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Emmy smiles on 'Raymond,' 'Lost'

Spader and Arquette capture acting awards

"Desperate Housewives" was the hottest new comedy on television last season, but it was retiring veteran "Everybody Loves Raymond" that took home the top comedy prize at the 57th annual Prime Time Emmy Awards on Sunday night.

However, the year's other hottest new show — "Lost" —bucked the trend of honoring veteran shows by winning as outstanding drama.

"Thanks for getting 'Lost' with us. We are really, really appreciative," executive producer J.J. Abrams said.

"Raymond" added wins by supporting actress Doris Roberts (her fourth Emmy in five years) and supporting actor Brad Garrett (his third in four years).

"We want to thank all of you for nine wonderful years. We've loved every minute of it," "Raymond" executive producer Phil Rosenthal said.

"Desperate Housewives" wasn't shut out, however. It won six awards

on 15 nominations, including Felicity Huffman's win as best actress in a comedy series.

"I would like to thank the incomparable William H. Macy for taking a chunky 22-year-old with a bad perm and glasses out into a cow pasture and kissing me and making me his wife," Huffman said.

James Spader (best actor in a drama) and William Shatner (best supporting actor) both won their second-straight Emmys for their roles on "Boston Legal" — characters they brought over from "The Practice."

Tony Shalhoub won his second Emmy in three years for "Monk." And Blythe Danner won her first Emmy — for supporting actress in a drama ("Huff") — one of three nominations she had this year.

PBS's "The Lost Prince" won as best miniseries, the 31st Emmy in "Masterpiece Theatre's" trophy case.

The evening was not without surprises. "Medium" star Patricia Arquette's win for outstanding actress in a drama left her as startled as seemingly everyone else in attendance.

"They really did say my name, right?" Arquette said.

And "Arrested Development" (last year's best comedy) beat out "Desperate Housewives" to win a second-straight comedy writing Emmy.

"We would be remiss if we didn't remind you that the Academy has twice rewarded us for something you won't watch," executive producer Mitchell Hurwitz said to the viewers at home of his ratings-starved comedy.

Ellen DeGeneres was winning as always in her role as host. "If you don't win tonight it doesn't mean you're not a good person, it just means you're not a good actor," she joked.

As if to remind viewers they shouldn't take the Emmys particularly seriously, the evening included "Emmy Idol," with the folks at home asked to vote for their favorite among Donald Trump and Megan Mullally ("Will & Grace") singing (sort of) the "Green Acres" theme; Kristin Bell singing "Fame"; Gary Dourdan ("CSI") and Macy Gray singing "Movin' On Up" from "The Jeffersons"; and William Shatner and Frederica von Stade the theme from "Star Trek." (Trump and Mullally won.)

Not that there weren't deserving winners. "The Amazing Race" — the best but far from the highest-rated reality/competition show on TV — won its third-consecutive Emmy.

The evening included tributes to network news anchormen Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and the late Peter Jennings. And David Letterman made a rare Emmy appearance to pay tribute to Johnny Carson. "For 30 years, Johnny was America's host," Letterman said.

Television Academy voters continued their love affair with Jon Stewart and "The Daily Show" — it won as the outstanding variety, music or comedy series for the third year in a row and won the writing award for a third-straight year (and fourth time in five years).

Stewart paid tribute to Letterman, saying he provided the same inspiration to younger comics that Carson had provided to Letterman.

HBO's movies continued to dominate the Emmys. "Warm Springs" was named outstanding miniseries or movie. Geoffrey Rush won for best actor in the category for "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," which also won for both writing and directing. S. Epatha Merkerson won for best actress ("Lackawanna Blues"); Paul Newman for supporting actor ("Empire Falls"); and Jane Alexander for supporting actress ("Warm Springs").


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com