Mark Burnett's hit series Survivor picked up its first Emmy award Saturday, one of two new trophies capitalizing on TV's reality-show craze.
Survivor won for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class), a category honoring "reality" shows with a game-show element. The hit series was nominated alongside VH1's Bands on the Run, USA's Eco-Challenge: Borneo, TLC's Junkyard Wars and MTV's Road Rules: Maximum Velocity Tour. The show also picked up a second trophy for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Non-Fiction Program.
The reality awards were handed out as part of the "Creative Arts" portion of the 53rd Annual Prime-Time Emmy Awards. The ceremony was held Saturday in Pasadena; the major Emmys will be handed out September 16 on CBS.
American High, R.J. Cutler's critically hailed cinema verité series about an Illinois high school, took home the night's other new reality-show trophy, for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Reality). The series, which was canceled by Fox and later picked up by PBS, was nominated alongside E!'s True Hollywood Story, Bravo's The Awful Truth with Michael Moore, HBO's Taxicab Confessions and TLC's Trauma: Life in the ER.
Otherwise, Saturday's technical prizes helped The West Wing get a jump on its HBO mob competition. NBC's political drama nabbed four technical awards (for editing, casting, cinematography and sound mixing), while The Sopranos took home one, for makeup. The Sopranos, of course, still has plenty of opportunities to catch up, having scored 22 nominations this year, followed by The West Wing with 18.
In the guest-starring categories, Sally Field landed an Emmy in the drama category for her guest role on ER as Maggie Wyczenski, the mother of Maura Tierney's character. It's the second win of Field's career, having previously won dramatic actress honors for the 1976 TV movie Sybil.
"Wow! Oh my God, I love being an actor," the 54-year-old actress said. "And I'm so goddamn grateful I still get work."
On the male side, actor Michael Emerson won for his guest stint on ABC's The Practice, in which he played a killer. And NBC's Frasier scored a clean sweep in the comedy guest-starring categories, as Derek Jacobi won for his role as (believe it or not) a horrible actor, and Jean Smart picked up her second consecutive Emmy win for her guest stint as Frasier's lover.
Other winners Saturday included the Fox concert special, Barbra Streisand: Timeless and ABC's miniseries Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, which scored three Emmys apiece. Fox's The Simpsons scored two trophies, including its second consecutive win for Best Animated Program (less than an hour) and a voiceover award for The Simpsons' man of many voices, Hank Azaria.
Overall, Saturday's West Wing wins helped NBC tie Fox for first place in the preliminary trophy haul, scoring 11 wins apiece. HBO won eight awards, ABC picked up seven and CBS, PBS and UPN all nabbed five each. The WB, which was shut out of this year's major awards, scored one.
Complete list of winners