By STEVEN HERBERT
Kathy Bates and Jeremy Davies were among the early winners today at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theater, which mixes honoring television’s best guest stars, reality, animated and children’s programming with a slew of technical categories.
Bates received the Emmy for outstanding guest actress in a comedy for playing the ghost of Charlie Harper, the “Two and a Half Men” character played by Charlie Sheen during the CBS series’ first eight seasons. Sheen received four nominations as outstanding lead actor in a comedy for the role, but never won.
The Emmy was the first for Bates, who had been nominated nine previous times without a victory dating back to the 1996 HBO made-for-television movie “The Late Shift.”
Bates is also nominated for best lead actress in a drama for her title role in the canceled NBC legal dramedy, “Harry’s Law.” That award will be presented at the Primetime Emmy Awards Sept. 23. The category’s other nominees included “Bridesmaids” stars Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy, nominated for their stints hosting NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”
Although “Saturday Night Live” does not air in prime time, it is eligible for the Primetime Emmys, which cover programs that initially aired between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Davies won for outstanding guest actor in a drama for his recurring role of Kentucky outlaw Dickie Bennett in the FX series “Justified.” Davies also received a nomination for the role last year.
Davies said backstage that the Emmy means “I’m officially getting away with my misfit self in this business.”
Michael J. Fox was among the category’s other nominees for his recurring role as attorney Louis Canning on CBS’ ”The Good Wife.” Nickelodeon’s “The Penguins of Madagascar” was named outstanding animated program, topping Comedy Central’s “Futurama,” last year’s winner, and three of Fox’s Sunday ”Animation Domination” series, “The Simpsons,” a 10-time winner in the category, most recently in 2008, “American Dad!” and “Bob’s Burgers.”
The “It Gets Better Project” received the Governors Award, which honors an individual, company or organization that has made a substantial impact and demonstrated the extraordinary use of television.
The project stems from a YouTube video created in September 2010 by syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. It led to a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos viewed more than 50 million times.
“The `It Gets Better Project’ is a great example of strategically, creatively and powerfully utilizing the media to educate and inspire,” said Bruce Rosenblum, the chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which conducts the Emmys.
“This is television moving well beyond the traditional physical set in the viewer’s living room to the intimacy of the monitor, laptop, tablet or mobile device and delivering the ideal mix of inspiration and creativity to affect awareness and ultimately change.”
Former Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman and CEO Dick Askin received the Syd Cassyd Founders Award, which recognizes academy members who have made a significant, positive impact on the academy. It is named for the academy’s founder.
Askin was chairman from 2003-2007, creating the academy’s Runaway Production Committee to address the relocation of television production from the United States to other countries, developed a more collaborative relationship with the National Television Academy and brought the International Television Academy under the aegis of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
“Dick left an invaluable mark on the television academy during his years of service on the Board of Governors, the Executive Committee and during two terms as chairman,” Rosenblum said.
“He is a smart, talented and innovative executive and built a great foundation for the organization to grow on a variety of levels.”
Two hours of highlights of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be shown on ReelzChannel next Saturday.