Mary Connelly, center, accepts the award for outstanding entertainment talk show for "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Mary Connelly, center, accepts the award for outstanding entertainment talk show for "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Sara Gilbert, from left, Sharon Osbourne and Aisha Tyler, winners of the award for outstanding entertainment talk show for "The Talk," pose in the press room at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Sara Gilbert, from left, Sharon Osbourne and Aisha Tyler, winners of the award for outstanding entertainment talk show for "The Talk," pose in the press room at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Natali Monterrosa, from left, Alejandra Gutierrez Oraa, and Eduardo Suarez accept the award for outstanding entertainment program in Spanish language program for "Destinos" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Natali Monterrosa, from left, Alejandra Gutierrez Oraa, and Eduardo Suarez accept the award for outstanding entertainment program in Spanish language program for "Destinos" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Christopher Dunn, from left, Jeff Beldner, and Michael Montgomery accept the award for outstanding drama series writing team for "The Young and the Restless" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Christopher Dunn, from left, Jeff Beldner, and Michael Montgomery accept the award for outstanding drama series writing team for "The Young and the Restless" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
The cast and crew accept the award for outstanding informative talk show for "The Dr. Oz Show" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in California. Picture:  Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
The cast and crew accept the award for outstanding informative talk show for "The Dr. Oz Show" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in California. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
The cast and crew of "General Hospital" pose in the press room with the award for outstanding drama series at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
The cast and crew of "General Hospital" pose in the press room with the award for outstanding drama series at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Tamar Braxton, left, and Toni Braxton arrive at the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center on Sunday, April 30, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Tamar Braxton, left, and Toni Braxton arrive at the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center on Sunday, April 30, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Daphne Oz, left, jokingly steals the award for outstanding informative talk show for "The Dr. Oz Show" from her father, Dr. Mehmet Oz, right, at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Daphne Oz, left, jokingly steals the award for outstanding informative talk show for "The Dr. Oz Show" from her father, Dr. Mehmet Oz, right, at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Dr. Mehmet Oz reacts to winning the award for outstanding informative talk show for "The Dr. Oz Show". Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Dr. Mehmet Oz reacts to winning the award for outstanding informative talk show for "The Dr. Oz Show". Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Frank Valentini, left, and Donnell Turner, winners of the award for outstanding drama series for "General Hospital", pose in the press room at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Frank Valentini, left, and Donnell Turner, winners of the award for outstanding drama series for "General Hospital", pose in the press room at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Hosts Sheryl Underwood, left, and Mario Lopez appear at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Hosts Sheryl Underwood, left, and Mario Lopez appear at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Frank Valentini, third from left, and the cast and crew of "General Hospital" react as they accept the award for outstanding drama series. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Frank Valentini, third from left, and the cast and crew of "General Hospital" react as they accept the award for outstanding drama series. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Academy chairman Chuck Dages speaks on stage at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Pasadena, California. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Academy chairman Chuck Dages speaks on stage at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Pasadena, California. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Nancy O'Dell, left, and Kevin Frazier, winners of the award for outstanding entertainment news program for "Entertainment Tonight," pose in the press room at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Nancy O'Dell, left, and Kevin Frazier, winners of the award for outstanding entertainment news program for "Entertainment Tonight," pose in the press room at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Gladys Knight presents the award for outstanding drama series at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Gladys Knight presents the award for outstanding drama series at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Scott Clifton accepts the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for "The Bold and the Beautiful" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Scott Clifton accepts the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for "The Bold and the Beautiful" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Gina Tognoni accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for "The Young and the Restless" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Gina Tognoni accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for "The Young and the Restless" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Blair Underwood, left, and Sherri Shepherd walk out on stage at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Blair Underwood, left, and Sherri Shepherd walk out on stage at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Jane Pauley, left, presents the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series to winner Scott Clifton for "The Bold and the Beautiful" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Jane Pauley, left, presents the award for outstanding lead actor in a drama series to winner Scott Clifton for "The Bold and the Beautiful" at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Los Angeles — "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" won the Daytime Emmy Award for best entertainment talk show Sunday, 20 years to the day that her character came out as gay on the sitcom "Ellen."

"She did it because it was the right thing to do," said Mary Connelly, "Ellen" executive producer, of DeGeneres' decision to be open about her sexuality and do the same for her character in 1997. DeGeneres was absent and Connelly accepted the award.

"General Hospital" was honored as best daytime drama, with top acting awards going to Scott Clifton for "The Bold and the Beautiful" and Gina Tognoni for "The Young and the Restless."

Clifton became the first actor to receive Daytime Emmys in the categories of best younger, supporting and lead actor in his career.

Steve Harvey skipped the ceremony but was a double winner. He was named best game show host for "Family Feud" and best host of an informative talk show for "Steve Harvey."

"Good Morning America" won the best morning program trophy, while "The Dr. Oz Show" claimed the best informative talk show award. "Jeopardy!" was honored as best game show.

Sheryl Underwood, host with Mario Lopez of the live-streamed ceremony, also accepted the best entertainment talk show host award with fellow "The Talk" hosts including Sara Gilbert.

"Entertainment Tonight" was named best entertainment news program, and former "ET" anchor Mary Hart accepted a lifetime achievement award. Hart recounted the skepticism that greeted "ET" in the early 1980s when it launched TV's now-flourishing Hollywood news magazine genre.

"We are not fluff," she recalled saying at the time. "Had I known what was coming, I would have said, 'We are not fake news.'"

Hart also asked that people, whether on college campuses or in government, make an effort to listen to other points of view. Gaby Natale, who was honored as best talent in a Spanish-language program for "SuperLatina with Gaby Natale," issued her own plea.

She dedicated her award to the "people who are resisting inequality, misogyny, xenophobia and the rise of intolerance. Do not allow anyone to tell you otherwise: diversity is beautiful."

The ceremony was held as negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and producers attempted to reach a deal on a new contract and avert a strike that could disrupt daytime and prime-time TV shows and movie production. The existing contract expires Monday night.

Associated Press