BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — “Days of Our Lives” scored a rare win for best drama series at the Daytime Emmys in a show marked by an envelope mix-up, expletives and the constant din of audience chatter heard during the cable telecast that stretched beyond its time slot.
NBC’s “Days” won just its second drama series trophy and first since 1978, upending such heavyweights as “General Hospital,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless,” all of which had dominated the category in recent years.
“Days” is one of four remaining soaps still airing on the broadcast networks, while another nominee “One Life to Live” has found new life on the Internet after being canceled. “Days” claimed one other trophy: Chandler Massey as outstanding younger actor.
CBS claimed eight trophies during Sunday’s show, giving the network a leading 21 wins including those from last week’s creative arts ceremony. PBS was second with 14 wins.
In a major gaffe, Aisha Tyler of “The Talk” was presenting outstanding talk show informative when she opened the envelope and quickly realized she had been given the wrong one.
“Oh, interestingly enough, this winner is not in this category,” she said. “If I read it out, I’m going to give another category away.”
The audience at the Beverly Hilton hotel gasped and Tyler vamped while waiting to be given the correct envelope from the wings.
“There better be a cocktail waiting on my table,” Tyler said.
She then announced “The Dr. Oz Show” as the winner.
“It’s like saying, ‘Whoops,’ in the operating room,” Dr. Mehmet Oz said backstage about the goof-up.
Corbin Bernsen uttered two expletives on-air when talking about his late mother, Jeanne Cooper of “The Young and the Restless,” during the in memoriam tribute.
Doug Davidson of “The Young and the Restless” and Heather Tom of “The Bold and the Beautiful” won lead acting honors.
Davidson earned his first career trophy as Detective Paul Williams, a character he’s played since 1978.
Tom, who previously was on “Y&R,” repeated her win from last year.
“I am overwhelmed,” he said, wiping his eye.
Tom won for her role as Katie Logan, who struggled with post-partum depression and abandoned her baby in a major story line. Last year, she became the first person to win Daytime Emmys in the younger, supporting and lead categories.
She expressed optimism for the future of daytime dramas, which have shrunk from a dozen airing on the broadcast networks in 1991 to just four still on TV.
“Last year was kind of like, ‘Oh, God, things are being canceled.’ Now our numbers are up and people realize there’s an audience for this type of entertainment,” Tom said backstage. “It’s an audience that can’t be easily swayed to something that doesn’t resemble a daytime drama. Our future looks good.”
Reflecting the current era of dwindling daytime audiences, network budget-cutting and the cancellation of some soaps, the awards were aired by cable news channel HLN for the second straight year, having lost its longtime home on the broadcast networks last year.
In an effort to liven up the proceedings, the night’s biggest winners were chatted up, sometimes awkwardly, on stage right after they accepted their trophies by celebrities whose favorite question was “How do you feel?”
“This is so strange,” Davidson said as he grabbed a mic and took a seat on a red sofa.
“Good Morning America” weather anchor Sam Champion, along with HLN network’s A.J. Hammer and Robin Meade, hosted the 40th annual show, which stretched well past its scheduled two hours.
Scott Clifton of “The Bold and the Beautiful” and Billy Miller of “The Young and the Restless” tied for supporting actor in a drama series.
Julie Marie Berman of “General Hospital” won supporting actress honors. She has since left the ABC soap.
Her former co-star, Kristen Alderson, won the younger actress category.
In an upset, first-time nominee “CBS Sunday Morning” beat out heavyweights “Good Morning America” and the “Today Show” for outstanding morning program.
“We snuck in while nobody was looking,” host Charles Osgood said.
Ricki Lake, whose daytime comeback has been canceled, won outstanding talk show host.
Ben Bailey of “Cash Cab,” which is no longer being produced, picked up his third win as outstanding game show host. “The Price is Right” won game show honors.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” earned its seventh trophy as outstanding talk show entertainment.
The show paid tribute to Lifetime Achievement Award winners Monty Hall of “Let’s Make a Deal” fame and the late game-show creator Bob Stewart.