actress in movie or miniseries were both awarded to "George Wallace," with John Frankenheimer (directing) and Mare Winningham (supporting actress) taking home the Emmys.

Ellen Barkin took home an Emmy for her work in "Before Women Had Wings"

Ellen Barkin won outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie for her work in ABC's "Before Women Had Wings."

ABC's "NYPD Blue" has also picked up three awards in major categories. Director Paris Barclay won an Emmy for outstanding directing for the drama series. The vote in this category was a tie, with Mark Tinker also winning for his direction on the pilot of "Brooklyn South."

Gordon Clapp of "NYPD Blue" won for outstanding supporting actor.

"Someone just asked me what my favorite television moment was, and I think it just changed," Clapp said upon accepting the award.

"NYPD Blue" also won for outstanding writing in a drama series.

The 12-part series "From the Earth to the Moon," which had the most Emmy nominations of any entrant with 17, won for best miniseries -- a category that suffered through some pre-show controversy, as the networks complained that the Tom Hanks-led HBO docudrama about the NASA moonshots in the late 1960s and early 1970s had too large a budget and too many parts to be eligible for the miniseries category.


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Meanwhile, HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" picked up two big awards. Garry Shandling, the show's creator, and Peter Tolan took home an Emmy for outstanding writing for a comedy series. And Todd Holland took home television's top prize for outstanding director of a comedy series.

NBC comedies also winners

The first award of this year's Emmy Awards went to Lisa Kudrow of "Friends," who took home her first Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series. It was Kudrow's third nomination.

"The Late Show With David Letterman" won its first Emmy for outstanding variety series.

Camryn Manheim of ABC's "The Practice" scored a victory in the category of outstanding supporting actress in a drama series. It was her first Emmy nomination, and she was bursting with excitement.

"This is amazing!" she shouted. "I brought my autograph book, I hope you all will sign it, especially the four women in my category. This is for all the fat girls!"

George C. Scott won the award for outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie for his role in "12 Angry Men," the Showtime remake of the classic.

Kario Salem took home the Emmy for outstanding writing for a miniseries or a movie. He penned HBO's "Don King: Only in America," which itself won an Emmy for outstanding made-for-TV movie.

"Mr. Television" Milton Berle and legend Sid Caesar joke around backstage after receiving a standing ovation with Bob Hope

A look back at TV history

Meanwhile, the biggest night on television celebrated its 50th year on Sunday with a ceremony propelled by nostalgia and star power.

The awards got underway before a star-studded Shrine Auditorium, and the show was headed to a four-hour celebration of the highlights of television history, with clips being shown from Emmys and TV shows past.

The pre-show, hosted by Bob Costas, set the tone for the show that will take a look back at 50 years of television.

For instance, the first standing ovation of the night went to a triumvirate of comedy television pioneers -- Milton Berle, Bob Hope, and Sid Caesar. A stage curtain opened to reveal the three, to heavy applause from the crowd. Hope, whose health has declined in recent years, sat in a director's chair.

The show also featured the top 10 television milestones, as chosen by a panel of television critics. Several celebrities recalled their favorite television memories.

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