Surprise guest Rupert Murdoch honored Simon Cowell while Jimmy Fallon and Alex Baldwin feted Lorne Michaels at a 38th annual International Emmy Awards ceremony that was, as usual, dominated by British winners.
Taking the stage with an understated, "Good evening everyone. I’m Rupert Murdoch," the NewsCorp. boss said he was there to praise Cowell "not just because of his enormous cultural contributions, but because no one has done more in the past decade to build the fortunes of Fox Broadcasting than Simon Cowell."
He added: "For that reason alone, Simon, I salute you."
Cowell said the "American Idol" producer has "helped make Fox Broadcasting No. 1 season after season" and predicted his success would continue with the U.S. version of "X-Factor" in the fall.
Cowell received the International Emmy Founders Award, and Michaels was given the Directorate Award.
British actors won in the actor and actress categories: Bob Hoskins for his performance in "The Street" and Helena Bonham Carter for "Enid." Other British winners included "Shaun the Sheep" in the Children & Young People category, "The Street" for dramatic series, and "Small Island" for TV Movie/Mini-Series.
Argentina won it's first-ever International Emmy for the telenovela "My Love."
The ceremony, held in New York City, was hosted by Jason Priestley.
The U.K. has often won more than half the awards, but this year they were split between the U.K. and the other countries in competition.
Presented by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and made up of media and entertainment figures from more than 50 countries, the International Emmy Awards recognize excellence in television from outside the United States.
Though Michaels is best known for creating "Saturday Night Live," the International Emmys show noted the stong international presence of the show, which airs in about 130 countries. The native of Canada also executive produced the classic Candian series "The Kids in the Hall."
The British Cowell developed "Britain's Got Talent" and "X Factor," both of which have spawned international franchises.
The winners, as described by the International Emmy Awards:
"The World According to Ion B."
HBO Romania / Alexander Nanau Production
Ion B is a 62-year-old homeless man living in Bucharest who had dreamed of becoming a film director as a young man. In the 1970s he started creating collages, which he refers to as “my films.” In 2008, a young gallery owner heard about Ion and his work, a collection of old suitcases filled with almost 1,000 collages he had made between the 70’s and the 90’s. Now, one year later, Ion lives in his own home and has become one of the most important contemporary Romanian artists. "The World According to Ion B." is the story of a genuine artist living on the edge of society, creating art in its purest form; for himself.
Best Performance by an Actor
ITV Studios for BBC
Bob Hoskins stars as local hero, Paddy Gargan, who has run a local community pub with his wife for 20 years. A recovering alcoholic, he faces any problems in his life head on, with honesty and with a clear sense of what he thinks is right and wrong. His morals lead him to stand his ground against seemingly insurmountable odds when he crosses local gangster Thomas Miller.
Best Performance by an Actress
Carnival Film & Television for BBC
Helena Bonham Carter is English children’s author Enid Blyton, one of the most successful storytellers of the 20th century. Blyton’s life and career span a time of enormous social and cultural change. "Enid" explores how the orderly, reassuringly clear worlds Blyton created within her stories contrast with the complexity of her own personal life.
Children & Young People
"Shaun the Sheep"
Aardman Animations / WDR & WDR mediagroup GmbH / BBC
How much mischief can one sheep create? Plenty when that sheep is Shaun. His insatiable curiosity and irrepressible sense of fun lead him into the unlikeliest adventures, much to the exasperation of long-suffering sheepdog Bitzer and the amusement of the rest of the flock. Will the Farmer ever find out what’s really going on down on the farm?
Kuperman Productions / Keshet Broadcasting
"Traffic Light" focuses on the friendship and romantic relationships of three childhood friends, now in their early thirties. Each is at a different period in their relationship. Itzko is the red light; he is married with a daughter, leaving his personal life at a standstill. Amir, who functions as an advisor and trouble-shooter for the other two, is the blinking yellow light. He is living with his girlfriend and is on an irreversible journey from bachelorhood to marriage. For Heffer, the eternal bachelor, the light is still green and the traffic is flowing. The second season finds the friends right before the lights are about to change: Itzko is on the brink of divorce and is making a last ditch effort to make his marriage work; Amir is planning his wedding; and Heffer is wondering, for the first time, if he is ready to have a serious relationship.
"Mom and the Red Bean Cake"
Choi Jeongmi is a single mother of two with terminal stomach cancer. She makes a living by selling red bean cakes to raise her two children – seven-year-old Eunseo and five-year-old Honghyeon. After going through painful anticancer treatment, she dreams of a new life with her children, but the cancer relapses. She is temporarily staying at a shelter for mothers, but has to make money to buy a house for her children, who are currently living in a 24-hour nursery. Though exhausted from anticancer treatment, she has to make red bean paste in the early morning and sell them all day. "Mom and the Red Bean Cake" follows her daily struggle of balancing motherhood and her illness.
"The Street" explores the lives of six neighbors living on the same street in Manchester, with each episode focusing on the story of a different resident. It takes the viewer behind closed doors in order to gain insight into personal struggles and the effect it has on the community as a whole.
Eyeworks Cuatro Cabezas SA
"CQC (Caiga Quien Caiga)" is a weekly news review that approaches current affairs, sports, show business, and political news from a humorous and ironic point of view. It is presented by three hosts live from a studio, with a team of roving reporters in the field who will stop at nothing to get the story, asking the questions others can’t, won’t, or don’t ask.
Plural Entertainment Portugal
"My Love" follows three women whose fates are crossed after a plane crash. When Mel thinks her beloved Bernardo has died in the crash, she moves to her uncle’s house in Lisbon with her sister Clara, where she piques the interest of Cláudio. Through Cláudio, Mel experiences the glamorous universe of famous fashion designer Helena Vargas, whose brother was also on the plane. Meanwhile, the powerful Caetano Vargas Mota, Helena’s father, discovers that either Mel or Clara is his daughter. With Lisbon as the backdrop, My Love is a story of love, betrayal, justice, courage, revenge, friendship, and glamour.
Ruby Television in association with AL Films / Northern Ireland Screen for BBC, co-produced with WGBH Boston
Adapted from the 2004 novel by Andrea Levy, "Small Island" follows the complicated stories of two couples whose lives become intertwined in 1948 London. When Hortense arrives in London from Jamaica to live with her new husband, Gilbert, she’s dismayed to find that it’s far from the city of her dreams. In the small-minded country, where they face racism and poverty, Hortense’s only saving grace is their landlady Queenie. But Queenie faces her own disillusionment, married to the kind, but dull, Bernard. Bonded by high hopes and broken dreams, these four lives fuse together in a story of love and fulfillment.