In with the new at the Primetime Emmy Awards


Staff member
Mad Men and Modern Family won television's top drama and comedy prizes again on Sunday but elsewhere it was out with the old and in with the new at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

On a night of surprises that brought a slew of newcomers to the Emmy podium, Mad Men won best drama series for a fourth straight year but the waiting got tense as the 1960s advertising drama lost out in all the acting, writing and directing races.

"I did not think that was going to happen," creator Matthew Weiner said, accepting the best drama series trophy. Mad Men went home with just two Emmys — including one from last week's creative arts ceremony — even though it came into the awards show with 19 nominations.

"We were shut out, but then we also won this [best drama] award so it balances out. To me this is the prize that says people love what we are doing," Weiner said backstage.

The story was different for Modern Family. Along with its best comedy win, the mockumentary about three assorted couples and their children brought first-time wins for Julie Bowen and her screen husband Ty Burrell in the supporting acting slots, and Emmys for directing and writing.

Creator Steve Levitan called the wins "an embarrassment of riches" while actor Ed O'Neill said "it was better than the first time. To repeat is difficult. I am relieved".

"Welcome back to the Modern Family awards!" ceremony host Jane Lynch quipped early in the evening.

Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet won her first Emmy for her lead role in the miniseries Mildred Pierce. But the British period show Downton Abbey was the miniseries winner, giving it a total of six Emmys overall.

"I didn't think we were going to win anything!" Winslet said.

  • Emmy rookie Peter Dinklage won for his turn as the clever but rude Tyrion in the popular medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones, while Margo Martindale was an emotional first-time winner for her supporting actress role in the drama Justified, which came to the veteran actress after more than 20 years in the business.

  • Julianna Margulies, star of The Good Wife, won the race for best dramatic actress.

  • Jim Parsons was a rare repeat winner for the comedy The Big Bang Theory in a category that most pundits had thought would finally go to departing The Office star Steve Carell. "I am really flabbergasted. I am more shocked this year," Parsons said backstage.

  • The little-seen but critically admired football drama Friday Night Lights won for best writing and its star Kyle Chandler beat favourites Jon Hamm and Steve Buscemi for best dramatic actor.