Most television producers don't have famous faces or household names, but without them, TV shows wouldn't exist.
That's why it's the producers who typically accept the Emmy Award for outstanding drama or comedy series, and why the producers of this year's Emmy-nominated shows were honored Monday by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
"They basically do everything," said "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm, who was on hand to honor show creator Matthew Weiner and his team of producers at the academy's annual Producers Peer Group soiree. "They make sure the studio and the network are happy; they make sure all the department heads are happy; they make sure that everyone gets paid and they make sure that everybody shows up on time. ... Literally, without them, nothing would get done."
Weiner, who has won six Emmys for writing and producing "Mad Men," said producers shepherd the show along and are responsible for "wrangling all the creative people."
"If you like the product, they're as responsible as anyone else," he said.
As "30 Rock" star Keith Powell put it, "The producers' job is being all things to all people at all times." Powell presented a certificate to David Miner, a double nominee this year for producing comedy series nominees "30 Rock" and "Parks and Recreation."
Besides "Mad Men" (winner of the best drama Emmy for the past three years), other drama series nominees recognized at the event at the SLS Hotel were "Boardwalk Empire," "Dexter," "Friday Night Lights," "Game of Thrones" and "The Good Wife."
In the comedy category, besides "30 Rock" and "Parks and Recreation," other nominees honored Monday were "Big Bang Theory," "Modern Family," "The Office" and "Glee."
TV academy chairman John Shaffner thanked the crowd for being "the creative people who keep the rest of us employed" and "Glee" producer Dante Di Loreto "for sharing Jane Lynch to host the event."
"She's going to be absolutely wonderful!" Shaffner said.
Lynch, a first-time Emmy host, plays mean-spirited Sue Sylvester on "Glee" and is nominated for an Emmy this year for supporting actress in a comedy series — the category she won last year.
The Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented Sunday at the Nokia Theatre and broadcast live on Fox.
Sandy Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APSandy .