Just when it seemed that the 64th Emmy Awards were going to be every bit as
routine as Jon Stewart suggested when he was bleeped while
saying that space aliens would one day find out "just how predictable these
[bleep]ing awards are," Emmy voters made Showtime's first-year drama "Homeland" one of the night's big winners.
The Outstanding Drama Series award didn't come as a complete surprise, given
that the show had already won Emmys for lead actors Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, and for its writing.
But it threw a monkey wrench into what could have been an historic night for
Men," which had won the award for four consecutive years, and which would
have set a new record for drama series had it won again.
Instead, "Mad Men" suffered its first loss in the category -- and not to the
Bad" or the tony British import "Downton
Abbey," which were expected to put up a fight -- but to "24" vets Alex
Gansa and Howard Gordon's thriller about a CIA officer and a former POW.
If the night was triumphant for "Homeland," it was a disaster for "Mad Men,"
the night's biggest loser. That show went into last week's Creative Arts Emmys
tied with "American
Horror Story" in leading all shows with 17 nominations. It was shut out at
that show and at the Primetime Emmys, making it a miserable 0-for-17.
"American Horror Story," meanwhile, was a marginally better 2-for-17, winning
one Emmy last week for hairstyling and one on Sunday for supporting actress Jessica Lange.
"Mad Men" will have other chances to break the drama-series tie it currently
holds with "Hill Street Blues" and "The West Wing."
The win for "Homeland" was Showtime's first in the category, and the biggest
surprise on a night that otherwise saw a number of returning folks in the Emmy
winners circle. "Modern
Family" won its third consecutive award for Outstanding Comedy Series, "The Daily
Show" won for the 10th straight time as Outstanding Variety Series and "The Amazing
Race" was named Outstanding Reality-Competition Program for the ninth time
in 10 years.
Another lesson of the Emmys show: Louis C.K. is apparently the best writer on
television, with the adventurous comic losing in the series and lead-actor
categories, but taking home two of the night's four writing awards.
Bryan Cranston, who had won three consecutive
drama-actor awards before being forced to sit out last year's show because of
the "Breaking Bad" airing schedule, didn't get a fourth victory, though his
co-star Aaron Paul did win for the second time.
If "Homeland" dominated the drama categories, Emmy voters clearly think that
television comedy begins and ends with "Modern Family." Not only did the series
get its own elaborate video package early in the show, but it won in four of the
seven comedy categories, including Outstanding Comedy Series.
In addition to winning the series award for three years in a row, the ABC
show has dominated the comedy supporting categories for the past three years,
with five nominations and one win in 2010, six noms and two wins in 2011, and
In non-"Modern Family" comedy awards, Jon Cryer seemed as surprised as most
Emmy-watchers to find himself winning the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a
Comedy Series over the likes of Jim Parsons in "The Big Bang Theory," Louis C.K.
and Don Cheadle in "House of
But his win completed a post-Charlie Sheen double-play for the series, which
last week saw guest actress Kathy Bates win an Emmy for playing the ghost of
the departed Sheen's deceased character.
Basic cable and pay cable, meanwhile, didn't cede the comedy categories
entirely to the broadcast networks, with HBO's "Veep"
winning for lead actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and FX's "Louie" winning for
Louis C.K.'s writing.
The win was one of two that Louis C.K. won for writing, the other being his
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special win for "Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon
In the movie/miniseries categories, HBO's political drama-comedy "Game
Change" was dominant, winning for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, lead
actress Julianne Moore, director Jay Roach and
screenwriter Danny Strong.
Voters spread the wealth in the other movie/mini categories, with History's
surprise hit "Hatfields & McCoys" taking the two male acting awards for lead
Kevin Costner and supporting actor Tom Berenger. Jessica Lange's supporting actress
victory was the only one for "American Horror Story," which was given the option
of competing as either a drama series or a miniseries, and opted for the
presumably less competitive latter field.
Meanwhile, the usual suspects trooped to the stage of the Nokia Theatre in
other categories. "We were told we get a free sandwich after 10," said Jon
Stewart in accepting the 10th consecutive award for his show.
Still, there were moments when Emmy voters opted not to follow old
habits; a point that was noted by "Dancing
With the Stars" host Tom Bergeron, who won the award for reality host.
"I want to thank Jeff Probst for not being nominated," he said of the
"Survivor" host who had won the award the first four times it was given out.