'Modern Family,' 'Mad Men' Take Top Emmy Honors
ABC freshman sitcom snags best comedy Emmy, displacing '30 Rock;' 'Mad Men' wins third consecutive drama Emmy
By Marisa Guthrie -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/29/2010 8:42:38 PMEmmys 2010: Complete Coverage from B&C
It was Modern Family's night at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards. And the freshman show's raft of awards -- as well as some token Emmy gold for Fox's Glee and CBS' The Big Bang Theory and The Good Wife -- was enough to give broadcast television an awards season shot in the arm.
Modern Family won the Emmy for outstanding comedy series, displacing oft winner 30 Rock. The ABC comedy also took home Emmys for supporting actor for Eric Stonestreet and writing for series co-creators and executive producers Steve Levitan and Chris Lloyd.
Accepting the Emmy for outstanding comedy series, Levitan noted, "We're thankful that families are sitting down together to watch a television show. And we're so thankful that you are letting us into your families."
AMC's Mad Men won its third consecutive drama series Emmy beating out HBO's True Blood, Showtime's Dexter, CBS' The Good Wife, ABC's Lost and AMC's Breaking Bad.
In a succinct speech, series creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner thanked his cast and crew adding, "We're now in our fourth season. I didn't even think we'd get through half of one."
In fact, cable swept the top drama awards. Kyra Sedgwick took home the Emmy for lead actress in a drama for TNT's The Closer. She beat out Friday Night Light's Connie Britton, Damage's Glenn Close, Law & Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay, Mad Men's January Jones and The Good Wife's Julianna Margulies.
Bryan Cranston won his third consecutive lead actor Emmy for his work in AMC's Breaking Bad.
Cranston, who plays a chemistry teacher-cum-meth dealer, delivered a humble acceptance speech, saying his fellow nominees including Mad Men's Jon Hamm, Friday Night Lights' Kyle Chandler, Lost's Matthew Fox, Dexter's Michael C. Hall and House's Hugh Laurie, were "robbed."
"You're only as good as the company you keep," said Cranston. "And I am honored to be in your company."
Cranston's co-star Aaron Paul won his first Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series. Paul, who was nominated last year, thanked series creator Vince Gilligan, his mom and Cranston.
"To work with you every single day is a dream," Paul told Cranston.
But Archie Panjabi continued broadcast's winning streak, taking home the Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a drama for CBS' The Good Wife.
"This is amazing for my career," said Panjabi. "Thank you so much."
And Jim Parsons snagged the Emmy for outstanding actor in a comedy series for his role as uber-geek Sheldon Cooper on CBS' The Big Bang Theory.
Parsons thanked his cast mates, who he praised as "so talented and so darn hard working."
He also thanked series creator Chuck Lorre and the show's writers "for stories that are so worth working on."
"I feel so lucky to be working at all," said Parsons. "But to get to be working on this character is really beyond fortunate."
And although Modern Family's Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara also were nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy, that Emmy went to favorite Jane Lynch, who plays the acerbic scene-stealer Sue Sylvester in Fox's Glee.
Lynch thanked her wife Lara Embry and their daughter Hayden. She also thanked Glee "lord and creator" Ryan Murphy and acknowledged that acting is the only thing she ever wanted to do. "I'm an actor," she said. "We have no other choice -- or skills."
Glee series creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy won for best direction in a comedy. Murphy dedicated the award to arts education in general and his art teachers in particular who taught him to "sing and finger paint."
Edie Falco, the former Sopranos star who has a shelf of awards for her dramatic work, was the lone cable winner in the comedy category, taking home the Emmy for outstanding actress for her eponymous role in Showtime's Nurse Jackie. But she wryly noted in her acceptance speech: "I'm not funny!"
And Bravo's Top Chef finally broke The Amazing Race's stranglehold on the reality competition series category. The CBS series had won the award all seven years it's been handed out.
Backstage after Top Chef's win, co-host Padma Lakshmi noted that she threw down the gauntlet for her Amazing Race competitors.
"I was really mean to the host of Amazing Race on the red carpet," said Lakshmi. "I hit him with my purse twice. I said, Ã¢â‚¬ËœI'm gonna take you down!' And guess what, I was right!"
Conversely, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart again took home the Emmy for outstanding comedy/variety series, the show's eighth consecutive win. Daily Show executive producer Roy Albanese said that although the show had monopolized the category, "It's tough to feel bad. We work really hard. It is."
As usual, HBO swept the movie and miniseries categories. Temple Grandin took home the Emmy for made-for-TV-movie while Claire Danes, David Strathairn and Julia Ormond took home acting awards. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg's ten-part World War II miniseries The Pacific won the outstanding miniseries award beating out PBS' Return to Cranford. And Al Pacino took home the Emmy for lead actor in a miniseries or movie for his portrayal of controversial physician Jack Kevorkian in HBO's You Don't Know Jack.
Pacino mused about getting "inside [Kevorkian's] head" in the process of making the film. Kevorkian was in attendance at the Nokia Theater and Pacino noted that it was "an honor getting to know him." Kevorkian stood up to take a bow.
George Clooney accepted the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award -- and he took a swipe at the media's penchant for sensationalism in his acceptance speech.
"It's important to remember how much good can get done because the bad behavior sucks up so much of the attention and the press," he said.
Clooney, whose aunt Rosemary Clooney was a friend of Bob and Delores Hope, observed that it's easy to help when a crisis is fresh. "The hard part is seven month later when we're on to a new story," he said, "And quite frankly we fail at that. I fail at that."
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