‘Days of our Lives,’ ‘Y&R’ share Daytime Emmy for best drama series

Cast and producers of 'Days of Our Lives' accept the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series (which it shared with 'The Young and the Restless'). Jesse Grant / Getty Images

LOS ANGELES – Matt Lauer and Ellen DeGeneres helped the Daytime Emmys make a gender-bending return to television with a comedy bit involving pasties and black stockings — and not worn by DeGeneres.

General Hospital and The Young and the Restless were the top winners Sunday with three trophies each, while the latter shared the best drama series award with Days of Our Lives.

The ceremony opened with a pretaped segment in which Lauer and DeGeneres agreed to end their faux feud. The punchline: DeGeneres had sneakily edited the tape to put Lauer’s head atop a man’s chiseled body clad only in tasseled pasties, briefs and lace-topped stockings.

It was reminiscent of a previous DeGeneres prank on her talk show in which she doctored a Lauer Fifty Shades of Grey cast interview to show him in a similar outfit, whip and all.

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The Today host, or his shimmying facsimile, agreed to donate a thousand dollars to an unspecified charity each time he was thanked by winners during the ceremony.

CBS Sunday Morning host Charles Osgood, whose show was honoured as best morning program, offered a heartfelt shoutout to Lauer.

“Thank you for doing what you did because, God knows, I don’t want to do that,” said the 82-year-old Osgood.

The ceremony took a dignified turn when Betty White was honoured with a lifetime achievement award.

“Hello, beautiful,” she said to her trophy. “When I started in 1949 I had no idea that I’d still be around at this point, for one thing, or that I’d still be privileged enough to still be in this business. And it is such a privilege.”

Tyra Banks hosted the ceremony.

A beaming Craig Ferguson, replaced by James Corden as host of CBS’ The Late Late Show, accepted the trophy for best game show host for Celebrity Name Game.

“I never win anything. This is fantastic,” Ferguson said, adding, “Thank you, Hollywood, for a job.”

Freddie Smith was honoured as best younger actor in a drama for his role as Sonny in Days of Our Lives. His character and that of Will (played by Guy Wilson) were part of daytime TV’s first gay wedding with two men.

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Smith paid tribute to “the LGBT community for showing strength and courage. You’re an inspiration to all of us.”

The ceremony featured the reunion of Anthony Geary and Genie Francis, the former General Hospital couple of Luke and Laura, who presented the trophy for best drama series, a tie, to Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless.

Geary was a winner as well, accepting his eighth Emmy for his General Hospital role, while fellow series star Maura West was named best lead drama actress.

Other winners included Amelia Heinle, best supporting actress in a drama series for The Young and the Restless, and Chad Duell, best supporting actor for General Hospital.

An in memoriam tribute was introduced by Melissa Rivers, who said her mother’s career was reinvigorated by a daytime talk show after her late-night show was cancelled. The Joan Rivers Show won a Daytime Emmy in 1990, the only Emmy her mother ever got, Melissa Rivers noted.

Among the winners Sunday were Jeopardy!, best game show; Steve Harvey, host of an informative talk show; The Ellen DeGeneres Show, entertainment talk show; Entertainment Tonight, entertainment news program; Hunter King, younger actress in a drama series, The Young and the Restless; and Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, entertainment talk show hosts, for Live! with Kelly and Michael.

Winner of Creative Arts Emmys, which were handed out last week, include Canadian actoress Margot Kidder for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series, for her role in the made-in-Vancouver series R. L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour. The series also won Outstanding Children’s Series and the award for art direction.

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The Toronto-shot series Odd Squad won for directing of a children’s series and hairstyling.

– with files by Global News

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