It's a four-peat for Ellen DeGeneres at the Daytime Emmys.
DeGeneres picked up her fourth consecutive Daytime Emmy for outstanding talk show host while "Rachel Ray" cooked up a surprising win in the outstanding talk show category during the 35th annual Daytime Emmy ceremony at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre on Friday night. "Rachel Ray" beat previous talk show winners "The View" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
As host, DeGeneres again bested Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa from "Live with Regis and Kelly" as well as Barbara Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd from "The View." It's the 10th consecutive loss in the host category for "The View" ladies. Philbin has only won the talk show host category once in the 20 years he's hosted "Live."
"I know you're counting me down," DeGeneres said before the end of her acceptance speech. "But I read this is the longest day of the year, so I can go on."
Philbin is guaranteed to take home at least one trophy. The 76-year-old talk show host, who's career can be traced back to his days as an NBC page in the 1950s, will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Jimmy Kimmel. Philbin has only won the talk show host category once in the 20 years he's hosted "Live." Current co-host Ripa has never won the category.
Tyra Banks picked up the first ever Daytime Emmy for informative talk show. Banks, "Dr. Phil" and PBS' "A Place of Our Own/Los Ninos en su Casa" -- a daily show about child care that has English and Spanish versions -- didn't have to spar with Philbin or DeGeneres for outstanding talk show this year thanks to a new category split.
"I want to thank Oprah Winfrey for her inspiration," Banks said. "She is the queen. She will always be the queen."
What about Winfrey? After several sweeps, she's been taking herself and her show out of Daytime Emmy contention since 1999.
Also new this year was the legal/courtroom program Daytime Emmy, which was awarded to "Cristina's Court." Formerly, "Judge Judy" competed in a special class category against shows like "Trading Spaces" and "A Baby's Story." This year, the veteran TV judge was joined by "Cristina's Court," "Judge Hatchett Show," "The People's Court" and "Judge David Young" in the new category.
Outstanding soap acting winners included Gina Tognoni of CBS'"Guiding Light" for supporting actress; Kristoff St. John of CBS' "The Young and the Restless" for supporting actor; Tom Pelphrey of "Guiding Light" for younger actor; and Jennifer Landon of CBS' "As the World Turns." The behind-the-scenes teams of "One Life to Life" won both outstanding directing and writing team awards.
ABC shook up this year's ceremony with new interactive elements and a new Golden Globes-style seating arrangement at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. Honoring everything from soaps to talk shows to game shows, the live broadcast is being co-hosted by Sherri Shepherd from "The View" and Cameron Mathison from "All My Children."
Instead of sitting in the Kodak's stuffy theater seats, nominees gathered around their own banquet tables and were allowed to feast on food and sip booze from an open bar. Digital video cameras were placed at the tables and attendees documented personal experiences during the show. The footage was uploaded to SoapNet.com throughout the live ceremony.
After plummeting to an all-time low of 6.1 million viewers in 2006, last year's Emmy Awards were watched by 8.3 million people, the ceremony's best ratings since 2004, according to Nielsen Media Research. That scaled-down, two-hour Daytime Emmys aired on CBS after a rebroadcast of Bob Barker's final "Price Is Right" episode and featured the game show host receiving his 19th Daytime Emmy.
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