The mob series The Sopranos won top drama honors at television's Emmy Awards, Sunday night , and the new series 30 Rock was named best comedy. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore also earned an Emmy, for helping create an interactive channel.
The Sopranos, a much-honored saga of a New Jersey family of mobsters, earned three awards, including best drama series. "The Sopranos" first went on the air in 1999 and ended its highly successful run this year.
A new satirical show called 30 Rock was named best comedy series.
Actress America Ferrera, 23, was honored for her leading role in the comedy Ugly Betty. Ferrera is the daughter of Honduran immigrants and she charmed American viewers in her first big television role.
Accepting the award Ferrera said "It is truly an amazing, wonderful thing that happens when your dreams come true, and I just wish that for everybody, that they get to do what inspires them, inspires them to make a change in the world."
A Hollywood veteran, 60-year-old Sally Field, won the Emmy for best actress in a drama for the series Brothers & Sisters.
Former Vice President Al Gore received the award for creative achievement in interactive television for his cable channel, Current TV channel. The cable outlet features viewer-created videos. Gore explained its purpose.
"We are trying to open up the television medium so that viewers can help to make television, and join the conversation of democracy," he said.
Earlier this year, Gore won an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film on global warming.
Veteran film star Robert Duvall won his first Emmy, for his television miniseries Broken Trail, a tale of two cowboys who rescue Chinese girls from sexual slavery. Duvall says he loves to work in Westerns.
"I never knew an actor in my lifetime or anybody's lifetime who didn't want to do a Western. We all want to do Westerns, and believe me, it belongs to us in this country, uniquely to us," Duvall said.
He says, from Calgary in Western Canada, where this film was shot, to the US state of Texas, Westerns are part of the culture.
Helen Mirren was named best actress in a miniseries or movie, for her role as British detective Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect: The Final Act, a British-American co-production. She complimented American viewers as generous.
"You are a lot of other things as well, some good, some bad. But you know, if I was to categorize your natures, it's generosity above all, and you took our piece of work to your hearts and you made it what it became, which was a piece of iconic television," Mirren said.
Crooner Tony Bennett was honored for his musical performance in the special Tony Bennett: An American Classic.
The miniseries Roots was also remembered on its 30th anniversary. The reunited cast recalled the landmark series, a saga of African slaves in America.