PHILBIN comes up lucky twice at Daytime Emmy awards

Saturday, May 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Who wants to be Regis Philbin? Or rather, who doesn't?

After being nominated 11 times before and never winning, Philbin took home two Daytime Emmys, for best talk show host and best game show host, on Friday night.

The host of ``Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'' and a morning show wasn't there to receive the awards in person _ he was in Atlantic City, performing a nightclub act with lovable Emmy loser Susan Lucci of ``All My Children.''

``All these years and now two in one night,'' Philbin said in a satellite connection to Radio City Music Hall, where the show was broadcast live on NBC. His former morning show partner, Kathie Lee Gifford, was the awards program host.

Lucci lost again in the best lead actress category. She won in 1999, making her record one for 20. But she got to hold an Emmy anyway _ before she handed it to Philbin.

``How appropriate is it that Regis hits the Emmy jackpot and he happens to be at an Atlantic City casino,'' said Tom O'Neil, author of ``The Emmys'' and an awards historian. ``He won for daytime and nighttime. He's the king of all TV.''

``Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'' grabbed best game show honors for the second straight year, even though it airs at night. Producers say a category for the show had not been added to the regular Emmys before the deadline to apply for a daytime award.

Next year, ``Millionaire'' will be eligible for a new reality TV category at the primetime Emmys.

The ABC game show's executive producer, Michael Davies, accepted the statue dressed in red plaid pants, just as he did last year.

``I think it's a fantastic, fantastic season for British television,'' Davies joked afterward in a thick accent, mentioning other programs with British ties including ``Weakest Link'' and ``Survivor.'' ``We're going to take back the colonies one game reality show at a time.''

The other big winner was CBS' ``As the World Turns'' with eight Emmys, including best drama series. It ties the record ABC's ``General Hospital'' set two years ago for most awards in one night.

Rosie O'Donnell shared best talk show host honors with Philbin, the fourth year in a row she's won the award. Her syndicated talk show also won for the fourth year in a row.

In an oddity, both major soap opera acting awards went to people who play twins: David Canary of ``All My Children'' and Martha Byrne of ``As the World Turns.'' It is Canary's fifth.

``I think it creates the illusion _ and I'll call it the illusion _ of acting,'' Canary said of playing twins Adam and Stuart Chandler. ``If you pull both off believably ... it seems to imply there's a little more craft there.''

Also from ``All My Children,'' Michael E. Knight won for best supporting actor, saying he'll give the statue to his 86-year-old grandmother in Chatham, Mass. Lesli Kay from ``As the World Turns'' won best supporting actress.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gives out the awards.