LOS ANGELES (Sept. 9) - With a dash of charity and some posthumous help from Elvis Presley, smash hit "American Idol" clinched its first Emmy in six years on Saturday to avoid becoming the biggest loser in the history of U.S. television's highest honors.
The amateur singing contest that ranks as America's most watched TV series won its prize for outstanding technical direction for a $76 million benefit special in which producers created the illusion of Elvis performing a duet with Celine Dion.
The "Idol" win came during the four-hour presentation of the 59th annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards, mostly honoring achievements in categories like makeup, costumes, sound editing and art direction.
The ceremony, which will air next week on cable TV, serves as a prelude to the higher-profile Primetime Emmy Awards on September 16.
Fox, which will broadcast the Primetime Emmys, is the home network of "American Idol." The program had amassed 22 Emmy losses, without a single win, during the course of its hugely popular but award-starved six-season run.
That put "Idol" four losses away from surpassing the sitcom "Newhart" as the show that had collected the most Emmy nominations -- 25 -- without winning. The victory for technical direction, camera work and video on a TV special spared "Idol" the distinction of setting a new Emmy-losing record.
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