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Emmy celebrations under way with multiple parties

Actress Julie Bowen arrives at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception at the Pacific Design Center on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)Actress Julie Bowen arrives at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception at the Pacific Design Center on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Even the Emmy host needs to blow off some steam before the big show.

Neil Patrick Harris sipped a cocktail and bantered with friends at Entertainment Weekly's pre-Emmy party, one of several events in Tinseltown on Friday celebrating Emmy nominees. The sophomore Emmy host made an early exit from the gathering at Fig & Olive, which drew scores of stars and a small group of fans who were forced to stand across the street and crane for a celebrity sighting.

From left, actors Dan Bucatinsky and Matt LeBlanc arrive at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception at the Pacific Design Center on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)From left, actors Dan Bucatinsky and Matt LeBlanc arrive at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception at the Pacific Design Center on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

Kristen Chenoweth, Kaley Cuoco, Amber Riley, Aasif Mandvi, Jason Mraz and Ashlee Simpson were among the party guests, along with Raquel Welch, who held court at the back of the restaurant in a form-fitting leopard-print dress and gold stiletto cage sandals.

Actress Anna Gunn arrives at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception at the Pacific Design Center on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)Actress Anna Gunn arrives at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception at the Pacific Design Center on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

Just around the corner, the TV academy held its annual reception for nominated performers at the Pacific Design Center. A ballroom became a quirky library setting, with books and old knick-knacks dotting antique bookshelves. A full dinner spread of steak, salmon and an array of salads covered two large buffet tables inside, and there was more food outside on the heated patio.

Actress Michelle Dockery arrives at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception at the Pacific Design Center on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)Actress Michelle Dockery arrives at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception at the Pacific Design Center on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

The patio also held a small stage, where the nominees accepted certificates and posed for a group photo. Some actors used the opportunity to geek out on their favorite stars. As soon as Michelle Dockery of "Downton Abbey" came up, Anna Chlumsky leaned in and introduced herself, saying, "I'm a big, big fan of yours."

Actress Raquel Welch arrives at the 2013 Entertainment Weekly Pre-Emmy Party at Fig & Olive on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)Actress Raquel Welch arrives at the 2013 Entertainment Weekly Pre-Emmy Party at Fig & Olive on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP)

Lily Tomlin, who helps lead the acting branch of the TV academy, praised her colleagues on stage.

"I'm so awed to look at you guys," she said. "You have such great hair and everything else."

Alfre Woodard, Scott Baklula, Elizabeth Moss and "Modern Family" stars Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen were among the night's party-hoppers (show sponsor Audi provided car service to make it easier). Women in Film also held a nominees' gathering, while "Mad Men" had its own affair at Chateau Marmont.

Actress Morena Baccarin arrives at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception at the Pacific Design Center on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)Actress Morena Baccarin arrives at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Performers Nominee Reception at the Pacific Design Center on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

The Emmy Awards will be presented Sunday at Los Angeles' Nokia Theater and broadcast on CBS.

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy.