Behind The Scenes At The Emmys

Patrick Dempsey arrives for the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
AP Photo/Amy Sancetta
Helen Mirren Struggles With Stripper Shoes

Helen Mirren was thinking about just one thing as she walked up the Shrine Auditorium stage steps to accept her Emmy for lead actress in a miniseries or movie.

"Please don't let me fall down," Mirren recalled backstage Sunday night.

The star of HBO's "Elizabeth I" had good reason — six-inch plastic heels she called her "stripper shoes."

"My great triumph is not falling (down) coming up those stairs," Mirren had said while accepting the Emmy. "If you saw the shoes I'm wearing, you'd understand."

As she left the microphone, Mirren added, "I'll take my bloody shoes off now."

She later showed them off to reporters.

"I got them on Hollywood Boulevard, I think, for $49.99," Mirren said with a straight face.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Fine With Rules Change

At least one star at the Emmys didn't have a problem with the revamped nomination process that had some categories being selected by special panels.

"Let's keep it," said Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as she hugged her statuette for best actress in a comedy series, "The New Adventures of Old Christine."

"I have no problem with the system," she said. "Although I will tell you I don't understand it. I voted, and I didn't understand what I was doing."

Louis-Dreyfus added that she can relate to Lisa Kudrow, whose show "The Comeback" was nominated despite being canceled last year.

"It's very hard in television right now," she said. "Getting a show on the air and getting it to stick is a bigger challenge than ever."

Fans Swoon For Dr. McDreamy

"Grey's Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsey drew the biggest cheers from fans watching TV stars arrive for the show.

Known as "Dr. McDreamy," Dempsey took a moment to jump the ropes and sign a few autographs for fans sitting in the bleachers along the Emmys' red carpet.

But Dempsey wasn't all Mr. McSmoothy: At one point he stepped on the dress of a woman standing nearby. After apologizing, he told reporters, "These are the things that matter in life — not stepping on a woman's dress."

Stars Stay Cool On Hot Night

Stars arriving for the Emmys struggled to keep cool as a hot late-summer sun beat down on the red carpet outside the Shrine Auditorium.

For Tyra Banks, in a long Georges Chakra gown, it was impossible.

"Underneath this dress, I'm dripping," Banks said. "Not cute, believe me."

"Grey's Anatomy" co-star Chandra Wilson dressed for the weather: Her dress featured a long side slit.

"I have some air vents," she joked.