Here's what happened backstage at the Modern Family picnic and celebration otherwise known as the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards:
5:55 p.m. PT: The Big Bang Theory's Parsons doesn't have a lot of dirt on Sheen, the non-surprise presenter in Parson's category. Actually, to the out-of-the-loop Parsons, Sheen was a surprise. He says he had no idea the exiled CBS star was going to be at the Emmys. "My first glimpse of Charlie Sheen was when they were putting on his makeup," Parsons tells the room.
• Did we mention Parsons doesn't have a lot of dirt on Sheen? We meant he doesn't have any. When asked what Sheen said to him post-win, Parsons practically apologizes. "He just congratulated me," he says. "…It was that sweet and that banal."
• Parsons begins his press conference at an inopportune time—at least for those reporters enjoying the telecast's Andy Samberg-Michael Bolton number. "It's distracting, I understand," Parsons says as his eyes fall on the TV screen, too.
• Parsons, a repeat winner, says he's "shocked," more shocked, in fact, than he was last year, and while we don't have a shocked meter (and we suspect one doesn't exist), we could swear Parsons doesn't sound as shocked.
• "Just remember whoever wins, deserves it." According to Burrell, that's what sage Ed O'Neill told his fellow Modern Family nominees in the Supporting Actor, Comedy category.
• Bowen didn't have O'Neill to settle her nerves; she only had her own self-doubt. "I kinda thought [Supporting Actress, Comedy] was a lock on Betty White," she says.
• Burrell says he was extra-impressed with Bowen's win because she's a "straight person" on the show, and, no, he doesn't mean straight as in not-gay.
• There are so many Modern Family winners that they can't help but bump into each other. As their way out of the room, Burrell and Bowen trade hugs and kisses with the show's winning writers and director, who are making their way into the room.
6:35 p.m.: So, if you'd bet Amy Poehler was the instigator behind the Lead Comedy Actress pageant that saw all the category's nominees take the Emmy stage, you'd have won. "I heard it first from Martha [Plimpton]," winner Melissa McCarthy tells us. "[Plimpton said] 'Amy's got an idea…If Amy Poehler's got a funny idea, I'm in."
• For a first-time winner, McCarthy seems wildly comfortable. And that's because she is "wildly comfortable." The credit goes to her gown, which she designed. "It's got pockets," the Mike & Molly star says proudly.
• Emmy drop-out Alec Baldwin was a no-show, so that left Saturday Night Live director (and Emmy-winner) Don Roy King to field the Baldwin questions. To whit: Will Baldwin's drop-out, over an omitted joke about the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal, be addressed on next week's SNL premiere? "I sure hope so," King says.
7 p.m.: Yes, as Margo Martindale said in her Supporting Drama Actress Emmy speech, her Justified character got killed off. (Talk about a Netflix-streaming spoiler…) She says she knew the deal going in, but still… "I thought I'd live," she says. "Silly me."
• Game of Thrones winner Peter Dinklage is complimented for his perpetual cool, which, according to the actor, is just part of the act. "I feel very uncool," he says. "All the time."
• So, about Dinklage's acceptance speech, the one where he thanked his dog-sitter named Kitty: "She's an important person in my life," Dinklage deadpans. "…But [the thank-you] comes at a price, I think. My mom [who was not name-checked on air] will be really happy with that."
• As the Emmys show ends, a P.A. announcer at the Nokia informs those with Governor's Ball tickets to exit to the right. All those without fancy-pants Governor's Ball tickets are told to "exit through the rear of the theater." Boy, talk about rubbing it in.
• So, what did Guy Pearce's wife think of his, um, Kate Winslet-celebrating acceptance speech? "I'm not sure yet. I haven't asked her," the Mildred Pierce miniseries winner says without remorse. "She probably thought it was funny." Yes, a man can hope.
• So, what did Winslet, a winner herself for Mildred Pierce, think of Pearce's speech? "I'm thrilled," she tells our own Ted Casablanca. "I've had a crush on Guy Pearce since I was 11 years old."
• When you spend your summer vacation saving Virgin mogul Richard Branson's mum from a house fire, you end up talking a lot about your summer vacation. "I so knew I was going to get questions about the fire…" Winslet laughs, before summing up, "I was in the right place at the right time."
• Extremely new mother January Jones isn't here to mark Mad Men's Drama Series win. "She's home with her baby," show creator Matthew Weiner tells us, by way of John Slattery, who's apparently been in contact with Jones tonight. "[She said] her baby had his fingers crossed."
• "We miss her tonight," Weiner says of Jones. "We're super happy for her."
• What does young Jared Gilmore, the child actor who made headlines last month for dissing the oft-dissed Jones, have to say now about his TV mom? No idea. Gilmore, who has left the show, wasn't on the press-conference stage with the Mad Men cast.
• Mad Men's win is its fourth Drama Series Emmy, tying it with the likes of The West Wing. "It's hard to comprehend that we're in that company," Weiner says.
• Modern Family is absolutely committed to the ensemble concept. No less than three different actors, Ed O'Neill, Eric Stonestreet and Sofía Vergara, take the mic at the press conference for the show's second-straight Comedy Series win. (Be sure to check out Ted's Awful Truth for Vergara's K-mart confession.)
• Surprise Friday Night Lights winner Kyle Chandler is not doing an Emmy press conference. The Good Wife's Julianna Marguilies and The Daily Show's Jon Stewart skip out on the fun, too. Maybe they all thought they weren't eligible for one since they're not on Modern Family?
(Originally published Sept. 18, 2011, at 6:26 p.m. PT.)