Twice delayed because of the world climate, the television fraternity finally honored its own Sunday night with the 53rd annual Emmy Awards. The event was dominated by "The West Wing," that NBC show about life in the White House. It copped four awards, including best drama. Two stars from HBO's "The Sopranos" also won, denying "Wing" a larger haul. The ceremonies opened with what MSNBC called a "soothing address" by veteran newsman Walter Cronkite. He opened the show -- in a not-too-veiled reference to the double delays -- with the words: "Welcome to the 53rd, the 54th, the 55th Emmy Awards." Security was, as you might expect, extremely tight. The event took place in Los Angeles.
JOHNNY CASH BACK HOME AGAIN
Country's "Man in Black," venerable Johnny Cash, has gone home ... again. He was released from a Nashville hospital after a second trip there for treatment of recurring bronchitis. This time he stayed only a few days. His earlier hospitalization was for two weeks. Cash has a medical condition where he is susceptible to all sorts of infections and often has a problem getting rid of them. Published reports indicate that in both trips to the hospital, his doctors thought it was best to treat him in the sterile environment of a medical center where he could be watched more closely than at his rural Tennessee home.
NEW ROLE FOR MELISSA GILBERT
If you think of actress Melissa Gilbert only in terms of her role in "Little House on the Prairie" or as the youngest actress to ever get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ... think again. Now she's Pres. Gilbert. The voting in the hotly contested election for new president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) resulted in Gilbert, now 37 and an active director as well as actress, winning with just over 45 percent of the votes. Variety calls the campaign a "bruising one." The union's membership has been divided and vocal in the wake of recent labor problems in Hollywood and decreasing incomes for the majority of members -- while a few make multi-millions. Gilbert is the union's 23rd president. Elliott Gould was elected recording secretary. Kent McCord was named treasurer. Actor Ralph Morgan was SAG's first president, elected in 1933. Along the way Eddie Cantor, Ed Asner, Ronald Reagan and Charlton Heston have all served as the craft union's head. Actor William Daniel -- whose term just expired -- was an omnipresent, visible and articulate spokesman for the union during the recent labor troubles in Hollywood.
NOISY BROADWAY SHOW TOO NOISY
Reviewer Elysa Gardner, like many reporters -- myself included -- have had to review some pretty bad plays and musicals. In the Monday issue of USA Today she reports on the Broadway revival of the avant garde "play" "Noises Off." Unfortunately for her headache, it should have been re-named "Noises ON." Gardner says that the play is a "symphony of shouting voices, slamming doors and actors hurling themselves back and forth across the stage" of the Atkinson Theatre. The play was first performed in 1982 and has survived over the years in various incarnations. It is usually performed with a cast of well-known actors, which may be part of its cult appeal. But, it's also so complicated that most patrons go away confused. Nonetheless, it's back on the Great White Way, bad reviews and all. By the way, Patti LuPone puts on a Cockney accent for the play.
ON THE OTHER HAND ...
"Noises Off" may be off the mark on Broadway, but reviewers in London are giving multiple thumbs up to the new Harry Potter movie and it's 12-year-old star, Daniel Radcliffe. Phil Kloer was one of three dozen journalists who sat down with Radcliffe in London to talk about the movie and the Potter phenomenon. Writing in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, he notes that the young star says he's seldom recognized on the street, but few have seen the movie so far. Daniel says his parents were at first reluctant to let him take on the role. He has another under a two-movie deal. But, as we reported previously, his voice has begun to darken and hormones may overtake his boyish charm. By the way, director Chris Columbus disputes a report in the British press, relayed here, that Radcliffe was dubbed in some scenes because of his darkening voice. "Every word uttered by Harry Potter is Dan's voice," he told reporters. The other boy actor did do the arcade games and merchandising.
BERRY, COCHRAN SCORE AT CHRISTIAN AWARDS
Christian recording stars John Berry and Tammy Cochran were big winners at the weekend Christian Country Music Awards in Nashville. The news provider country.com is reporting that Berry -- who co-hosted the show with Crystal Gayle -- was named the mainstream country artist of the year. The mainstream song of the year was Dan Tyminski's "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" from the movie soundtrack. Popular rising female singer Tammy Cochran won top Christian video for "Angels in Waiting." The southern gospel group the Fox Brothers took entertainers of the year honors. Among those performing were Jeff Carson and Larry Gatlin. The awards show took place at the Ryman Auditorium, original home of the Grand Ole Opry
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 196
With the rise in cell phones you see fewer and fewer pay phones. So, here goes: "When was the last time you saw a real, honest-to-goodness pay phone BOOTH with door and all?" Put BOOTH in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet. By the way, Friday is the 200th question. If you have a suggestion, QUICKLY put 200 in the subject line and send it in.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 191 (DAYLIGHT)
Last week we asked your thoughts about the reversion from Daylight Saving to Standard Time. Here are some of the replies: BPrice says, "I really don't like (it). It seems like I never catch up on that one hour of sleep I lose." Many echoed similar sentiments. Penni is formerly from my home state, Indiana. She understands messed up time. She says she wishes Texas would follow the Hoosier state's lead (at least most of it) and NOT switch. Sherry says it's no big deal for her. She suggests that her great-great-grannie lived without it ... so... ! My biggest problem is that I have tons of clocks and am always finding one I forgot to change. Just a thought. Maybe it was because Arizona has never observed Daylight Saving Time that its baseball team got enough sleep to trounce the Yankees. GBA.