NEW YORK (AP) – Ellen DeGeneres capped a successful first year on daytime television by winning a Daytime Emmy award for best talk show on Friday.

An overwhelmed DeGeneres turned and kissed her mother, Betty, before taking the stage to accept the trophy. She thanked television executives who convinced station managers across the country that people still wanted to see her on TV.

“I have fun every day,” said DeGeneres, whose show won three other technical awards. “It’s the best job I ever had.”

Bob Barker won best game show host for the lucky 13th time and his show, “The Price is Right,” won its fourth award as best game show since being on the air since 1972. Barker was not in New York to accept the award.

Rick Hearst of “General Hospital” and Cady McClain of “As the World Turns” won awards for best supporting actors in a soap opera during the ceremony, televised on NBC from Radio City Music Hall.

“I feel very proud to be in a medium where every day is like an under-rehearsed opening night,” said McClain, who plays Rosanna. “We do the best we can with what we’ve got.”

Hearst shed the first tears of the night, remembering his late father, and McClain was the first winner to loudly talk over the music designed to cut short her speech.

Chad Brannon of “General Hospital” won best younger actor in a daytime drama, and Jennifer Finnigan of “The Bold and the Beautiful” won best younger actress for the third year in a row.

Al Roker, Meredith Vieira and Emeril Lagasse joined in an off-key musical tribute to “Sesame Street” on its 35th anniversary. The children’s show is the most-honored program in Daytime Emmy history, with 91 awards, and won another six during the creative and craft awards presentation last week.

Jeff Corwin of the Discovery Kids show “Jeff Corwin Unleashed” was honored as best performer in a children’s series.

Convicted felon Martha Stewart was nominated for best service show, an award she’s won four times. Her show, “Martha Stewart Living,” was placed on hiatus this week with its star facing a possible prison sentence.

Maurice Benard of “General Hospital,” last year’s winner of best actor in a daytime drama, was considered a favorite again this year, said Carolyn Hinsey, editor of Soap Opera Weekly. His character, Sonny, accidentally shot his wife in the head during childbirth.

Eric Braeden of “The Young and the Restless” was another strong contender for a story line where he dreamed of seeing his father – also played by him – after 40 years, Hinsey said.

The Emmys are awarded by the National Television Academy and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.



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AP-ES-05-21-04 2232EDT


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