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Image: Melissa McCarthy
Chris Pizzello  /  AP
Melissa McCarthy, who won the Emmy for outstanding actress in a comedy, was surprised by the heat outside the show, joking that she "didn't realize the Emmys are held on the sun."
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updated 9/18/2011 9:05:37 PM ET 2011-09-19T01:05:37

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.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Fashions of the 2011 Primetime Emmys

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  1. Julianna Margulies

    Julianna Margulies arrives at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 in Los Angeles. In addition to her own nomination for "The Good Wife," she presented the award for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy to Ty Burrell. She wore a strapless Giorgio Armani Prive gown, with a bustier decorated with clear oval stones and shimmery paillettes. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer

    Emmys host Jane Lynch posed with her "Glee" co-star Chris Colfer. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Kate Winslet

    Kate Winslet matched the red carpet in a red Elie Saab gown. Winslet, best known for her movie work, starred in the HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce." (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Matt LeBlanc

    Matt LeBlanc, nominated for "Episodes," walked the red carpet. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Melissa McCarthy

    Melissa McCarthy was an emotional winner for best actress in a comedy series for her role in "Mike & Molly." She designed her purple gown herself. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. John Krasinski, Emily Blunt

    "Office" star John Krasinski and wife Emily Blunt made for an attractive red-carpet couple. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor

    Now they work for him. His name is Charlie. From left, Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor are the new stars of the remade "Charlie's Angels," which begins this fall. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Christina Hendricks

    "Mad Men" star Christina Hendricks' gown is by Joanna Johannson. Her bright red lipstick also drew fashion-critic approval. (Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Katie Holmes

    Katie Holmes, an Emmy presenter, was striking in blue. Her gown was from the Calvin Klein Collection by Francisco Costa. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Gwyneth Paltrow

    Gwyneth Paltrow wore a belly-baring black-sequined gown by Emilio Pucci. She later said she didn't realize how sheer and see-through her outfit was until she arrived at the event. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Martin Scorsese

    Martin Scorsese won the Emmy for outstanding directing for a drama series for the "Boardwalk Empire" pilot. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Heidi Klum, Seal

    "Project Runway" host Heidi Klum attended with her husband, singer Seal. Her strapless gown was designed by "Project Runway" alum Christian Siriano. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Julie Bowen

    "Modern Family" star Julie Bowen won the award for best supporting actress in a comedy series, and Ty Burrell, who plays her husband on the show, won as best supporting actor. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Sofia Vergara

    Actress Sofia Vergara was striking in a tangerine-colored Vera Wang gown. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Kristen Wiig

    Kristen Wiig's bronze gown added some shine to the red carpet. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Jon Hamm

    "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm wore a Tom Ford tuxedo. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Hugh Laurie

    Hugh Laurie stars as crotchety Dr. Gregory House in "House M.D." (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Elisabeth Moss

    "Mad Men's" Elisabeth Moss was one of many Emmy attendees to choose a neutral gown color. She also appeared in the awards ceremony's opening skit, when host Jane Lynch burst in on a mock "Mad Men" meeting. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. 'The Office' cast

    They're co-workers on "The Office" and pals on the red carpet, too. Oscar Nuñez, Creed Bratton, Brian Baumgartner, Angela Kinsey, and Rainn Wilson pose before the awards. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Padma Lakshmi

    Padma Lakshmi's Armani gown features a daring slit up one leg. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Rico Rodriguez

    Rico Rodriguez, 13, who plays Manny on ABC's "Modern Family," brought some bright blue to the red carpet. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Aubrey Plaza

    Aubrey Plaza, star of "Parks and Recreation," chose a simple neutral gown. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Jeremy Piven

    Jeremy Piven, star of the recently ended "Entourage," arrives at the awards. (Chris Pizzello / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Lea Michele

    "Glee" star Lea Michele matched the red carpet in her Marchesa gown. (Paul Buck / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Joel McHale

    Joel McHale brightened up the traditional lineup of black tuxedos with a baby blue offering. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Kiernan Shipka

    Kiernan Shipka, 11, stars as Don and Betty Draper's daughter, Sally, on "Mad Men." (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Jennifer Carpenter

    "Dexter" star Jennifer Carpenter showed a little leg with her striking beaded gown. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Mario Lopez

    "Extra" host Mario Lopez was dapper in black. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Jayma Mays

    Jayma Mays of "Glee" apparently got the memo on keeping things neutral, and chose a nude-colored lace gown. (Matt Sayles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Kelly Osbourne

    TV personality Kelly Osbourne was striking in black. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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