Rookie comedy Modern Family has ended 30 Rock’s winning streak, collecting the Emmy for outstanding TV comedy series.
Mad Men, meanwhile, marked its third consecutive win in the best TV drama series category. “We can’t believe we are here. We want to thank the (Television) Academy for recognising us again,” said the show’s creator Matthew Weiner.
The 62nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards, held in Los Angeles, took on a fresh look today as a slew of new shows dominated the television industry’s highest honours. Seven of the eight major acting awards went to either newcomers or different stars than last year. Jim Parsons, the geeky physicist on The Big Bang Theory, was named the best comedy actor, ending the two-year Emmy reign of 30 Rock’s Alec Baldwin.
Edie Falco took home her first comedy actress Emmy for Nurse Jackie, beating Australian actress Toni Collette. Kyra Sedgwick won her first Emmy after five tries for playing a tough police detective in drama series The Closer. “You think you don’t have a chance in hell of winning after five times … I’m beyond my wildest dreams,” Sedgwick said after accepting her award. Even the reality competition slot had a new champion, with Top Chef ending the six-year reign of The Amazing Race. Bryan Cranston bucked the trend, managing to make it three wins in a row for best drama actor for his turn as a teacher-turned-drug dealer in Breaking Bad. “I feel gluttonous. It’s more than I can take in,” Cranston said backstage. Cranston’s Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul collected the best supporting actor in a drama Emmy.
Ryan Murphy, creator of musical comedy Glee, won his first Emmy for directing the series about a struggling high school choir, while Jane Lynch took home the trophy for her best supporting actress role as the scheming Sue Sylvester. “Glee is about the importance of arts education so I would like to dedicate this to all my teachers who taught me to sing and finger paint,” Murphy said on stage. Eric Stonestreet, who plays one of the gay uncles in Modern Family, won the best supporting comedy actor award.
The sweeping World War II HBO miniseries The Pacific, which was shot in Australia, won eight Emmys.
HBO biopic Temple Grandin collected seven Emmys, including a best actress award for Claire Danes, while Al Pacino won an Emmy for playing controversial assisted suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian in the telemovie You Don’t Know Jack. The ceremony was hosted by late night comedian Jimmy Fallon.
George Clooney on Sunday added another trophy to his Oscar, two Golden Globes and slew of movie critics awards – but this one had nothing to do with acting. Clooney was presented with the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the Primetime Emmy Awards for his work to raise awareness of the crisis in Darfur, and fund-raising efforts for causes ranging from Hurricane Katrina to the Haiti earthquake and the victims of the September 11 2001 attacks on New York and Washington DC. “It’s important to remember how much good can get done because we live in such strange times where bad behavior sucks up all of the attention and the press,” Clooney said as he accepted the award. The actor said he hoped there were others who could step in and “help find a way to keep the spotlight burning on these heart-breaking situations that continue to be heartbreaking long after the cameras go away.” Television Academy chairman John Shaffner said Clooney, 49, was “an obvious choice” for the humanitarian award because he had “understood and harnessed the power of television…to reach into the hearts of people around the world.”