Emmys Stars to Take a Bow

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TODAY we are all about one of my favourite awards ceremonies - the 63rd annual Emmys, which honours all things television.

One of the things I love about the Emmys, besides seeing a red carpet and ballroom crammed with almost every single favourite telly star, is that they considerately (probably because they know a thing or two about making TV shows) separate the creatives and the categories viewers actually care about.

This means the industry players all get to pat themselves on the back on one night, and the average person like you and me gets an eyeful of the stars on another.

Creative Emmys were presented last Saturday, with HBO garnering a cluster of 15 winged statuettes. Boardwalk Empire took the lion's share, and with nominations in Sunday's event including best drama, best actor and best supporting actress I am going to go out on a limb and predict a few more wins.

Also already in the bag is a best reality show win for Deadliest Catch (Discovery, Mondays at 9.25pm), as well as additional nods for editing, sound mixing and cinematography.

Over the years I have failed to see the ongoing attraction of watching a programme about men catching crabs, but since they started trailering the new season with a Johnny Cash song I sat up and took notice. Little did I know that training and preparing to watch a show already in its seventh season would entail so much effort: the PVR has not only the first two episodes waiting for me, but Deadliest Catch: The Phil Harris Story (the captain who died), Deadliest Catch: Toughest Moments and Deadliest Catch: Best of Season 6. It looks like a lot of hard work. I will let you know how it turns out. While Survivor wasn't in the running this year, Jeff Probst still won best host. You can see the show on SABC3 on Mondays at 7.30pm.

The Emmys will be shown live on M-Net at 2am on Monday, and again at 9.30pm. It should be pretty tight since the 75 categories dedicated to key technical disciplines and behind-the-scenes crafts essential to television production - art direction, cinematography, hairstyling, make-up, music, picture editing, sound editing and mixing, special visual effects, stunts - as well as animation, commercials, non-fiction reality series and more have thankfully already been dealt with.

It's all very important to the bigger picture, but tedious to sit through. Trawling through the stories, the only thing I found really interesting was Comedy Central's Futurama, which made a remarkable comeback, winning best animated programme. From The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, it ran from 1999 to 2003, and new episodes emerged in 2008. You can see it on Vuzu weekdays (except Tuesdays) at 5pm.

Best guest actor and actress awards went to Loretta Devine in Grey's Anatomy, Gwyneth Paltrow in Glee, Paul McCrane in Harry's Law and Justin Timberlake for Saturday Night Live.

Moving on to the weighty stuff, M-Net, as usual, has most of the top shows in its stable. Boardwalk Empire leads the pack for best drama series and I would put money on it, even if it is up against Dexter, fellow HBO series Game of Thrones (starts September 26 at 9.30pm), Mad Men and The Good Wife (SABC3, Tuesdays 8.30pm). Friday Night Lights (M-Net Series, Fridays at 8.30pm) is also nominated but I honestly don't see it as a serious contender.

On the comedy side of the scale we have my favourite, Modern Family (M-Net, Wednesdays at 7.30pm), which is top-heavy with acting nominations as well, for almost every member of the fantastic ensemble cast. Big Bang Theory is there too (soon back on M-Net), as is 30 Rock (M-Net Series, Saturdays at 7pm). The Office is a regular in this category, as is Glee (Vuzu, Mondays at 7.30pm). Its star, Jane Lynch, is not only nominated for a best comedy supporting actress Emmy but is the host of this year's ceremony. Parks & Recreation is also nominated.

The best drama actress category is a mixed bag - Kathy Bates in Harry's Law (M-Net Series, Sundays at 7. …