Shatner and Trek Vets Shut Out at 2008 Emmys

The 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were held this evening, and no, William Shatner didn’t win. Unlike last weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys, nobody associated with Trek walked away with an Emmy this year. However, The Shat did provide a moment of levity during the otherwise excruciating first 10 minutes. Read more on that and Shat’s fellow Trek losers below.

The Emmys in brief
Rather than some extravagant, attention-grabbing opening sequence, this year’s Emmys opened with various actors reciting classic lines from various TV shows. Among them were TNG cameo-maker Kelsey Grammer (Capt. Morgan Bateson) spouting Jack Benny’s famous “Now cut that out” quip and the segment ended with William Shatner himself (James T. Kirk) and Boston Legal co-star James Spader doing Burns and Allen’s “Good night, Gracie” bit. The show then dragged on for several minutes while the show’s five hosts – each one a host of a reality competition series and each one nominated for the ceremony’s new Best Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program category – chatted to each other about absolutely nothing. Among them was Dancing with the Star‘s Tom Bergeron, who appeared twice on Star Trek: Enterprise and who appeared absolutely bored on stage until he and a tuxedo-clad model and Project Runway host Heidi Klum were left alone. It is at this point that the show picks up a bit: Bergeron then comments on Klum’s choice of a tuxedo, stating “I think I speak for William Shatner when I say I thought you would wear less.” At this point, Shatner comes on stage and helps Bergeron rip off Klum’s tuxedo to reveal a sexy little black dress underneath. Then it’s on with the show.

Bill helps jazz up the opening of the Emmy Awards

For the most part, this year’s ceremony was insanely dull and routine, sometimes even annoying (the whole Laugh-In skit, for example). There were several good moments, though; the bit between Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell was the highlight of the evening, while Josh Groban singing various TV theme songs came in a close second. A highlight of the show was the use of some nifty sets modeled after those seen on such shows as Seinfeld, The West Wing, and even The Simpsons, but alas not the starship Enterprise from Star Trek…that would have been really cool.

And the winner isn’t…
This was not Star Trek’s night at the Emmys. In total, five Trek alumni were nominated for an Emmy and not a single one of them won. The big upset, of course, was William Shatner being robbed of an Emmy for the third year in a row. Teri Hatcher (BG Robinson in TNG’s “The Outrageous Okona”) and her Desperate Housewives co-stars presented the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, of which Shatner was nominated for his portrayal of Denny Crane on Boston Legal. Yes, Shat should have won, but the Emmy instead went to some guy from some show I don’t watch (Zeljko Ivanek from Damages, for those interested).

Hatcher (center) helps deny the Shat

In addition, Star Trek: Voyager writer/producer Bryan Fuller was up for writing Pushing Daisies but lost to Tina Fey for 30 Rock. Fuller’s show Pushing Daisies had a total of twelve nominations and ended up with a total of three trophies (including two handed out at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys). Vanessa Williams (Arandis in DS9’s "Let He Who is Without Sin…") was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for Ugly Betty but lost to Jean Smart for Samantha Who? (which, incidentally, co-stars Voyager‘s Tuvok, Tim Russ). Star Trek: First Contact actress Alfre Woodard (Lily Sloan) was nominated for her role in the TV movie Pictures of Hollis Wood, but lost out to Eileen Atkins for Cranford. And lastly, Tom Bergeron lost to Survivor‘s Jeff Probst as Best Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. Lost, created by JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof was up for seven awards in total, but only ended up with one statue (handed out last week).

Another major disappointment was that none of the 20+ Trek television luminaries who died since last September were featured in this year’s Emmy Memoriam reel. Not even obvious shoe-ins such as actor Stanley Kamel, director Joseph Pevney, composer Alexander Courage, or three-time Emmy-winning cinematographer Gayne Rescher were mentioned. Compare this with last year’s Emmys, which at least had the courtesy to mention Jane Wyatt and a few others.

For more information, please see the official site of the Emmys.


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Uh…were you being sarcastic about Damages because it was a pretty awesome show (although a bit creepy and nerveracking at times) and Zeljko Ivanek was very good in it. I was really happy he won.

#1—I’ve never heard of it.

Damages is on FX, it’s a good show, but it’s a tough one to get through. That was a very lame Emmys. Battlestar Galactica deserves more than a writing nod. Dexter deserved some love. I’m glad 30 Rock is getting some attention. Letterman, Stewart, and Colbert are always losing to a newcomer that does ONE special, this time it was Rickles, last year was Barry Manilow I believe?!?! I’ve been wanting to see Mad Men, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. The Oscars is the only awards show I truly respect, and even they fudge things up from time to time.

Being that William Shatner’s name was on the headline, does that mean that this will give way to a long steady thread of speculation on the reasons that for the record, Shat is not returning as Kirk, or the conspiracy swelling that it is a ploy to get all the Shatner/Kirk Kool-aide drinkers of the scent of his triumphant return? These threads get incredibly long, and that is impressive enough to appeal to JJ Abrams, and we know you read these):
Thank you, I will calm down now.
LLAP ; )

Being that this was supposed to be a news article, I was a little disappointed that you allowed some personal bitterness to creep into your writing, Mr. Trotter. That snide remark about Damages was totally uncalled for.

Nonetheless, good eye and thank you for keeping us up to date with the Trek alumni.

I heart Mad Men.

The Emmy’s suck. It’s all cable shows nominated these days. I remember when they had a cable awards show, I think they should bring that back. The Emmy’s have turned into the John Stewart Awards.

Am I the only one who is pissed at the lack of Star Trek in the emmy show that was devoted to past series’ that “defined television”? I know they had lots of Willam Shatner, but that was for Denny Crane, not James Kirk. They had Baywatch, the show that defined cinmax after dark for the PG crowd but no the show that defined Sci-Fi as we know it on television? ABC is on my you know what list with a bullet.

It was funny when the two most annoying people – Kathy Griffith and Don Rickles could barely walk out of that cheap MASH set.

The Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell moment was a classic,,,

Boy did Steve Carell squirm or what,,

yeh THAT will live for awhile on youtube !


Teri Hatcher in “The Outrageous Okona”? I don’t remember her being in that episode. Or did I read that wrong?

Yes, she was the transport chief who Okona had a rendezvous with later in the episode.

Sorry to hear that Bill didn’t win this time around.

Love that pic of him at the top. Just look at that face! How could J.J. even contemplate NOT having a ‘still around’ elderly Kirk in his Movie, for goodness sake….

Zeljko Ivanek from Damages was interesting in Damages — probably the best thing in the very hard to like show — but I was so hoping Shatner would win (I know you all are shocked!) since Boston Legal is ending this year. Dexter should have won some too — very sick show but awesome.

I did not write the “some show no one has heard of” bit; my original line was “some guy from some show I don’t watch.” Blame Anthony, lol! I’ve changed the line back, though.

#11 Kevin from Akron — she played the transporter operator who beamed Thadiun Okona aboard the Enterprise. She was also one of the girls Okona got close with. She didn’t receive any credit for her performance.

So whatever happened with the most memorable dramatic moment vote that Trek’s “CotEoE” was supposed to be in the running for? Did they even do anything with those online votes? I never heard anything mentioned about it or any of the nominees for it of for comedy either. It was a pretty lame ceremony — especially for the 60th year.

Oh, Shatner won twice in a row. It’s okay for somebody else to get it.
And there’s always next year….

The verdict seems to be that the light/heat produced, versus the carbon emitted into the air seems badly out of whack. So, a big carbon footprint for the Emmys.

Nice that Shat got up there.

I think it is a disgrace the way the Emmys handle in memoriam.Too many good and talented people from the 50s, 60s and 70s pass on without notice.

Even the Emmy people are sick of the “Is the Shat in the movie or not?” talk. They punished him. No Emmy yet again. Susan Lucci eat your heart out.

…The Emmys have sucked for about two decades now. If your show hasn’t been cancelled, or it’s not a ratings failure combined with a critics’ success, then you can kiss an Emmy goodbye. On the other hand, John Adams deserved every nomination it got, and doubly the ones it actually won. Probably the first time in a *LONG* time that anyone got a major Emmy that actually deserved it.

#3 – You MUST see Mad Men. Watch for a marathon on AMC or invest in it on itunes to catch up. They’re only in 1962, but if they make it to ’66 I predict Bobby Draper will be one of the first Trekkies.

Loved Shatner’s comedy bit. I was expecting him to just stay onstage afterward, though. That would have been a hoot.

Not only was the Memoriam lacking, but George Carlin was in it TWICE. Anyone have a clue as to WHY?

…didn’t even know the Emmys were on last night till seeing this article. Yawn.

In the memorium section, they forgot Robert Justman–or did his death miss the “cutoff?” Just a question.



He won in 2004 and 2005.


I was wondering what happened to the “best moments” voting, too. I found this winners page on the Emmy site, but no mention as to why it wasn’t included in the broadcast. STAR TREK didn’t even make the top five. BUFFY won. It must be Bizarro Day or something.

I haven’t watched the Emmys since 1974. I was so bored by them back then, I can’t bring myself to watch them ever again. Although I’m just a bit sorry I missed that skit by some of the surviving cast of “Laugh-In.”
I watched the last game from Yankee Stadium instead. The Yanks beat Baltimore 7-3. Too bad there will be no postseason in the Bronx this year.
The cable awards show, the “ACE” awards, closed itself down when cable shows became eligible for Emmys (to be eligible, a show must be able to be viewed by at least 50% of the U.S. population.) The “ACE” committee thought the awards had become superflous, so they were closed down.

Never heard of “Damages”

It really was a pathetic ceremony for the most part. I’m debating whether to even watch it and do a story next year. This is only the second one of these I’ve done; I might do it one more year, give the ceremony a chance to improve. Yah, like that’ll happen.

I did notice that George Carlin was listed twice. They showed him first as a young man at the start of the reel then showed a more recent clip of him at the end of the reel. Totally unnecessary, I agree. I mean, I love Carlin, but by including his name twice you’re saying he’s more important than everyone else. Oh, and that one slot could have been given to someone else, like Alexander Courage.


I was sick of the political overtones… just celebs pushing the liberal propaganda.

#13—“Just look at that face! How could J.J. even contemplate NOT having a ’still around’ elderly Kirk in his Movie, for goodness sake….”

Yes, they definitely should have the guys from Jurassic Park reassemble Kirk’s DNA (in a geriatric state, no less, as if assembling him in his prime wouldn’t be better). Maybe they can do it on television. That way, it would be sure to win the Emmy for best campy, self-parodic, gimmicky, goofball, corny, gratuitous, uninspiring, kitsch ressurection of a classic television character would died on the big screen 14 years ago! Ben Stiller could even win for best director in a ridiculous television event!

They could “make a difference”, and it might even be “fun”.


I don’t watch shows that give out awards to people who already get the most attention in the world.

Haven’t watch any of the awards shows in years. It’s a bunch of rich people flying in on their private jets, spending obscene amounts of money on clothing, jewelry and lavish parties. Only to then tell us dumb common folks how to vote, or that we need to make sacrifices in order to save the planet.

These same movie producers won’t blink to spend $100 million making a movie (or actors with their $10 million salary), then admonish us people making $30,000 a year that we aren’t doing enough to help those less fortunate.

Hollywood awards shows are the epitome of hypocrisy.

God, the bit with Shatner was excruciating, though hardly his fault (who is writing the Emmys these days, those manatees from Family Guy?). And I can’t believe people are taking shots at Rickles – easily the funniest part of the entire show. The man is a legend, and his brief, off-prompter improvisation was funnier than any of that scripted dreck with Seacrest & Pals.

That Laugh-In skit was painful. :(

#36 Joe Schmoe — I had a line in the report stating Rickles and Steve Martin as some of the bright spots of the awards, but it was edited out. Just to let ya know. :)

Actually, my original version was more critical of this year’s ceremony than what you read above, but I slimmed it down before submitting it to Anthony. He then slimmed it down a bit further to focus on what was important — namely, how all this relates to Trek.

previous comment was meant for sean (#37), not Joe schmoe, sorry

#38 bman — I agree completely. The timing of everything was off, and none of it was the least bit funny. Just… annoying.

Regarding the rather bizarre, snippy remark about Best Supporting Actor winner Zeljko Ivanek: this guy’s one of the finest, strongest character actors out there with credits as long as your arm. I’ll always think of him first as the put-upon district attorney Ed Danvers, one of the most accurate portrayals of the job on television, in my favorite series, Homicide: Life on the Street, but he was also memorable on Lost as Juliet’s creep of an ex-husband and as Eddie the dog’s calm and controlled “psychiatrist” on Frasier. He’s been on The X-Files, The West Wing, 24, Bones (not to mention in big feature films like Black Hawk Down) and really deserved that Emmy for his work on Damages, a fairly compelling if uneven series — though I was pulling for Lost’s Michael Emerson.

I find it a bit depressing and dismaying the degree of indifference and diffidence that sometimes arise in the comments on this site (and yes, I know we’re here for TREK) in regard to other series and films. Alongside Lost and BSG, I find Mad Men, The Shield and the recently completed The Wire as some of the finest work ever produced for the medium, not to mention comedies like The Office and 30 Rock. This a remarkable time for great televison (and one of the worst, considering the continuous proliferation of “reality” programming). I know people have lives and being “in the industry” (an expression I use with some loathing), I spend more of my time on this sort of entertainment and pop culture stuff than do others, but I find it perplexing the number of times I read a dismissive “Never heard of it/her/him” here in regard to almost anything but TREK. I’m not being especially critical; I just find it odd.

That said, last night’s Emmy show, as a TV presentation, was pretty bad.

#Jai1138 — I have returned the Damages/Ivanek line back to the way it was written before editing. The line as currently written is not meant to diminish the talent or experience of Mr. Ivanek, it was merely meant to state a fact: he is litterally some guy in some show I don’t watch. I then mentioned the name of the actor and the show, for those interested.

That said, I was, indeed, pulling for Shatner to win the Emmy. However, that is only because Boston Legal was the only show nominated for Best Actor in a Drama Series that I actually watched. And, naturally, this being a Trek thread, it is going to be geared more in the favor of the Trek alum. But I congratulate everyone who was nominated (another line cut from the article for some reason, lol).

For the record, I have indeed heard of Damages; it’s kinda hard not to hear about a show that features the likes of Glenn Close and Ted Danson. I am also very familiar with Mr. Ivanek’s work, from LA Law, X-Files, and Donnie Brasco to Black Hawk Down, 24, and Live Free or Die Hard. He is indeed a great actor, but I was still pulling for Shatner, and naturally, that was reflected in my writing.

to #42 — Thanks for the clarification, Charles.

I’ve watched Boston Legal since it premiered — it’s a one-of-a-kind series — and I think William Shatner is terrific in it; the man’s now helped to create two indelible television roles. The only reason I wasn’t rooting for him last night was because he’s already won a couple of times for Denny Crane and Michael Emerson was just so damn good last season on Lost (and, indeed, ever since he first turned up in that seemingly crashed balloon).

to #42 — And good call on the TREK omissions from the Memorium; that was strange. I knew something was missing as it ran, I just couldn’t place who or what.

The memoriam section seemed rather rushed in general.

While its good to see the connections that some Emmy winners have with Star Trek, I don’t get why its considered “Star Trek gets snubbed by the Emmys” when Star Trek itself, in any incarnation, was nominated.

Even the actors nominated were nominated for other things in these past Emmys, and not from appearances on Trek.

Also, I didn’t think Shatner was that good in this past season of Boston Legal. I, frankly, wasn’t surprised he didn’t win. Hopefully the writing will pick up this upcoming season and he will be nominated and win next year.

Sorry, I meant, “when Star Trek itself, in any incarnation, was not nominated.”

Leonard Nimoy was nominted for an Emmy for Trek.

Did The Shat complain about NOT being in the movie?

For a guy who “doesn’t do cameos,” he sure is a TV-cameo fanatic…

#46 RaveOnEd — The idea behind this whole article was to focus on the Trek connections with the Emmys.

#45 The Underpants Monster — the entire second half of the broadcast was rushed because they were trying to get it done in time. While I’m glad they didn’t want to keep such a horrid broadcast on longer than necessary, the rushed pace made a bad ceremony even worse.

To everyone: I’ve decided I’m not doing one of these next year UNLESS Shatner or another Trek series *regular* is nominated. If that happens, then the next ceremony will probably be the last one I do this for, unless next year’s Emmys absolutely blow me away (which likely won’t happen).