The 63rd Primetime Emmys at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday was a crazy-quilt of taste, with a number of unexpected wins mixed in with the usual suspects.
AMC's "Mad Men" won as best drama for the fourth straight year beating out two HBO lavish powerhouses -- "Game of Thornes" and "Boardwalk." It was its only award. And "Modern Family" is beginning its own Emmy roll, winning as best comedy for its second consecutive year, and taking five awards altogether.
"Downton Abbey" was named the best miniseries or TV movie. The elegant drama on PBS -- a throwback to the original "Upstairs/Downstairs" and "The Forsyte Saga" -- took home four awards Sunday, adding to the two awards it won last week at the Creative
Arts Emmy ceremony -- giving it six altogether.
"Boardwalk Empire" was the overall winner with eight, but only one on Sunday.
But the biggest surprises were in the acting categories. Kyle Chandler of "Friday Night Lights" was named best actor in a drama.
"I didn't think this would happen so I didn't write anything," said the star of the little-seen series, looking dumbfounded. It was the third nomination and first win for the actor who plays Eric Taylor, the head coach of a fictional Texas high-school football team.
With no Bryan Cranston, who has won the last three best actor in a drama awards, out of the way because "Breaking Bad" wasn't eligible this year, most people expected "Mad Men's" Jon Hamm on his fourth straight try or six-time nominee Hugh Laurie of "House" to win.
Meanwhile, Steve Carell, up for the sixth straight time as Michael Scott on "The Office," was overlooked again in the best actor in a comedy category, losing to Jim Parsons. Looking at the trophy, "The Big Bang" star said, "I was assured by many people that this wouldn't happen." It was his second straight win.
When the best actress nominees in a comedy were announced, the actresses all came up on the stage, receiving a standing ovation for their gesture of solidarity, and then they all gathered around and hugged Melissa McCarthy of "Mike and Molly" when her name was announced by Rob Lowe. "Holy S-moke!" she exclaimed, not expecting to win.
Julianna Margulies took home an Emmy for her role on "The Good Wife." The best-drama actress thanked CBS "for allowing us to be the show we are," and then thanked her husband for being his "good wife." It was her second nomination for the role, having been passed over last year.
Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet won as lead actress in a miniseries for the title role in HBO's "Mildred Pierce." Clearly excited she bounded on stage when her name was called in an tight-fitting red dress.
"I didn't think we were going to win anything." Just prior to her victory, Australian Guy Pierce receive the trophy for best supporting actor in a miniseries for his role of the cad in "Mildred Pierce." "I had sex many, many times with Kate Winslet for this role," he joked, adding that he never expected it to result in an award.
Barry Pepper, who wasn't at the ceremony, was named best actor in a miniseries for playing Bobby Kennedy in the little seen and poorly reviewed "The Kennedys."
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" won the award for Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy for the ninth time in a row. It also took home a writing award.
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