The third time proved to be the charm for CBS last night as the 53rd annual Emmy awards finally took place at the Shubert Theater in Los Angeles. The ceremony began with a performance of “America the Beautiful,” featuring a choir of students from around the country, adorning sweatshirts from their respective colleges. The show moved on with a patriotic monologue by news legend Walter Cronkite expressing the role of television in our society.

After the serious tone of the opening minutes, the Emmys got back to their standard format. Host Ellen Degeneres lightened the mood quickly, announcing the presentation as the “53rd, 54th and 55th annual Emmy awards,” in reference to the prior cancellations of the telecast due to the events of September 11th. The humor continued as the stand-up comic declared, “What would bug the Taliban more than a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews?” Degeneres handled both the humorous and serious portions of the program with great care, receiving a standing ovation at the conclusion of the ceremony.

As expected, the Dramatic categories turned into a race between the acclaimed HBO series “The Sopranos” and the NBC White House drama “The West Wing.” Supporting awards were handed out to “West Wing” stars Bradley Whitford and Allison Janney while the lead actor and actress awards were given to “Sopranos” alums James Gandolfini and Edie Falco. The Outstanding Drama statue was awarded to “The West Wing,” making the show the big winner of the evening.

In the Outstanding Comedy category, HBO won big with its female laden “Sex and the City.” The surprise win defeated such other noteworthy shows as “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and past winner “Frasier.”

Rather than ending the night with the final award presentation, producers opted for a musical performace by multi-platinum artist Barbara Streisand to conclude the evening of celebration and memorial.

And the winners are…

Drama:

Outstanding Drama:

The West Wing

Lead Actor:

James Gandolfini,

The Sopranos

Lead Actress:

Edie Falco

The Sopranos

Supporting Actor:

Bradley Whitford,

The West Wing

Supporting Actress:

Allison Janney,

The West Wing

Comedy:

Outstanding Comedy:

Sex and the City

Lead Actor:

Eric McCormack,

Will and Grace

Lead Actress:

Patricia Heaton,

Everybody Loves

Raymond

Supporting Actor:

Peter MacNicol,

Ally McBeal

Supporting Actress:

Doris Roberts,

Everybody Loves

Raymond

Other Awards

Outstanding Miniseries:

Anne Frank

Outstanding TV Movie:

Wit

Outstanding Variety,

Musical, or Comedy

Series:

The Late Show with

David Letterman

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