LOS ANGELES – Modern Family and Breaking Bad triumphed at Monday’s Emmy Awards, proving that established broadcast and cable series retain the power to fend off challenges from upstart online series like Orange Is the New Black.
The ceremony’s emotional high point came with Billy Crystal’s restrained and graceful remembrance of Robin Williams, who died Aug. 11 by suicide.
He made us laugh. Hard. Every time you saw him, Crystal said of Williams at the conclusion of a tribute to industry members who died last year. Robin Williams, what a concept.
Bryan Cranston was honored as best actor in a drama for Breaking Bad, proving that True Detective nominee Matthew McConaughey’s movie-star appeal couldn’t conquer all.
I have gratitude for everything that has happened, Cranston said. His victory ties him with four-time best drama actor champ Dennis Franz. Cranston’s co-stars Aaron Paula and Anna Gunn were honored in categories for best drama supporting acting,
Thank you for this wonderful farewell to our show, said Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan said of the series.
The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies won the Emmy for best lead actress in a drama series.
The ceremony honoring the best of TV wasn’t shy about playing the movie-star card. Six minutes to Woody Harrelson flashed on screen during Colin Bucksey’s acceptance speech for best miniseries direction for Fargo.
Harrelson and his True Detective co-star were given time to banter before announcing that Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock: His Last Vow was the winner of the best miniseries actor award.
So you won Oscar, (People magazine’s) Sexiest Man Alive and now you want an Emmy, too. Isn’t that a little bit greedy? Harrelson teased his fellow nominee.
Fargo was named best miniseries, and the award for best miniseries actress went to Jessica Lange of American Horror Story: Coven.
CBS’ The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons was crowned as best comedy series actor, giving him his fourth Emmy and putting him in league with all-time sitcom winners Kelsey Grammer and Michael J. Fox.
ABC’s Modern Family, which tied Frasier as the all-time sitcom champ with five statuettes, also captured a best comedy supporting actor trophy for Ty Burrell.
Allison Janney was honored as best supporting comedy actress for CBS’ Mom, adding to the trophy she’d already picked up as guest actress on Masters of Sex.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who received her third consecutive best comedy actress Emmy for the political comedy Veep, drew big laughs as she stopped to exchange faux heated kisses with Cranston, who earlier was her co-presenter and who appeared with her on Seinfeld.
The ceremony’s traditional In Memorium tribute to industry members who have died in the past year flashed images of stars including James Garner, Ruby Dee, Sid Caesar, Carmen Zapata and Elaine Stritch as singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles sang Smile. It concluded with the tribute to Williams.