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McDreamy no McSmoothy at Emmys

Dempsey steps on dresses, while Jennifer Love Hewitt tries to stay cool
Patrick Dempsey, a star in the drama series \"Grey's Anatomy,\" and his wife Jill Fink, arrive for the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Dempsey will be a presenter during the show.Laura Rauch / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey drew the biggest cheers from fans watching prime-time stars arrive for the Emmys.

Known as “Dr. McDreamy,” Dempsey took a moment to jump the ropes and sign a few autographs for fans sitting in the bleachers along the red carpet.

But Dempsey wasn’t all Mr. McSmoothy: At one point he stepped on the dress of a woman standing nearby. After apologizing, he told reporters, “These are the things that matter in life — not stepping on a woman’s dress.”

Good luck charm

Barry Manilow’s pre-surgery routine included picking up an Emmy Sunday night. Monday he’s having hip surgery.

“This goes into the operating room with me tomorrow morning as a good-luck charm,” Manilow said as he hoisted the trophy for outstanding individual performance in a variety or music program.

Manilow, 60, had to cancel performances at the Las Vegas Hilton because of the painful cartilage tears in both hips.

But he was able to perform “Bandstand Boogie” for the Emmy audience.

Manilow’s recovery and rehabilitation is expected to take about eight weeks.

Remembering dadIt was an emotional moment for Jeremy Piven backstage at the Emmy Awards.

A winner for his role in “Entourage,” he remembered his father, who passed away in 2002.

“He is here, and he’s very proud,” Piven said, wiping away tears.

Piven recalled host Conan O’Brien’s joke during the show about parents of people in show business not being nurturing.

“I’m living proof that you can have supportive parents and be dysfunctional and still contribute to acting,” Piven said.

Stars joke about cancelled showsEmmy night tasted bitter and sweet for stars of shows that either ended or were canceled last season.

“It’s like, ‘Oh, we’re nominated. Oh, we’re canceled,”’ said “Arrested Development” co-star Tony Hale.

It was a bit easier for Jane Kaczmarek, who said all the actors who played her sons on “Malcolm in the Middle” had grown up. Her husband, Bradley Whitford, said it was also the right timing for “The West Wing.”

“In both our cases, it was time to say goodbye,” Whitford said.

For Lisa Kudrow, her series “The Comeback” was canceled almost a year ago.

“We had a year to recover,” she said. “We feel great.”

“Huff” actress Blythe Danner, who won supporting actress in a drama, said she did not expect to win because the show was canceled.

“I’m absolutely floored,” Danner said. “It’s a very nice way to say goodbye.”

Keeping cool on the red carpetWith a fiery late-August sun bearing down on the red carpet, stars gathering for the Emmy Awards had to be creative to keep cool.

Jennifer Love Hewitt’s publicist held a mini-fan for the actress to use during media interviews.

“There’s nothing you can do,” said Hewitt, shrugging in a heavily beaded, silver gown.

Steve Carell of “The Office” dabbed sweat from his forehead with a handkerchief.

“It’s hotter than chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven,” Carell said.

For Tyra Banks, in a long Georges Chakra gown, staying cool was impossible.

“Underneath this dress, I’m dripping,” Banks said. “Not cute, believe me.”

Isaiah Washington of “Grey’s Anatomy” said sweating was inevitable.

“You just got to make it look good,” he said.

“Grey’s Anatomy” co-star Chandra Wilson dressed for the weather: Her dress featured a long side slit.

“I have some air vents,” she joked.

New nomination system baffles starsThe Emmy red carpet was abuzz with talk of the revamped nomination process that had some categories being selected by special panels.

“I heard there was a change in the system but it worked out,” said a grinning “Scrubs” star Sarah Chalke, whose show was nominated for best comedy.

“I’m blissfully ignorant about the whole thing,” said Kyra Sedgwick of “The Closer,” who was nominated for best actress in a drama. “I’m just glad to be invited to the party.”

“My Name is Earl” co-star Jaime Pressly said the cast and crew were upset the show was not nominated for best comedy series, but took comfort with its five nominations in other categories.

“That’s a huge honor. It’s very rare for a first-season show to be nominated five times,” Pressly said.