Hillary B. Smith

The 41st Annual Daytime Emmys were held on June 22 at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. As you could probably tell by the few live tweets I was able to get out during the show, I was there.

Hillary B. Smith (Guya, Venice), Sonia, Carolyn and Rena Sofer (Quinn, B&B) at the pre-Emmy party at The London.

Hillary B. Smith (Guya, Venice), Sonia, Carolyn and Rena Sofer (Quinn, B&B) at the pre-Emmy party at The London.

In case you turned off the live stream during that embarrassing car crash of a Red Carpet show, here are the big soap winners:

Outstanding Daytime Drama: Y&R

Outstanding Writing: Y&R

Outstanding Directing: OLTL

Outstanding Lead Actress: Eileen Davidson (Kristen, DAYS)

Outstanding Lead Actor: Billy Miller (ex-Billy, Y&R)

Outstanding Supporting Actress: Amelia Heinle (Victoria, Y&R)

Outstanding Supporting Actor: Eric Martsolf (Brady, DAYS)

Outstanding Younger Actor: Chandler Massey (ex-Will, DAYS)

Outstanding Younger Actress: Hunter King (Summer, Y&R)

Outstanding New Approaches – Drama Series: Venice

Tainted Dreams was up against Venice and I have to say I think it is completely fair that Venice won. TD creator and executive producer Sonia Blangiardo and our team are still trying to sell the entire first season of TD to cable for a large enough sum to fund season two. Venice, co-produced by long-time soap star Crystal Chappell (who also stars), began airing in 2009. We released three episodes on youtube last year to whet peoples’ appetites; they are in their FOURTH season. So I say mazel, Venice – see you next year!

I can’t say the same thing about the other soap categories for the simple reason that GH and B&B were overlooked. Both shows had excellent years, better overall than Y&R and DAYS. As Michael Logan put it in TV Guide, “When the real best soap of 2013 — General Hospital — isn’t nominated here, how can this category be anything but an exercise in pointlessness?”

Point taken. But as we know, all a soap needs is one good episode. It’s very possible that Delia’s death on Y&R might still have beaten GH’s Nurses’ Ball even if GH had been nominated. But the complete shutout made the Emmy telecast less competitive and certainly less interesting. I said the same thing when DAYS wasn’t getting nods. It’s just not as fun.

It’s harder to judge fairness in the acting categories because the actor that stands out tends to win, and you have no idea what anyone else will submit. I remember an Emmy voter telling me a few years ago that four out of five actresses in the category they were judging cried through their scenes, so the voter picked the one that wasn’t sobbing. That actress won.

There was a similar situation this year with Best Supporting Actor. Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH), Steve Burton (Dylan, Y&R), Scott Clifton (Liam, B&B) and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante, GH) all submitted angsty, heartfelt stuff, while DAYS’ Eric Martsolf went balls-to-the-wall as a whacked-out drug addict and took home the statue. Have a coke and a smile, Brady!

The Younger Lead category has never made any sense to me. “Who’s still under 25 on our show? Let’s nominate them!” Some, like Rick Hearst, Roger Howarth, Michael E. Knight and Jonathan Jackson, continued to nab nominations and wins long after they aged out of this cake category, proving that their talents extended past just a small group of their peers.

Others never did. Ever heard of a guy named Justin Gocke? He was nominated twice, winning in 1989 for his role as Brandon Capwell on Santa Barbara. Say what you want about adult Emmy winners, none of them fall off the face of the acting earth.

But the most unfair thing about the Daytime Emmys is that year after year NATAS hires producers that don’t respect the medium. How can you produce a show that’s supposed to celebrate talk shows, game shows, cooking shows and soap operas when you don’t like or watch them? I’m not talking about Kathy Griffin, who clearly loves daytime and kept the show moving as a funny, bawdy host. I’m talking about producers who can’t tell DAYS’ Chandler Massey from his replacement, Guy Wilson. Massey won Younger Lead the past two years which tells me they didn’t look at any past telecasts, never mind tune into DAYS or looking up a name, before they showed the wrong clip. That’s not fair to Massey, DAYS, or loyal soap viewers.

Oh, well – on to next year. I hear the show will be back on television again, so here’s hoping NATAS hires a professional producer that actually watches Daytime.

It’s only fair.