It was an emotional day for the cast and crew of CBS' "As the World Turns" when it wrapped up production last week after 53 years on the air. The Daytime Emmy Awards may have eased some of that pain with hardware.
Michael Park and Maura West, who play an on-again, off-again couple on the show, won best actor and actress awards for a daytime drama on Sunday's Daytime Emmy Awards. The awards show was aired live from the Las Vegas Hilton.Complete List of WinnersPhotos: 2010 Daytime Emmy Awards
West beckoned her sobbing daughter onstage to bask in the award. Park said he may give his trophy to his grandmother, who has been watching "As the World Turns" for more than a half-century on CBS. He said he hoped no one would have to endure the sadness felt by the cast and crew when the show stopped filming on Wednesday. The final episode is scheduled for air on Sept. 17.
"You try to garner up this tough exterior, as if it's not hurting you," Park said backstage, "and the whole time it's killing you inside."
Another "As the World Turns" cast member, Julie Pinson, was named best supporting actress in a drama.
The show's cancellation is a sign of the times, said Jon Lindstrom, who competed against fellow cast member Park for the best actor nod.
"Unless we cheapen production, they're all going to go away, I'm afraid," he said.
"As the World Turns" wasn't nominated in the category of best soap opera, which was won by CBS' "The Bold & The Beautiful" for the second consecutive year. Head writer Bradley P. Bell's writing team was honored for a story line featuring television's 88-year-old "it" girl, Betty White.
"It was the first time she died on television, and we were very honored to have her do that for us," Bell said.
It was a big night for Discovery's "Cash Cab." The show filmed in the back of a New York City taxi was named best game show for the third time in a row, and host Ben Bailey won for the first time as best game show host. Bailey wore sneakers to the ceremony because he's been suffering from a bad back.
"I want to share this with all my fellow cab drivers and standup comedians," Bailey said as he held his trophy. "Those are both very difficult jobs."
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" was named best entertainment talk show. Both DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey did not submit their names for best talk show host, an award won by Winfrey protege Dr. Mehmet Oz for the first year of "The Dr. Oz Show."
Son beat dad in the category of best informative talk show, won by "The Doctors." The show's executive producer is Jay McGraw, son of Dr. Phil McGraw, whose "Dr. Phil" was another nominee in the category.
"Looks like fun to win something around here," said Daytime Emmy host Regis Philbin, whose "Live with Regis & Kelly" has never been named best talk show.
Billy Miller of CBS' "The Young and the Restless" won the Emmy for best supporting actor in a daytime drama. Julie Berman of ABC's "General Hospital" won her second straight Emmy as outstanding younger actress in a soap, and Drew Tyler Bell of "The Bold & The Beautiful" was best younger actor.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences gave a lifetime achievement award to Agnes Nixon, who created "All My Children" in 1970 and was an influential writer for "Guiding Light," "As the World Turns" and other daytime dramas.
Susan Lucci of "All My Children" called her the "queen of modern daytime drama."
"I would not even be here today if Agnes Nixon had not created Erica Kane," Lucci said of her character.
Nixon said she was "overwhelmed" and paid tribute to the audience that shared "our real world of make believe."
The academy also paid tribute to Dick Clark and his long-running musical countdown show "American Bandstand." Tony Orlando, Chubby Checker and Marie Osmond took the stage to sing hits played on "Bandstand" years ago.
"Without 'Bandstand,' without Dick, there would be no 'American Idol,'" said that show's exiting judge, Simon Cowell.
The awards show got off to a bumpy start with illusionist David Copperfield making host Philbin suddenly "appear" onstage. You could hear Philbin say: "How did you do it? I can't believe it," while his lips weren't moving on his onstage image.