Hosted by Wayne Brady ('Let's Make a Deal'), the show entertained with musical numbers (from Brady and Marie Osmond), had touching tributes to Oprah Winfrey, Susan Lucci and Lifetime Achievement Recipients Pat Sajack ('Wheel of Fortune') and Alex Trebek ('Jeopardy') and, if you're a soap fan, you saw some surprising wins including a tie for the directors of 'The Bold and the Beautiful' and 'The Young and the Restless.'
Read on to get the scoop from your winners and see how why the Father's Day-win was especially poignant for one trophy recipient.
The program began with a musical number featuring Brady and dance crew the Jabbawockeez. The host soon moved into an opening monologue that addressed the retirements facing the daytime world, joking that 'One Life to Live's' retirement was a "forced one." (The show is set to go off the airwaves, at least on ABC, next January.)
Responding to groans from the audience, Brady quipped, "Don't 'boo' me. I didn't write this crap." (Clearly, he's referring to the show's monologue since 'OLTL' is one of the better written serials on soaps today!)
The magic/comedy team of Penn & Teller performed a laborious card trick to reveal what pretty much everyone in the community already did -- that Jonathan Jackson (Lucky, 'GH') was going to win the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor.
"It's Father's Day and I couldn't resist," Jackson said about bringing two of his young children up on stage with him. Of the powerful scenes in which Lucky blasted his loved ones for betraying him, which won the actor the gold, he says, "Our prayers made those scenes take flight."
While Jackson's win was predictable, others came as, arguably, a surprise.
Two-time Emmy-winner Heather Tom added a third to her mantle, this time for playing 'B&B's' Katie. Her victory was all the more impressive since she beat out previous winners Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, 'GH') and favored past winner Tricia Cast (Nina, 'Y&R.')
"Thank you so much," said Tom, who praised her sisters, boss Brad Bell and leading man Don Diamont for her victory.
Contrasting Tom's poignant win was Outstanding Game Show host Ben Bailey ('Cash Cab'), who won the Christine Lahti Award for the night by going off to the rest room when his category was being read.
"I couldn't catch a cab," he punned after arriving late on stage to pick up his trophy. He joked to press backstage that he was on his way to go wash his hands.
Harry Friedman won two awards -- one each for executive producing 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel.' It was the first time 'Wheel" had won for Best Game Show in more than 25 years of broadcasting. Will that end up as a question on 'Jeopardy!' someday?
"Count on it," quipped Friedman.
'Dr. Oz' won't be resting on its laurels having won for talk show service and talk show host (tying with 'Live With Regis and Kelly' in the latter category) especially since it's moving into Oprah's timeslot this fall.
"We take that time period very seriously," says Mindy Broman, executive producer. "We're working on an eventful launch."
Despite being a producer on her talk show, 'Ellen,' which won for Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment, Ellen DeGeneres was a no-show at the Las Vegas Hilton where the awards were held.
"Ellen likes this to be an award about the staff, her team and that's okay," says Mary Connelly, executive producer, quipping, "And tonight's her bowling night."
Connelly confirms that she hopes that Winfrey's audience will sample 'Ellen' if they're looking for a program to help fill the void left by her exit. "If they sample us, they will be comfortable with what they see," Connelly says.
Other winners last night include Laura Wright (Carly, 'GH') for Best Actress, Michael Park, who played Jack on defunct soap 'As the World Turns,' for Best Actor and, in the younger lead actor categories, Scott Clifton (Liam, 'B&B') and Brittany Allen (ex-Marisa, 'AMC.')
While soaps have taken major hits over the last few years, the last award for the night is still reserved for Outstanding Drama Series. 'B&B' took the honor for the third year in a row that involved a storyline with the homeless.
Executive producer Brad Bell praised, among others, his show's four original castmates and also thanked his father, the late William J. Bell, who co-created 'B&B,' "I'm so grateful," he says. 'Dad, we did it. Happy Father's Day."