LOS ANGELES — It was a day of hellos and goodbyes on the red carpet at Sunday's Emmy Awards, as first-time nominees mingled with veteran actors and stars of nominated shows that have since been canceled, such as "Friday Night Lights" and "Entourage."
The "Friday Night Lights" cast was rooting for its canceled show to score an Emmy.
"This is our last chance. ... It's our last time at the Emmys," said Stacey Oristano, who played Mindy Collette on the show, which focused on a high school football team.
"It's great to have an opportunity to get together— and get nominated!" said Derek Phillips, who played a football player's brother.
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First-time nominees were even more excited.
"I'm surprised I'm enjoying it as much as I am," said Elizabeth McGovern, nominated for "Downton Abbey."Story: Complete list of winners from Emmy broadcast
Carla Buono of "Mad Men" was surprised — and delighted — by all the congratulatory calls: "Everyone in the world calling you and congratulating you — people I've looked up to and respected."
First-time nominee Walton Goggins said he has been surprised by how much goodwill he's gotten after receiving his nomination for "Justified."Slideshow: 2011 Primetime Emmy winners and presenters
"It's wonderful how much support you get from people you've accumulated along the way," he said, "and how much respect has been extended from family, friends and colleagues."
He's also enjoying the ride with his best friend and fellow nominee Johnny Galecki. "It's been so nice to go through this experience with a good friend — and not have to share a limo," Goggins said.Story: Emmy red carpet sees some bold moves
Melissa McCarthy said she was most surprised at the blazing heat on the Emmy red carpet.
"I didn't realize the Emmys are held on the sun," she said outside the Nokia Theatre. "It's just the whole energy of it. I keep running into people I know and want to know. There's just so much positive energy."
Taraji P. Henson said just getting nominated for "Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story" was a huge surprise: "I wasn't thinking of it. ... I had done the movie so long ago."
Margo Martindale enjoyed her first Emmy nomination for a show that's since been canceled, "Justified."
"Putting it all together is a job, but being here in this moment is as easy as pie," she said on her way into the ceremony. About the show, she said, "It's very sad to say goodbye. It's very tearful. It was my favorite part of my career."Story: What you didn't see on the Emmy telecast
Mirielle Enos said she's been distracted from celebrating her Emmy nod for "The Killing" because she's been shooting "World War Z" with Brad Pitt in London.
"I've been in a whirlwind. It actually hadn't landed what the experience is until yesterday. ... It feels magical," she said.
Kevin Dillon was sad to say goodbye to "Entourage."
"It was really sad," he said. "I loved the show and felt it still had legs. I could have done the show forever. We're presenting tonight, and that will be the last time the guys are together."
Loretta Devine, who won an Emmy for her guest-starring role on "Grey's Anatomy," said she was "in shock" when she won the award at the Creative Arts Emmy ceremony last week.
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