TV's Hot Night!
It was sweltering in L.A. but Ryan Seacrest didn't sweat his Sept. 16 debut as host of the Emmys—even if the show's round stage got mixed reviews. Said Seacrest: "I enjoyed being able to spin in a circle." Though nominee Kiefer Sutherland said, "I spent the night looking at the back of people's heads." His fellow nominee William Shatner observed, "There were a lot of behinds ... we were 'behind the scenes!'" PEOPLE really did go behind the scenes—and into all the night's most exciting parties.
TASTE OF VICTORY
First-time winner Conan O'Brien savored his victory at PEOPLE's photo booth. America Ferrera, who won for Ugly Betty, said scoring an Emmy was "a dream for me since I was probably 5 years old."
Tony Parker was abroad while Eva Longoria hit the red carpet and winner Katherine Heigl's beau, singer Josh Kelley, was playing Vegas. "My manager put a phone up to the TV so I could hear her speech," said Kelley. "It was awesome!"
THAT'S A RAP!
Kanye West got outrapped by The Office's Rainn Wilson during the big show. Was it all fake? "A little bit!" said West. Still, warns Wilson, "Look out Kanye! I know how to lay down some rhymes."
30 ROCK ROCKED!
To fete their comedy's Emmy victory, "we're going to eat—a lot," said Tina Fey (with, from left, Tracy Morgan, Katrina Bowden, Jack McBrayer, Alec Baldwin, Judah Friedlander, Jane Krakowski and Scott Adsit).
After her duet with Tony Bennett, Christina Aguilera was spotted stepping out with her husband, Jordan Bratman.
Shucks! "I shouldn't have put the God in front of the damn," quipped Sally Field after her victory speech was censored by FOX producers. The Brothers and Sisters star was in good company; Ray Romano joked about his former TV wife Patricia Heaton bedding Kelsey Grammer on the new sitcom Back to You, and FOX cut away from the speech. Says a FOX rep: "In the current regulatory environment, we have to be hypersensitive to what goes out during a live broadcast."
What really happens IN THE GREEN ROOM
Backstage in Architectural Digest's green room, stars kicked back—and let loose—during the show. "I need to rest my feet!" cried Eva Longoria, kicking off her heels. Elaine Stritch did her one better, arriving in hotel slippers. ("I'm getting up in age," she said defiantly. "I can do this!") Katherine Heigl denied herself messy hors d'oeuvres ("Darn, I'm wearing white!" she said) but Debra Messing declared, "I'm going for dessert!" And Marcia Cross took advantage of a moment off-camera to freshen up. "Would it be really tacky if I grabbed a napkin and dabbed my armpits?" she asked a pal before a discreet wipe.
Heroes' Ali Larter (with Kiefer Sutherland) revealed her pre-Emmy nightmare: showing up in jeans instead of her Reem Acra gown. "How crazy is that?" she said.
Kanye West met up with Queen Latifah backstage.
Copresenters Kyra Sedgwick, Glenn Close and Mary-Louise Parker dished before going on.
PRIVATE STAR, PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION
Private Practice's Kate Walsh was very much the newlywed, kissing and talking with husband Alex Young, as if they were the only ones at the post-Emmys Governors Ball.
"It has been an amazing year!"
—HELEN MIRREN ON WINNING AN OSCAR AND AN EMMY IN 2007
COLD CASE'S HOT SHOTS
After presenting director Philip Martin an Emmy for his work on Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act, Cold Case's Danny Pino unleashed his inner mambo king. "Let's dance!" said Pino, dipping his costar and copresenter Kathryn Morris.
Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert handed out the trophy for best actor in a comedy. The winner? Ricky Gervais of Extras. He was absent, so the duo honored another nominee—their pal, Steve Carell. The trio plotted the bit in the green room earlier—and got the biggest laugh of the night.
ROOTING FOR ROOTS
Wayne Brady's favorite moment? "The Roots tribute," he said of the 30th-anniversary toast to the cast (from left: LeVar Burton, Leslie Uggams, Cicely Tyson, John Amos, Ben Vereen and Louis Gossett Jr.). "Roots meant so much to me as a kid, to see people like me on TV—and they even had lines!"
Heroes star Masi Oka celebrated his Emmy nomination by attending several bashes after the ceremony, and partied with his costars well into the night.
Lipstick? Check. Limo? Got it. Emmy? Yes! After the awards were handed out, the real fun began—and TV's finest danced all night
What two words get stars on their feet? Duran Duran! At the Entertainment Tonight/PEOPLE post-Emmy blowout, Kate Walsh screamed like a teenybopper for lead singer Simon LeBon, and Heroes' Hayden Panettiere hit the floor with costar Ali Larter.... At the Governors Ball, Rainn Wilson lamented more than just losing the Emmy to Jeremy Piven. "My fantasy football team got creamed by [John] Krasinski's team today," he moaned.... Clad in jeans and sneakers, Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel rocked Comedy Central's bash, where Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert showed off photos on their iPhones.... Celebs left the FOX afterparty with energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs.... At HBO's bash Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler, from the winning drama The Sopranos, cut a rug to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." The song abruptly ended at the same point it did in The Sopranos' finale—and the crowd went wild.
"There are a million parties to go to and I've got to work tomorrow!" said Milo Ventimiglia, who had Heroes costar Hayden Panettiere by his side.
Vanessa Williams came out to support Ugly Betty winner America Ferrera. "She's phenomenal!" said Williams. "We're really proud of her."
WORK IT, FELICITY!
When Duran Duran tore into the '80s chestnut "Hungry Like the Wolf," Felicity Huffman and husband William H. Macy burned a hole in the dance floor. "I think the dress held up quite well," said Huffman, in fuchsia David Meister. "I was worried about my breasts popping out—but since I don't have any, it never was a problem!"
"This is my first weekend away since she was born," said winner Tina Fey, whose daughter Alice, 2, stayed home in New York.
Sandra Oh danced to "Party Like A Rock Star"—and hung out with her beau, musician Andrew Featherston.
Adrian Grenier made a Marie Antoinette look-alike part of his entourage.
Stars filtered into Hollywood hotspot Les Deux for a Versailles-themed fete.