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ER' wins most Emmys, but not top ones

By VALERIE KUKLENSKI UPI Entertainment Editor

PASADENA, Calif., Sept. 10 -- NBC's adrenalin-pumping hospital drama 'ER' won the most awards Sunday at the 47th annual Primetime Emmy Awards and it tied 'Hill Street Blues' for the most wins in its debut season. But it may have been a bittersweet success because the series lost the coveted drama series Emmy to 'NYPD Blue' and its lead acting nominees went home empty-handed. 'ER' took a total of eight awards: best supporting actress in a drama series for Julianna Margulies, writing (Lance Gentile) and directing (Mimi Leder) for its acclaimed episode 'Love's Labor Lost,' and five technical awards presented Saturday night in pre-telecast ceremonies. The top comedy series was NBC's 'Frasier' for the second year in a row. It also earned statuettes for lead actor Kelsey Grammer, last year's winner, supporting actor David Hyde Pierce, and writing and directing honors. 'It was kind of a tough year this year, but things turned out OK,' an emotional Grammer said, alluding to unsubstantiated allegations made against him that he had sex with his child's teenage babysitter. The biggest surprise of the night may have been the lead actor in a drama series award, which went to New York stage veteran Mandy Patinkin for 'Chicago Hope,' CBS's critically acclaimed but low-rated medical drama. Patinkin has decided to leave the series after the first few episodes of the second season to spend more time with his family. 'I have learned a respect for the crew of this show, of every show, that I never knew before,' Patinkin said, drawing one of the loudest rounds of applause.

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Patinkin's win may have resulted in some vote- splitting for 'ER' stars George Clooney and Anthony Edwards and 'NYPD Blue' leads Jimmy Smits and Dennis Franz, who won the award last year. Both Candice Bergen and the audience at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium were stunned by her second consecutive win for lead actress in a comedy series for 'Murphy Brown.' With this win, Bergen entered the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences record book for being the first performer to win five lead acting Emmys for the same show. 'I'd like to thank the academy for this embarrassment of riches and my colleagues in the category for continuously raising the comedy bar higher and higher,' she said. Bergen beat Helen Hunt, Roseanne, Cybill Shepherd and Ellen DeGeneres. Kathy Baker received her second Emmy in the category of lead actress in a drama series for playing a small-town doctor in 'Picket Fences.' Veteran character actor Ray Walston also won a supporting acting Emmy for his judge role on the series. 'I have 30 seconds to tell youthat I've been waiting 60 years to get on this stage,' he said. Christine Baranski, who plays the title character's flamboyant friend on 'Cybill,' won the comedy series supporting actress honor. 'Barbra Streisand: The Concert' tied with 'Frasier' with five Emmys, including best music or variety special and best performance in that genre. Streisand last won the performing Emmy 30 years ago for her first TV special, 'My Name is Barbra.' This year's awards were for HBO's taping of her sold-out tour, her first live concerts in decades. 'I can tell you (winning the Emmy) was very thrilling then and it's very thrilling now, even more significantly because of all the doubts I had about performing,' Streisand said. Fresh from her Tony win for 'Sunset Boulevard,' Glenn Close won an Emmy for the title role in the NBC movie 'Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story.' The movie, based on the true story of a colonel kicked out of the Army because she is a lesbian, also won a supporting acting award for Judy Davis and a writing award for Alison Cross. The top TV movie award went to HBO's 'Indictment: The McMartin Trial,' about the notorious Los Angeles case against a group of preschool teachers accused of child molestation. Shirley Knight, who won a guest star Emmy Saturday in the pre-telecast event, took a second one Sunday for her supporting role in the McMartin movie. The TNT miniseries 'Joseph,' based on the Old Testament story of the son of Jacob and Rachel who saved his people from famine, won the miniseries Emmy. The HBO movie 'The Burning Season' earned an Emmy for actor Raul Julia, who died last year after a stroke. It also earned a directing award for John Frankenheimer. Donald Sutherland won a supporting actor award for 'Citizen X,' an HBO movie about the hunt for a serial killer in the Soviet Union. The writing staff of 'Dennis Miller Live' won in the variety or music program category, and Jeff Margolis won an award for directing 'The 67th Annual Academy Awards.' 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno' was named outstanding variety, music or comedy series, its first win in the category since 1992, Johnny Carson's last season as host. The ceremonies, telecast live around the world, were hosted by Cybill Shepherd and Jason Alexander, who brought some slapstick humor and energy to the show, which included an a capella group doo-wopping a medley of TV themes and Shepherd getting into a food fight with the chef preparing the dinner for the Governors' Ball. While many live awards show drag their viewers into overtime, the television academy boasted that this one finished in two hours, 59 minutes and 53 seconds, just seven seconds shy of its alloted time.

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