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Live blog: The 2012 Emmy Awards

5:30 pm MT: Hello and welcome to the 2012 Emmy Awards, which I will be live blogging here on B& from my home in Denver. Team B&C is spread out across the country to cover TV’s big event, with Andrea Morabito writing up the winners, Melissa Grego on site at the Emmys (follow her on Facebook and Instagram as well), and our Web team working hard behind the scenes to get all of our posts up on the site.

We’re about a half-hour away from the start of the show on ABC, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

While we wait, let’s make some predictions.

Right now, Tina Fey is on the red carpet, but sorry Tina, 30 Rock’s Emmy run is over. In my opinion, and this will soon be proven right or wrong, Modern Family is a lock to win best comedy for the third year in a row. Once again, the show’s entire cast is nominated in the supporting acting comedy categories.  Last year, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell took the trophies (Modern Family’s Claire and Phil Dunphy); tonight, we’ll see if it’s Sofia Vergara and Ed O’Neill’s year.

Moving over to drama, Elisabeth Moss is chatting with Lara Spencer, and whether Mad Men can pull out a fifth win is a big question this year. It’s closest competition is considered to be Breaking Bad and Homeland; other nominees in the category include Downtown Abbey,  Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones. I’m not a betting woman, but if I were, my money would remain on Mad Men. The quality of the show didn’t decline at all in season five, and if that’s been good enough to win before, it’s good enough to win again. That said, I am a huge fan of both Downtown Abbey and Game of Thrones, even though I think it would be quite the upset if either of those shows managed to win.

Mad Men’s Jon Hamm just said on the red carpet that the series is also nominated in every series acting category, athough I believe that up to this point, none of Mad Men’s actors has won an Emmy for his or her performance. I had this conversation quite a bit this year, but I really wish Jon Hamm would win. His character, Don Draper, is at the center of a four-time winner; in my mind, that should be enough to cinch it.

That said, the Academy’s John Leverence told me that performances that showcase a lot of range, like Bryan Cranston’s in Breaking Bad, really grab voters’ attention, so that’s going to be hard to beat this year. Cranston is going for his fourth win, after not being in the mix last year because the show wasn’t on the air. Even though  my heart is with Hamm (and not just because of his hotness), I’ll be surprised if Cranston doesn’t take the trophy.

5:48 p.m.: I’m no stylist, but damn, Edie Falco looks amazing. I mean of course, Christina Hendricks looked incredible, as always, but Edie looks surprisingly great. We’ll see later if the style pros agree with me.

6 p.m. The show opens with a star-studded, extremely-trippy-but-not-in-a-good-way, pre-shot skit. Hope that’s not setting a trend.

6:03 p.m. Jimmy Kimmel is just looking better and better though! No carbs is agreeing with him. I would do myself that if I had one ounce of willpower.

6:07 p.m.: Jimmy already gives his condolences to Jon Hamm for not winning. Good Sport Jon Hamm just laughs it off and looks gorgeous, as usual.

6:10 p.m. Here we go: The first Emmy Award of 2012. Amy Poehler and Louis CK arrive to present Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Va va voom, Amy!

6:12 pm: I was feeling Ed O’Neill and the winner is … Eric Stonestreet! Again! Second Emmy win for Stonestreet and third in a row for Modern Family in this category. Here comes the Modern Family juggernaut.

6:20 p.m. Louie CK wins for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. I appreciate Louie but I’m not sure how much I love it. It gets too awkward even for me for a while.

6:23 p.m.: Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy goes to Modern Family’s Julie Bowen for the second year in a row.  She’s secretly thinking “suck it, Sofia Vergara!”

6:25 p.m.: But then she did graciously thank her, amidst way too many mentions of nipple covers, and say, “even though you are younger than me, I want to be you when I grow up.” Not sure if that was a secret slam or not.

6:31 p.m.: Here’s the somewhat manic but still funny Matt Perry reminding us that Kathy Bates and Jimmy Fallon won Emmys last week for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series, Bates for Two and a Half Men and Fallon for SNL. Seems to me like Fallon had a bit of an unfair advantage on SNL.

6:34 p.m.: Outstanding Comedy Director goes to Steve Levitan, Modern Family. Already looks very much like a MF sweep.

6:37 p.m.: Mindy Kaling and Melissa McCarthy presenting Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, which goes to — wait first we have to repeat all of the nominees that Melissa just mentioned in strange and awkward ways —  Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men. I am shocked at this win, as Cryer himself says: “Don’t panic people. Something has just gone terribly wrong.”

6:40 p.m. Apparently Twitter is even more shocked than I and Cryer are at this win.

6:44 p.m. Steven Colbert comes out and seems to be saying something serious about celebrating women as he gives the award for Lead Actress in a Comedy. I want Amy Poehler but the Emmy goes to … Julia Louis Dreyfus for Veep. JLD really gained steam as we got closer to this ceremony. You probably haven’t watched Veep, but let me advise you to check it out. Hilarious, especially if you’ve spent any time in Washington.

6:46 p.m. The comedy actresses are so game and supportive of each other. I love it! Or maybe that’s really just Amy.

6:51 p.m. The Amazing Race wins again for Best Reality Series. This is a good opportunity to catch a  mid-show nap.

6:57 p.m. Explaining the accountant thing with the Big Bang cast is the best this segment has ever been. CPA! CPA! CPA!

6:58 p.m. Did Seth MacFarlane just miss the mike? Had he not been possibly the world’s most successful animator, he would have been the world’s most successful lounge singer.

7 p.m.: Tom Bergeron wins Best Reality Host for DWTS, his first primetime Emmy win and his fifth consecutive nomination as host, which I just learned from the announcer. “This is particularly satisfying since Betty White always kicks my ass in our mixed martial arts class.” Hey, wait - this guy is funny! And he gets a plug in for DWTS All-Stars, so he’s quite a pro too.

7:02 p.m.: Now it’s time for drama, and this has been an amazing year for drama.

7:05 p.m.: Newly engaged Aaron Paul repeats for Breaking Bad, which is impressive considering the talent in this category. Still love Dinklage though. Paul’s win augurs well for a fourth trophy for Bryan Cranston. We’ll see if Breaking Bad can take its first series trophy.

7:15 p.m.: After extremely lame social media experiment involving Tracy Morgan in a too small sequined jacket, Homeland wins for writing. So what does this mean for Mad Men’s fifth series win?

7:17 p.m.: Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama goes to Downton Abbey’s Dame Maggie Smith, who wins just for being her.

7:26 p.m. I missed one in there, but now they are doing something that feels very inappropriate by doing a joke skit about the In Memoriam segment, with Josh Groban singing a Jimmy Fallonized version of that overplayed One Direction song.

7:27 p.m.: Juliana Margulies - last year’s Emmy winner for best actress in a drama series — giving the best actor trophy. Damian Lewis gives us the biggest upset of the night, winning for Showtime’s Homeland. Looks like it’s going to be Homeland’s debut party. Lewis: “I don’t really believe in judging art but I thought I would show up just in case.”

7:36 p.m.: Tina Fey and Jon Hamm, two people who probably won’t win anything tonight, show up to give the award for lead actress in a drama to Claire Danes.

7:39 p.m.: Claire’s win is so unsurprising that I wrote that sentence way ahead of time and then just sat there and waited to hit send. She obviously had a good idea that she was going to win - this is one of the most polished awards show speeches I have ever heard. Oh wait, except for the uh, uh, uh part.

7:40 p.m.: And now The Daily Show wins its 11th Emmy for Best Variety Show. I’m trying this trick again to see how predictable this part will be - the show is still in the clip package as I post this.

7:43 p.m.: The winner for Outstanding Writing for a Variety series is: Louie C.K. - his second Emmy tonight and his third overall (again, a little nugget I grabbed from the announcer.) “Thank you, I wanted another one, so that’s nice.”

Still waiting to see if I’m right on my Daily Show prediction …

7:50 p.m.: An ever-thinner Ricky Gervais: “They’ve flown me over for the big one, “Outstanding Director for a Variety Special.”  And the winner is: Glenn Weiss, who is currently working the Emmys and was just given his trophy backstage. Weiss won for directing the Tonys. He gave a cute speech, and directed while he did it!

Oh Ricky, you are funny.

7:54 p.m.: Now we see if my bold prediction was right: Of course it was! The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Jimmy Fallon and Steven Colbert are hilarious holding him back from the stage. Stewart: “I am not in the kind of shape I should be in to a bit like that with Jimmy Fallon, who’s in very good shape.”

Whoa, Stewart dropped an F bomb at the Emmys. I guess when you’ve won the Emmy 11 years in a row, you stop giving a shit.

8:30 p.m. Here comes movies and minis. American Horror Story is poised to win big here, but I’m really rooting for Game Change, the gorgeous Julianne Moore and the always surprising Woody Harrelson.

Also, Missing is a cancelled series, not a mini-series.

8:06 p.m.: Steve Buscemi presents the Emmy to Jessica Lange for American Horror Story. FX campaigned hard for Jessica for this one.

Twitter didn’t love the no-pants Ellen joke, but I sort of appreciated it. Also, I’m sure Academy Chair and WBTV’s Bruce Rosenberg was happy to have some pro comedy support as he walked out to present.

8:14 p.m. Tom Berenger wins best supporting actor for History’s Hatfields & McCoys … and gets totally cut off by the music.

8:17 p.m. Ron Howard walks out to honor Andy Griffith, who passed away this year. Here comes John Eggerton’s favorite segment — In Memoriam.

Oh, I’m sad to see Jim Paratore’s face up there.

8:26 p.m.: Yay! Danny Strong wins the Emmy for best mini-series writing for Game Change.

8:28 p.m: This has to be Julianne AND IT IS! YAY! I love her dress - very bold choice.

8:36 p.m.: Game Change mini-series trifecta with Jay Roach’s win for directing.

8:38 p.m.: Are we running long? Emily van Camp is talking really fast.

8:38 p.m.: I’m oddly happy that Kevin Costner won for Hatfields and McCoys (and he looks great) even though I really wanted Woody to win.

8: 46 p.m.: Here’s the big one and then we can finally be done with movies and minis: Game Change! #WoodyWasRobbed

8:48 p.m.: Yup, Homeland upsets. Buh-bye reign of Man Men, hello Homeland.

8:54 p.m.: Let’s do one more (very obvious) pre-prediction: Modern Family wins Best Comedy.

8:55 p.m.: Michael J. Fox to present the comedy Emmy — gets standing ovation just for showing up. And the Emmy goes to: Modern Family. Of course it does!

And that’s a wrap for the 64th annual Emmy Awards. Congrats to all the winners!