"Breaking Bad," AMC's unlikely tale of a teacher-turned-drug
kingpin Walter White, won the night's biggest honor, the Emmy
for best drama series, for the second year in a row while lead
Bryan Cranston took best drama actor for the fourth time in that
It was a nostalgic vote of sorts for the series after it ended
on the fifth season with widespread acclaim and devoted
binge-watching fans. It held off the ballyhooed HBO anthology,
"True Detective," the bayou thriller starring Oscar winner
Matthew McConaughey and fellow film star Woody Harrelson, who
"Thank you so much for this wonderful farewell to our show,"
said "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan, who also celebrated
Emmy wins in best supporting actor and actress categories for
Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn.
"This is indeed a wonderful time to be working in television,"
Gilligan added. "I think you all know that."
"Modern Family," ABC's light-hearted take on contemporary family
dynamics, won its fifth consecutive Emmy for best comedy series,
leaving Netflix Inc's dark jailhouse comedy "Orange Is the New
Black" as one of the big losers of the night.
The 66th annual Primetime Emmys took a somber turn toward the
end to remember Robin Williams, the versatile actor and comedian
who died two weeks ago in an apparent suicide at the age of 63.
With a lump in his throat and a tremble in his voice, actor
Billy Crystal remembered the madcap performer as "the brightest
star in a comedy galaxy" and concluded: "Robin Williams - what a
BROADCASTERS DEFY PREDICTIONS
There were plenty of laughs in television's biggest night, from
Julia Louis-Dreyfus passionately locking lips with "Seinfeld"
guest star Cranston to Melissa McCarthy asking if her car would
When asked about the prolonged smooch later, Cranston quipped:
"I think it's not a question of 'why?,' more a question of 'why
First-time Emmys host, comedian Seth Meyers, took early pokes at
the stalwart broadcasters facing edgy competition from Netflix,
the first outlet to win acclaim for original content streamed
online with political thriller "House of Cards."
But this year's Emmys, handed out by the Academy of Television
Arts and Sciences, signaled that there was still plenty of love
for the likes of ABC and CBS, particularly in the realm of
ABC's "Modern Family" made history by tying 1990s NBC sitcom
"Frasier" for the most comedy victories.
"'Modern Family' has been a big, beautiful dream for the last
five years and we thank you for not waking us up," said series
co-creator Steven Levitan.
[to top of second column]
Although the big broadcasters did not have a horse in the race for
best drama, Julianna Margulies won best drama actress for her role
as lawyer Alicia Florrick in CBS's "The Good Wife."
"I feel like this is the golden age of television, but it's also the
time for women in television," said Margulies. "I feel very grateful
to be here."
Jim Parsons won his fourth lead acting Emmy for playing the pedantic
nerd Sheldon in the CBS comedy "The Big Bang Theory," and
Louis-Dreyfus won her third consecutive Emmy for her role as the
foul-mouthed, gaffe-prone U.S. Vice President Selina Meyer on HBO's
political satire "Veep."
"I love the idea of being powerful and powerless at the same time,
it mirrors Hollywood in some ways," said Louis-Dreyfus of her Selina
In other comedy awards, comedian Louis C.K. won his second writing
award for his FX show "Louie," and Stephen Colbert's Comedy Central
fake news show "The Colbert Report" won the Emmy for best variety
program for the second consecutive year.
The miniseries "Fargo," based on the cult film from the Coen
brothers, gave FX Networks its first Emmy for a program, but actors
from the critically acclaimed miniseries lost out on awards despite
being heavy favorites, especially lead actor Billy Bob Thornton.
HBO's "The Normal Heart" earned best TV movie honors for its
depiction of the early fight against AIDS.
The premium cable outlet HBO, owned by Time Warner Inc, scored more
Emmys than any other network with 19 wins out of its 99 nominations.
But it failed to win big in top-line categories and its fan
favorite, the medieval fantasy "Game of Thrones," lost out again in
the drama race.
One of the big surprises of the night was "Sherlock: His Last Vow,"
which won a total of seven Emmys for the U.S. public broadcaster
PBS, more than any other show.
For the first time in some 40 years, the Emmys were moved up from
their usual Sunday night spot in September so as not to conflict
with NBC's ratings-powerhouse "Sunday Night Football" and MTV's
Video Music Awards.
(Additional reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy and Lisa Richwine; Editing
by Ken Wills)
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