By Scott Collins, Los Angeles Times –
LOS ANGELES — Charlie Harper is worth more dead than alive — at least to Emmy voters.
Kathy Bates, who did a guest role as the cigar-smoking ghost of the former lead character of the hit CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” won TV’s most-coveted statuette at Saturday’s Creative Arts Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Harper, the irrepressible playboy once at the center of the show, was played by Charlie Sheen, who exited in 2011 after a long string of personal troubles and an acrimonious dispute with producers.
The Creative Arts ceremony is a precursor to the Primetime Emmys, which will be telecast on ABC on Sept. 23. Certain acting prizes are bestowed at the Creative Arts awards along with nods in technical achievements such as makeup, casting and editing.
On Saturday, the most-lauded network was HBO, which took home 17 awards, followed by CBS (13). HBO’s “Game of Thrones” was the most-decorated, with six prizes including for makeup, visual effects and costumes. “Thrones” is also up for multiple awards Sept. 23, including the drama prize.
Somewhat surprisingly, PBS’ “Downton Abbey” picked up only two prizes Saturday, for music and hairstyling. History’s “Hatfields & McCoys” miniseries starring Kevin Costner also earned a double nod, including for sound mixing.
With her guest-star victory, Bates succeeded where Sheen — who now stars on the FX sitcom “Anger Management” — could not. Although nominated four times for the role, Sheen never got an Emmy for it. The 2011-12 season began with Harper’s funeral, and Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher, who plays a lovelorn Internet tycoon.
“My thanks & respect to the inimitable Charlie Sheen without whom this recognition simply would not have been possible,” Bates wrote on Twitter. The actress is also up for an acting Emmy on Sept. 23 for her since-canceled NBC crime drama, “Harry’s Law.” She had never won an Emmy previously despite multiple nods.