The 1950s drama Mad Men and a 21st century comedy, Modern Family, won the top drama and comedy prizes at the Emmy Awards. “I did not think that was going to happen,” Mad Men’s creator Matthew Weiner said, accepting the best drama series trophy.
Mad Men has gone 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.
If to speak about “Modern Family,” along with its best comedy win, the ABC 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.
“Welcome back to the ‘Modern Family’ awards!” Emmy ceremony host Jane Lynch quipped early in the evening.
Backstage, the show’s co-creator, Steven Levitan, said the sweep was “a little surreal.”
Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, who play a lovable husband and wife on “Modern Family,” won the awards for best supporting actor and actress. Michael Alan Spiller won a directing award. Steven Levitan and Jeffrey Richman, two of the top writers on the series, won for an episode called “Caught in the Act.”
In the best comedy category, “Modern Family” managed to beat out a prior three-time winner, NBC’s “30 Rock,” and a perceived runner-up last year, “Glee.”
Accepting the writing award early in the evening, Jeffrey Richman delivered a thank-you message to “our brilliant cast and crew for your dedication, your genius and your kindness.”
Meanwhile, oscar-winning actor Kate Winslet won her first Emmy, for her lead role in the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce.
“I didn’t think we were going to win anything!” Winslet said.
The little-seen but admired by critics 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.
Jim Parsons was a rare repeat winner for 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 told reporters backstage.
Julianna Margulies, star of “The Good Wife” on CBS, won the race for best dramatic actress.
Melissa McCarthy won lead comedy actress at her first shot for the CBS romantic comedy “Mike & Molly,” in which she plays an overweight teacher.
Fox musical comedy Glee – one of the most talked about shows of the last two years – won just two Emmys, both in creative arts categories.
And HBO’s lavish Boardwalk Empire won seven of its eight total Emmys in last week’s technical awards section. Its only win on Sunday night went to director Martin Scorsese.
American Idol – the most-watched show on US television for the past seven years – was left empty-handed again in the reality competition show race, which was won by long-running Emmy favourite The Amazing Race.