"All year long they've been asking us, `Do you think, now that your show is going, is this the end of the sitcom?'" "Raymond" executive producer Phil Rosenthal said dryly. "I want to say, yes. Beyond that, it's the end of laughing and the end of smiling."
Felicity Huffman and Patricia Arquette became first-time Emmy winners Sunday as they received lead actress honors while Tony Shalhoub and James Spader once again proved favorites in the best actor category.
"I've turned into one of those actresses and I'm sorry," Huffman, who plays an overwhelmed homemaker on ABC's "Desperate Housewives," said as she teared up at the start of her acceptance speech.
She thanked "the women of Wisteria Lane," her co-stars Marcia Cross and Teri Hatcher -- also nominees in the category -- and Eva Longoria.
Arquette, who plays a crime-solving psychic in NBC's "Medium," won the best drama series actress award.
"I want to thank you for this honor, for putting me in this incredible company," she said. She offered her "respect and gratitude" to volunteers helping Hurricane Katrina victims and issued a prayer that soldiers in Iraq "come home safe and sound."
Shalhoub was named best actor in a comedy series for "Monk."
"I just want to say there's always next year, except for Ray Romano," Shalhoub said jokingly of his fellow nominees.
Spader was named best dramatic actor for "Boston Legal" for his portrayal of a lawyer with an ethics problem _ his second consecutive win.
"I'd like to thank the academy and I'd like to thank my mother and I'd like to thank my mother again, because I forgot to thank her last year," he said.
Other past Emmy favorites grabbed trophies at Sunday's ceremony, with Brad Garrett and Doris Roberts of "Everybody Loves Raymond" and William Shatner of "Boston Legal" receiving best supporting actor honors.
Garrett received his third Emmy for the CBS sitcom and Shatner received his second Emmy for the character of egotistical lawyer Denny Crane, which also had first been featured on "The Practice."
"Oh, my gosh. ... Thank you so much," said Garrett, adding facetiously: "I have to dedicate this to Britney (Spears) and our baby. This is amazing."
Roberts appeared on stage with two grandsons at her side.
"This is the icing on the cake," she said, accepting her fourth trophy for her role as a meddling mother-in-law. "Nine wonderful years on 'Everybody Loves Raymond' and to finish it off with this is wonderful."
Blythe Danner was named best supporting actress in a drama for Showtime's "Huff."
"I think my husband Bruce Paltrow is up there, stirring this up for me," Danner said, making a sentimental reference to her late husband, a director, then turned to two pressing national issues.
Danner said Paltrow (their children include actress Gwyneth Paltrow) would want her to pay tribute to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans and she issued a plea for the return of troops from Iraq.