61st Primetime Emmy Awards

61st Primetime Emmy Awards

The 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards took place on September 20, 2009. CBS broadcast the Primetime event and E! the Creative Arts event; both took place at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The nominations for the Awards were announced on July 16.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced in July 2009 that Neil Patrick Harris would host the Primetime event. The Creative Arts Emmys for primetime were hosted by Kathy Griffin.

After the previous year's lackluster performance in ratings, the Emmy Awards were hoping to achieve success by selecting Harris as sole host, as opposed to a group of hosts as in the previous year. The 61st Primetime Emmy awards earned a 4.2 rating in the 18-49 demo and drew 13.3 million, 1.1 million more than the previous year's all-time low.

30 Rock became the sixth show to win Outstanding Comedy Series three straight years, it won three major awards on the night. 30 Rock also made Emmy history, by breaking the record for most major nominations by a comedy series. The Cosby Show set the record of 13 in 1986, 30 Rock had tied this the previous year. The record was smashed by 30 Rock, whose 18 major nominations were third most all time, behind Roots' record number of 21 in 1977, and NYPD Blue's mark of 19 in 1994. This record still stands.

The drama field also crowned the defending champion, AMC's Mad Men. It won two major awards on the night. After airing for fifteen seasons, ER went out a winner as its series finale won for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. This was the first major win for ER since 2001.

History was also made by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Amazing Race. Both programs won their series categories for the seventh straight year, this broke the record for most consecutive victories in a major category of six that was set by Cagney & Lacey. The Amazing Race would lose the following year, but the Daily Show's streak is still active, and has grown to ten straight wins.

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