LOS ANGELES: The Sopranos claimed its final Emmy award as best dramatic TV series. Winners in other top categories were scattered across the prime-time landscape.
Regarded as one of television's best-ever series, The Sopranos aired its final show this past June. It got some final respect on Sunday night with two standing ovations - first, when the cast was introduced, and again when the series received the night's top honour.
A stunned James Spader said he felt like he just "stole a pile of money from the mob" in winning best drama series actor as a devilish lawyer on Boston Legal. And Sally Field was her flustered self as winner of best actress in a drama for her matriarchal role in Brothers & Sisters. Spader rubbed out three-time winner James Gandolfini of The Sopranos and last year's victor, Kiefer Sutherland of 24. Field, fondly remembered for her years-ago TV stints as "Gidget" and "The Flying Nun," bumped off Edie Falco of The Sopranos. "Surely this belongs to all the mothers of the world," Field said in a rambling acceptance speech that wound up with a swear word that had to be bleeped by Fox censors.
Supporting dramatic actress winner Katherine Heigl of Grey's Anatomy mouthed another expletive, which Fox unsuccessfully tried to evade by switching camera angles.
30 Rock took top comedy series honours for its behind-the-scenes look at the craziness of a late-night sketch show.
Ricky Gervais of Extras beat out Steve Carell of The Office for lead comedy series actor.
America Ferrera, TV's breakout star as the dumpy fashion magazine assistant on Ugly Betty, was the lone acting front-runner to win. She added an Emmy as leading comedic actress to her Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild victories this year.
Former US vice-president Al Gore, whose Current TV channel, which features viewer-created videos, was honoured for achievement in interactive television.
Meanwhile, biggest star of the Emmy after-parties was not the cast of The Sopranos, or a cigar-chomping Jeremy Piven. It was non-actor Kanye West.
The rapper continued his Emmy blitz with an explosive surprise performance at TV Guide's swank, packed bash at Hollywood hotspot Les Deux.
Hundreds of attendees rushed the stage when West - who had mocked himself in a comedy sketch on the Emmys broadcast - joined guest performer John Legend.
Wearing his customary shades and jumping atop giant speakers, West urged the crowd to roar "Hell yeah!" and "Kan-ye!," West's miniset included his 2005 hit Gold Digger.
If West was the model of swagger, then Terry O'Quinn was the image of modest calm. Seated at a table near the stage with his wife Lori and his manager, O'Quinn said he had left his best supporting actor trophy, for Lost, in the car.
Entertainment Tonight and People magazine hosted a party in downtown Los Angeles at the sprawling Walt Disney Concert Hall, where guests included Jon Voight, Tori Spelling and nominee Masi Oka of Heroes.