LOS ANGELES - The darkly intimate 1960s-era drama "Mad Men" and the comedy romp "Modern Family" were the top honorees at Sunday's Emmy Awards as American life past and present proved a winning formula.
“To our fans, we are so grateful, we are so thrilled that families are sitting down together to watch a television show, and we’re so happy that you have let us into your families,” said Steven Levitan, “Modern Family” executive producer.
The best comedy series award was the first for the freshman sitcom, which also captured an acting award for Eric Stonestreet and a best writing trophy.
The best drama series award for “Mad Men” was its third consecutive one. Series creator Matthew Weiner seemed to take the night in stride.
“I knew one day I would run somewhere and win a trophy,” Weiner joked earlier in the ceremony when he dashed to the stage to claim the Emmy for best drama series writing with Erin Levy.
“Glee,” the musical-comedy that started the night as the most-nominated series, earned an acting trophy for Jane Lynch and a directing award for creator Ryan Murphy.
Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of a meth dealer in “Breaking Bad” and Kyra Sedgwick’s role as a brassy deputy police chief in “The Closer” earned the pair top drama series acting awards.
Cranston’s honor was his third trophy for playing a high school math teacher gone wrong, while his co-star, Aaron Paul, earned his first award as best supporting actor for playing his partner-in-crime.
“During the time it took me to walk up here, I venture there were 200 text messages to the other nominees saying, ‘You were robbed.’ I cannot argue with that,” Cranston said.
Archie Panjabi of “The Good Wife” was honored as best supporting actress in a drama for her part as a lawfirm’s in-house private investigator, as Emmy voters spread the riches widely among veterans and fresh faces.
Edie Falco of “Nurse Jackie” and Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory” were honored for their comedy series lead roles.
Falco’s trophy for playing a tough but troubled nurse came after her hallmark turn as a mob boss’ wife in “The Sopranos,” for which she won three best drama actress Emmys.
“Oh, this is the most ridiculous thing that has ever, ever happened in the history of this lovely awards show. I’m not funny!” Falco said.
Parsons won for his portrayal of a scientist as nerdy as he is brilliant. He ended fellow nominee Alec Baldwin’s two-year winning streak for “30 Rock” and beat out other heavyweights including Tony Shalhoub, nominated for the final season of “Monk” and a three-time winner, and Steve Carell of “The Office.”
“Now I know how much I didn’t think this was going to happen. Some of you apparently voted for me. That was very sweet,” Parsons told the theater audience.
Stonestreet of “Modern Family” and Lynch of “Glee” were honored for their comedy-series supporting roles.