Christina Applegate, Gene Wilder win early Emmys. Alfre Woodard and Charles Dutton also snag advance awards

By Gary Susman
Updated September 15, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Friends, Jennifer Aniston, ...
Credit: Friends: Danny Feld

To win a trophy at Saturday’s Creative Emmy awards, it helped to have a name or a title beginning with the letter ”W.” The early awards ceremony, honoring guest-starring roles on primetime shows, as well as some 60 categories of behind-the-scenes technical work, gave kudos to Alfre Woodard for her work on ”The Practice” and to Gene Wilder for his visit to ”Will & Grace.” Also honored were Christina Applegate for her role as Rachel’s sister on ”Friends” and Charles S. Dutton, for his role on ”Without a Trace.”

”Will & Grace” won three awards, tying for most honored show of the evening with HBO’s movie ”Live from Baghdad” and ABC’s broadcast of the Academy Awards. NBC took home the most trophies (11), edging out HBO (10). CBS had nine, ABC had eight, and Fox and PBS had seven each. One of Fox’s was for ”The Simpsons,” named Outstanding Animated Program (of less than one hour).

Presiding over the festivities, at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, was the cast of ”MAD TV,” who paid tribute to the techies with a song called ”We’re Screwed Without You.” The top Emmys will be handed out on Sept. 21 at the main Emmy gala, which will air live on Fox.