The Primetime Emmy Awards were full of cast reunions to celebrate 75 years of TV history, including Grey’s Anatomy, The Sopranos, and Cheers.
Ellen Pompeo, who led Grey’s Anatomy for nearly two decades, appeared on stage alongside Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson, Katherine Heigl and James Pickens Jr marking the show becoming the “longest-running primetime medical drama in TV history”.
The ceremony also featured a segment honouring Cheers, with appearances from Ted Danson, Kelsey Grammer, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger and George Wendt, who starred together on the much-loved US sitcom in the 1980’s.
The Sopranos stars Lorraine Bracco and Michael Imperioli also appeared on-stage, paying tribute to late co-star James Gandolfini to mark 25 years of the show.
“Speaking for Michael and myself and the entire cast and crew, it was an honour working with Sopranos creator David Chase and, of course, the great James Gandolfini,” Bracco said.
During the Grey’s Anatomy reunion, Pompeo said: “When the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy aired in March 2005, I’m not sure Shonda Rhimes knew that she had created a show that would have a lasting imprint on television and create lifelong friendships.”
It came after Heigl, who left the show in 2010, said during a pre-Emmys interview with People that she had not seen her former cast mates for a long time.
“It is this sort of odd, nostalgic walk down memory lane, I mean I haven’t seen Shonda (Rhimes) in 15 years…I haven’t seen Justin in maybe 10 (years), I did just see Ell (Pompeo) a year ago or so, but we don’t get to see each other much,” she said.
“These are people that mean a lot to me, meant a lot to me, what was it like seven years of the 24 to 31, those are pretty intense years of womanhood and they were with them – I miss them so it’s really nice to be here.”
The cast of Cheers, who were presenting the Emmy for outstanding directing in a comedy series, also appeared onstage standing around a replica of the show’s set at the titular bar.
Danson, who was stood behind the bar in a nod to his bar owner character Sam Malone on the show, said to host Anthony Anderson: “Anthony, thank you for getting us all here. Ah, this feels so nice to be here in front of all of you, thank you.”
While Ratzenberger, who played Cliff Clavin, said: “Ted, don’t you just think about it as a long overdue class reunion, huh? Being together brings back some great memories from show we’re all very proud of.”
Comedian Anderson opened the 75th Emmy Awards with a nod to a handful of classic TV shows, including Good Times and The Facts Of Life, while Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker appeared on stage to honour Miami Vice.
The ceremony also saw Saturday Night Live duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler return to their Weekend Update desk, to present the Emmy for outstanding variety special live – which went to Sir Elton John.
While It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia stars Rob McElhenney, his wife Kaitlin Olson, Danny DeVito, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton also took to the stage presenting a funny skit about the show never being nominated for an Emmy in it’s 16-series run.
Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers, who played married couple Michael and Gloria on sitcom All In The Family, also reunited on-stage on a set decorated like the Bunker family home to introduce the memoriam segment of the evening.
Paying tribute to the series’ late TV producer Norman Lear, Reiner said: “Sally and I were part of a unique television family, not just the Bunkers, but Norman Lear’s extended family.
“Over the decades, Norman brought us together and he created groundbreaking television shows that depicted real people who made us laugh, made us think, made us feel … he wound up changing American culture.”
The ceremony also saw Ally McBeal cast mates Greg Germann, Calista Flockhart, Gil Bellows and Peter MacNicol recreate the bathroom dance from the much-loved series – more than 26 years after the show’s debut.
The cast of Martin also reunited during the awards ceremony, alongside Two-And-A-Half men stars Jon Cryer and Holland Taylor.
While Natasha Lyonne and Tracee Ellis Ross paid tribute to I Love Lucy by recreating the chocolate conveyor scene in a black and white sketch.