Last night, the TV stars you see night after night were back again. But the Television Academy might have a say about this now annual complaint: that a bunch of newcomers won awards, including "30 Rock," "Lost"'s Terry O'Quinn, and "Ugly Betty"'s America Ferrera.
Still you have returning talents Sally Field, James Spader, Jeremy Piven, and, of course, "The Sopranos," walking off with more trophies.
Emmy producers still keep the show quick and fast, with lots of major awards right off the bat -- supporting actors and actresses in comedies and drama. That was, of course, predictable. Perhaps this goes for the marketers on display as well.
The first big commercial came from Macy's -- a star-studded affair featuring tastemakers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Emeril Lagasse, Martha Stewart, Russell Simmons, Jessica Simpson, Kenneth Cole, and Sean "Puffy" Combs.
Cadillac then rolled out the big guns with a commercial featuring Kate Walsh of "Grey's Anatomy" and soon "Private Practice."
And on and on throughout the night: Dr. Scholls' gel inserts, Olay Definity, Farmer's Insurance, OnStar (with Kelly Ripa), McDonald's, Jack in the Box, Kia Motors, Ford Motors, Monster, Ameriprise Financial, Tresemme Shampoo, Verizon, Southwest Airlines, Dove deodorant, and Heinz Ketchup, among others.
Fox promos? There was the network's new comedy, "Back to You," with Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton; returning drama "Prison Break"; new drama "K-Ville"; returning drama "Bones"; new reality show, "Kitchen Nightmares"; as well in-show product placement vignettes for "Family Guy" and "Don't Forget the Lyrics."
Ellen DeGeneres, an Emmy presenter last night, may have an answer for Emmy banality. While waiting for the Teleprompter to get going, it dawned on her that she didn't know what was coming next on the show, and that perhaps the night should continue to be played out that way.
She equated this to the world doing better without caller ID -- that if you picked up the phone, something unexpected might happen.
If someone wins an award for the third, fourth or fifth time, it doesn't become that special. That's always been the problem with the Emmys. It doesn't happen with the Oscars or the Grammys. Thus those shows get higher ratings..
My suggestion? Offer up unusual and previously unannounced awards - like best actor whom you probably haven't seen before, or best actress in a five-second role, or best writing under pressure of an angry producer, or the best show under $100,000 an episode that wasn't done in Vancouver.
Not only would I watch -- I'd buy some insurance, gel inserts, and shampoo.