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Modern Family crowned at Emmys
Breaking Bad, the brutal saga of an everyman's ambition turned evil, captured its first best drama Emmy Award on Sunday, while Modern Family won its fourth consecutive trophy for top comedy series.
"I did not see this coming," said Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, tipping his hat to competitor House Of Cards, the first online contender for top Emmy honours.
Jeff Daniels won the Emmy for best drama series actor for his portrayal of an idealistic TV anchorman in The Newsroom, with Claire Danes capturing top actress honours for her troubled CIA agent in Homeland.
Daniels noted that he'd also received an age 50-plus acting honour from AARP, which represents the interests of older Americans. "With all due respect to the AARP, this is even better," Daniels said.
Danes, who captured her second trophy for the terrorism drama, paid tribute to one of the series' writers, Henry Bromell, who died last March and who received a writing Emmy posthumously.
The ceremony included upsets, defying the conventional wisdom in several categories, including acting categories. "This just in. Nobody in America is winning their Emmy office pool. Surprises galore," host Neil Patrick Harris.
Danes' win ended the hopes that Scandal best actress nominee Kerry Washington would become the first African-American to win in the category.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus claimed her second consecutive best comedy actress award for her role as an ambitious political second banana in Veep, with Jim Parsons again claiming the top comedy acting trophy for The Big Bang Theory. Parsons added to the awards he won in 2011 and 2010 for the role of a science nerd.
Tony Hale of Veep claimed the trophy for best supporting actor in a comedy, a category that has been the property in recent years of the men of "Modern Family."
Michael Douglas was honoured as best actor for his portrayal of Liberace in "Behind the Candelabra," besting his co-star Matt Damon. The film also captured a top trophy as best movie or miniseries.