By SANDY COHEN
AP Entertainment Writer
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards are Sunday and Hollywood is awash in swag and early celebrations. Here’s a look at what’s going on around Tinseltown:
Stars of “Mad Men,” “Dexter,” “The Office” and other Emmy-nominated shows celebrated their success at a tea party Saturday hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
The garden party, held on a patio at the Intercontinental Hotel, featured finger sandwiches, petit fours and a silent auction of Hollywood memorabilia, such as signed scripts and set visits.
“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner was bubbling with excitement about his show, which earned 16 Emmy nods.
“We just wrapped three days ago, so this is like the world’s most expensive wrap party,” he said.
Michael Gladis, who stars in the hit AMC show, was thrilled to share the Emmy festivities with his folks.
“After all their years of support … it’s nice to include them in the spoils,” he said.
“Dexter” star Jennifer Carpenter was just happy she made it to the event.
“I had it on my calendar for next weekend,” she said sheepishly. “So it’s all been a race to get dresses when they’re all lent out already. But it’s fun.”
Celebrities celebrated Emmy weekend with one of the job’s No. 1 perks: Free stuff.
Beau Bridges, Jackie Collins, William Shatner and “Lost” star Terry O’Quinn were among those who snapped up swag at the DPA Gifting Suite at the Peninsula Hotel.
Up for grabs? Luxury trips to Bora Bora, couture dresses from Sodaliscious, designer shades from Emilio Pucci (Collins grabbed two pairs), eco-friendly baby clothes and chemical-free cosmetics, plus mini-facials and manicures to beautify nominees and their entourages.
Speaking of “Entourage,” HBO held a gift suite for its Emmy nominees at the Four Seasons. Tina Fey, Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris, Ricky Gervais, “Entourage” star Rex Lee and “Twilight” star Kellan Lutz were among those who collected goodies at the network’s private “luxury lounge.” They grabbed Guitar Hero game sets, designer handbags and sunglasses, fine cigars and at-home laser hair removal kits.
The casts of “The Office,” “True Blood,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Entourage” all went platinum – jewelry, that is.
The Platinum Guild International outfitted men and women with one-of-a-kind bling to wear during the weekend’s Emmy events.
Seth Green, “Dancing With the Stars” pro Karina Smirnoff and host Samantha Harris were also among the celebs who picked out platinum pieces at the private suite Saturday. (The location is being kept secret because of the value of the baubles.)
Stars were free to select from vintage Cartier and Tiffany jewels and unique platinum pieces from around the world.
Stylist Michael O’Connor said to expect more bling on the men than in red carpets past.
“They want to make sure they’re standing out,” he said.
The direction at this year’s Emmys will be up close and personal.
The award show’s control room is located inside a booth directly on stage at the Nokia Theatre. The flat-panel-filled enclave _ more Starship Enterprise than Johnson Space Center – is positioned opposite the orchestra. It’s from there that director Glen Weiss will steer the ceremony.
Outside the control room, five large screens will broadcast what’s happening during the show while vertical screens mounted on tracks on the stage will be used as curtains. Winners shouldn’t have trouble getting up to accept their trophies: The stairs spill out right into the front row.
MY EMMY MOMENT
Past winners recall the moments they won their first Emmy:
Anne Heche won a Daytime Emmy in 1991 for her work on “Another World”: “I was in Nebraska in a Motel 6 shooting a Hallmark movie with Jessica Lange, and so, I was actually sitting, eating a hamburger and fries, on a skanky bed, watching to see if I was going to win. And when they called my name, somebody came out and said, ‘Well, Anne can’t be here right now because she’s in Nebraska.’ Some weird, like, stiff person, ‘She’s not here . . .’ And the phone rang and it was my agent and I said, ‘Does this mean I’m an actress. Do I have to move to Hollywood or something?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, I think so.’ And that was it. The Emmy made me move.”
Cloris Leachman said seeing Bob Hope in the audience made her question her Emmy win in 1973 for her leading role in “A Brand New Life”: “One night, I won an Emmy and I went out and (the stage) was like a tongue that went out instead of being straight. So, I came out and there was a mike, and there was Bob Hope sitting down below me. And I thought, ‘My god! This is wrong. I could be sitting there and you should be here, because my father always listened to Bob Hope on the radio.’ That was a remarkable night for me.”
AP writers Derrik J. Lang, Michael Cidoni and Josh L. Dickey contributed to this report.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.