The stars come out to celebrate Emmy Awards Eve
As of Sunday morning, everyone’s still a winner.
When almost all of the Emmy acting nominees gathered on stage for a photo at Spectra at the Pacific Design Center during the Emmy Performers Nominee Reception on Friday night, Bryan Cranston yelled out “Happy Birthday Aaron Paul." A chorus including Glenn Close, Kathryn Joosten, Elizabeth Moss, Connie Britton, and Catherine O’Hara proceeded to sing a full version of “Happy Birthday” to the 31-year-old “Breaking Bad” nominee.
Earlier inside, nominee Fred Willard shared a table (and a bowl of fries) with fellow nominee Eric Stonestreet.
At the Entertainment Weekly/Women in Film event at the Sunset Marquis later on Friday night, a leather jacket wearing Jeremy Piven entered moments behind his current on-screen nemesis, Autumn Reeser, who plays a disgruntled former agent on “Entourage."
As usual, the EW bash was 80/20: 80% of the guests were household names from major shows everyone knows and the other 20% were well connected industry-ites. An ABC exec bemoaned their network’s policy to skip on hosting Emmy and/or Golden Globes parties, while NBC’s bash pushed 1,200 guests (see below).
Also at the Sunset Marquis, a suited Seth Green welcomed Zach Levi with an intricate dance/hug. The “Chuck” star was the most casual person in the zip code with a green t-shirt and Converse all-stars.
Organizers were upbeat that newlyweds Anna Paquin and Steven Moyer made their first public appearance together at the event since getting married last Saturday night.
For the crush of 40+ paparazzi, autograph seekers, and lookie-loos perched outside on Alta Loma, Kathy Griffin was a ripe target. Who does she not want to win on Sunday night? “Someone like some skinny b**ch from “Mad Men." Photo at right: Griffin with Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
“Star Trek” and “Cowboys and Aliens” producer Damon Lindelof was considering continuing the night after EW. Have fans heard the last of the popular “Lost” podcast he used to produce with partner Carlton Cuse? “I’m sure you have not heard the last from us,” he said before heading off for the CAA party with his wife.
(Earlier in the week at the Writers Peer Group Nominee Reception, Lindelof accepted his nomination certificate in jeans, telling the room full of his fellow nominees “Sorry about the jeans. My wife is out of town…this is how I rebel. It’s better than (strip club) Spearmint Rhino.”)
The fashionably late Cat Deely, who hosts both the British and U.S. editions of “So You Think You Can Dance” said that Brit award shows are more fun because Brits are more fond of drinking. Her boss, Nigel Lythgoe, echoed the same sentiment at Saturday’s BAFTA/LA tea party, saying that Brit award shows are more like a roast.
Lythgoe, the chairman of the LA department of BAFTA, told TheWrap that although “Survivor” is not nominated in the Reality Competition category, “for me, Survivor is the greatest format for a reality program, including "American Idol." The executive-producer and judge once produced and directed the British version of Mark Burnett’s format several years ago.
Jessica Lowndes, Bryan Bratt, suddenly ubiquitous “Modern Family” players Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Rico Rodriguez, and about 250 others sipped chilled white wine by One Hope and Vertuze and ate scones in the backyard of the Century Plaza hotel on a long-awaited not-scorching afternoon.
Though no fault of the event, the Century Plaza hotel itself continues to annoy guests at multiple events with what might be the most inefficient valet in town. The visually and verbally frustrated talent cooling their heels for over a half hour included Michael Sheen, Oscar winning composer Michael Giacchino, Brian Baumgartner (“The Office”), and nominee Mike O’Malley.
Sally Pressman (“Army Wives”) and a few others would be back on the same block only hours later for the “Evening Before” party on the other side of the Avenue of the Stars. The heavy security was already being deployed during the mid-afternoon.
Word got out that the NBC Universal party was overbooked at Spago Saturday night. Fifteen minutes before the 8:30 p.m. kickoff, there were already 300 people inside. Though the three-room party was sprawling with brass — Ron Meyer, Jeff Zucker, Jeff Gaspin — there were no speeches. Eye-catching pairings included veteran NBC Thursday lead Joel McHale getting to know rookie Thursday night NBC lead Ben Rappaport (“Outsourced”) and James Lipton revisiting former “Inside the Actor’s Studio” subject Hugh Laurie.
“Saturday Night Imbibe”: The multitasking Lorne Michaels hit the NBC bash even though he hosted his own mini get-together over at the Sunset Tower Hotel. Michaels brought together his casts of “30 Rock” and “SNL” with 42 Below Vodka for low-key “family” cocktails on the patio, like “Liz Lemonade.” Jane Krakowski, Kristen Wiig, January Jones (who hosted “SNL” last season), and Maya Rudolph surround “the boss.” (Photo courtesy Casey Rodgers).
Even the media personalities who’ll be asking the questions on the carpet get feted: Giuliana Rancic, Catt Sadler (both from E!) and Maria Menounos ("Access Hollywood") hit the high-end Byron and Tracey Beauty Bar on the last day to get primed.
With only hours before the show, there are is still an arsenal of sideline hoopla to do with statues that began almost a week ago. Audi and Chopard hosted Jane Lynch and cast members from “Modern Family” to Cecconi’s for a bash to kick off Emmy week last Sunday night. As marketing reps for the jeweler told obliging stars that “they should be in Chopard diamonds,” the DJ enticed a jaw-dropping dance-off in the usually buttoned up eatery. Nicole Scherzinger and "Glee’s" Matthew Morrison created their own dance floor for a battle over a Journey anthem that ended up with the former Pussycat Doll wearing Morrison’s bookish glasses. There was no golden statute handed out in that category.