LAS VEGAS >> "The Bold and the Beautiful" won four trophies — including drama series honors for the third consecutive year — at the Daytime Emmys, which will have two fewer soap operas to celebrate next year.
The ABC shows "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" are leaving the air after more than 40 years because of declining ratings. Their departures mean just four daytime dramas will remain.
Brittany Allen of "All My Children" earned the show’s final Daytime Emmy on Sunday night, for younger actress in a drama series. She is no longer playing the role of Marisa Chandler.
"My heart breaks for all these people that this is not going to be a part of their lives," she said backstage. "Having just gone through something like this, I survived. It was scary, but change is a good thing and it opens the door for new opportunities."
Bradley Bell, executive producer of "The Bold and the Beautiful," isn’t ready to write off soaps despite their dwindling ranks and fewer viewers.
"It’s never going to be like it once was," he said backstage. "There is a future for soaps. It’s going to be cost-cutting and reinventing, but it’s going to be a future and a great future."
Presenter Debbi Morgan of "All My Children" noted her show’s impending demise, saying, "To all the fans, we move on, but you will forever be missed, and as the song goes, sometimes it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday."
Former soap star Shemar Moore saluted Susan Lucci, whose Erica Kane character ruled "All My Children" for years. Lucci won a single Daytime Emmy during her long career as a daytime diva.
"Daytime is just not going to be the same without you," he said.
Lucci, who presented with Moore, replied, "Daytime television is alive and well, and look at all the talent in this building."
The 38th annual ceremony aired live on CBS from the Las Vegas Hilton was a bittersweet affair. Joining the two soaps on their way out are talk show host Regis Philbin, "Today" personality Meredith Vieira, and daytime queen Oprah Winfrey, who wasn’t present for a tribute to her recently concluded 25 years on the air.
Laura Wright, who plays Carly Corinthos on "General Hospital," won her first Emmy in her first nomination. She joins Finola Hughes in 1991 as the only stars of the ABC soap to win lead actress honors.
"Hell, yeah!" she said, thrusting the trophy in the air. "This has been 20 years of the best career ever."
Michael Park, who plays Jack Snyder on CBS’ "As the World Turns," earned lead actor honors for the second straight year.
Scott Clifton won younger actor honors for his role as Liam Cooper on "The Bold and the Beautiful." The CBS soap tied with "The Young and the Restless" for directing in a drama series.
"The Young and the Restless" won for best writing.
"Please continue to watch this show," urged Maria Arena Bell, head writer for the CBS show that has been daytime’s No. 1 drama for 22 years.
Jonathan Jackson of "General Hospital" and Heather Tom of "The Bold and the Beautiful" won as supporting actor and actress.
"Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" tied for best game show, fitting since the respective hosts, Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak, received lifetime achievement awards during the show hosted by Wayne Brady.
"We’re part of Americana," Trebek said backstage with Sajak alongside him. "People, when they hear the themes to ‘Wheel’ and ‘Jeopardy!’, they know immediately what the reference is. Part of that is because we’ve been on for so long. We hope it will continue for as long as we want to do it."
Trebek has quizzed brainy contestants for 27 years, while Sajak has been selling vowels for 30 years.
Ben Bailey of "Cash Cab" took home a trophy, repeating as best game-show host. He didn’t immediately appear to accept his award, leaving presenter Tracey E. Bregman to ask the audience, "Anybody?"
A harried Bailey walked out from backstage, where he said he had been using the restroom when he heard his name called.
Backstage, Bailey admitted he hadn’t washed his hands but promised to do so, which surely would have met the approval of Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Oz repeated as best talk-show host, while "The Dr. Oz Show" won for best informative talks how. Oz, one of Winfrey’s proteges, is being rewarded in many markets with the 4 p.m. slot that Winfrey ruled for so many years.
"I don’t feel pressure," he said backstage. "I feel honored and I feel responsibility to give to the audience what she did so beautifully for 25 years."
Oz added, "I think I’ll have Oprah on as a guest sooner rather than later."
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" earned best entertainment talk show honors for the second straight year.
During the Winfrey tribute, Gladys Knight sang "That’s What Friends Are For" as a montage of "Oprah" clips played behind her. Oz paid tribute, as did frequent Oprah guest Celine Dion, who sang "Because You Loved Me" from the stage at Caesar’s Palace, where she performs.
Winfrey appeared on tape with her staff gathered behind her and holding the Crystal Pillar award she was given for changing the face of daytime television.
Philbin is leaving his syndicated chat fest later this year, and he and co-host Kelly Ripa shared talk-show host honors with Oz.
Vieira ended her five-year run on the "Today" show earlier this month, although she is continuing as host of the syndicated game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."