AMC’s Mad Men has repeated as winner of the best drama series Emmy and NBC’s 30 Rock claimed its third straight comedy series trophy.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Mad Men” and “30 Rock” led a pack of Emmy winners who successfully defended their titles at Sunday’s show, while Australian Toni Collette of Showtime’s “United States of Tara” was honored as best lead actress in a comedy series for her role as a mother with multiple personalities.
“Wow, this is insanely confronting,” said a beaming Collette. She thanked series creator Diablo Cody, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Juno.”
AMC’s glossy 1960s Madison Avenue saga “Mad Men,” which last year became the first basic cable show to win a top series award, won the best drama trophy for a second time.
“It is an amazing time to work in TV,” said “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner. “And, I know that everything is changing, but I’m not afraid of it because I feel like all these different media is just more choice and more entertainment. It’s better for the viewers in the end and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
NBC’s “30 Rock,” a satirical take on life inside a TV variety show, was honored for the third time as best comedy series, while star Alec Baldwin won his second award as best comedy actor.
“We want to thank our friends at NBC for keeping us on the air … even though we are so much more expensive than a talk show,” said “30 Rock” creator and star Tina Fey, referring to Jay Leno’s new daily prime-time comedy show, which NBC likes to note is cheaper to produce than a scripted series.
Baldwin, accepting his acting trophy for “30 Rock” from “Brothers & Sisters” star Rob Lowe, joked, “I’ll be honest with you. I’d trade this to look like him.”
The BBC’s Dickens adaptation “Little Dorrit,” co-produced with PBS’s Boston affiliate WGBH, won for best miniseries as well as for cinematography, art direction and costumes.
Ireland was well represented as Irish actress Dearblha Walsh won for directing “Little Dorrit” and Irish actor Brendan Gleeson won for playing Winston Churchill in the HBO miniseries “Into the Storm.”
Glenn Close’s performance as a ruthless trial attorney on “Damages” and Bryan Cranston’s turn as a meth-making, cancer-stricken teacher on “Breaking Bad” were honored with the top drama series acting Emmys, the second consecutive trophies for both.
“Oh my goodness,” exclaimed Cranston. “I’m a poor kid from the valley. I don’t know what I’m doing up here. I feel like Cinderfella.”
Close called it a “huge privilege” to be part of entertainment community, then tweaked her show’s writers.
Her role is “maybe the character of my lifetime, depending on what they do this season,” Close said.
Michael Emerson, who plays the cruelly devious Ben on “Lost,” and Cherry Jones, the stalwart U.S. president on “24,” were honored as best supporting actors in drama series.
“Wowza,” Jones said. Emerson accepted his award for what he called “the role of my lifetime.”
Collette’s victory deprived Fey of “30 Rock” of winning a second consecutive award in the category. But Fey took the stage a few moments later to acknowledge a guest actor award she received for her Sarah Palin impersonation on “Saturday Night Live.”
Kristin Chenoweth of “Pushing Daisies” and Jon Cryer of “Two and a Half Men” won supporting acting Emmys for their comedies and proved that acceptance speeches can be entertaining.
“I’m not employed now so I’d like to be on ‘Mad Men.’ I also like ‘The Office’ and ’24,'” said Chenoweth, alternating between tears and smiles as she accepted for her canceled ABC series. “Thank you so much to the academy for recognizing a show that’s no longer on the air.”
Backstage, the Tony Award-winning Chenoweth noted that she is appearing on an upcoming episode of Fox’s show “Glee,” has shot two movies and is doing a series of concerts.
Cryer, whose series is the most-watched comedy on TV, brought a wry tone to his speech.
“I used to think that awards were just shallow tokens of momentary popularity, but now I realize they are the only true measure of a person’s worth as a human being,” Cryer said.
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” won the trophy for best variety, music or comedy series, its seventh in a row.
“Grey Gardens,” the story of a reclusive mother and daughter who were relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, won for best TV movie.
Neil Patrick Harris, the show’s host as well as a nominee, lost to Cryer for his role on “How I Met Your Mother” but won on-stage accolades for his emcee work, including a heartfelt compliment from Jon Stewart.
Harris, who moved the show along with good-natured humor, started the evening on a lively note, performing “Don’t Touch That Remote,” a custom-made tune from Broadway composers Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman of “Hairspray” fame. Harris implored viewers to stay glued to the show and called attention to some of the stars in the house.
“I see legends galore, Lange, Barrymore,” Harris sang to Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore, later adding, “But like next season on ‘Idol’ I’m not seeing Paula Abdul.” Meanwhile, the camera panned to an empty seat at the Nokia Theatre.
Harris’ winning turn as host also was lauded by Jeff Probst, honored as best reality show host for CBS’ “Survivor.” Probst was one of the five reality hosts who emceed the Emmys last year and received scathing reviews.
“Neil Patrick Harris, this is how you host the Emmys. Nice job,” Probst said, pointing his Emmy toward him.
“The Amazing Race” won its seventh consecutive Emmy in the outstanding reality-competition category, once again turning top-rated “American Idol” into an also-ran.
An exception to the upbeat mood came in clips from animated series “Family Guy,” which showed the dog character Brian beaten bloody, followed by a reality show snippet with barely concealed swearing.
In a bid to give viewers reasons to stick with the show, CBS put advisories on-screen of upcoming moments, including Justin Timberlake’s appearance as a presenter.
The TV academy, meanwhile, hoped to avoid an unwanted rerun at the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards: paltry viewership. The 2008 ceremony was the least-watched ever with an audience of 12.3 million.
Acclaimed but low-rated series like “Mad Men” are seen as one reason viewers bypassed the awards, so major categories were expanded to increase the odds for more popular fare. There were as many as seven nominees per category, compared with the traditional five.
Harris and Emmy executive producer Don Mischer promised to keep the scheduled three-hour ceremony snappy, but they had less room to maneuver than planned. A TV academy proposal to pre-tape some acceptances and show them in a truncated version — gaining time for something more entertaining than speeches — was quashed by industry opposition.
Harris also was a supporting actor nominee for “How I Met Your Mother.”
HBO went into the ceremony as the awards leader after last weekend’s Creative Arts Primetime Emmys ceremony for technical and other achievements. The channel earned 16 trophies, followed by NBC with 11 and Fox and ABC with eight awards each. CBS, PBS and Cartoon Network had six each.
After Sunday, HBO emerged with a leading 21, followed by NBC with 16, ABC with 11 and Fox with 10. CBS and PBS had nine each.
Here’s the complete list of Emmy winners:Drama Series: “Mad Men,” AMC.
Comedy Series: “30 Rock,” NBC.
Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
Actress, Drama Series: Glenn Close, “Damages,” FX Networks.
Actor, Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock,” NBC.
Actress, Comedy Series: Toni Collette, “United States of Tara,” Showtime.
Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Michael Emerson, “Lost,” ABC.
Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Cherry Jones, “24,” Fox.
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men,” CBS.
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Kristin Chenoweth, “Pushing Daisies,” ABC.
Miniseries: “Little Dorrit” PBS.
Made-for-TV Movie: “Grey Gardens,” HBO.
Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Brendan Gleeson, “Into the Storm,” HBO.
Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, “Grey Gardens,” HBO.
Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Ken Howard, “Grey Gardens,” HBO.
Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Shohreh Aghdashloo, “House of Saddam,” HBO.
Directing for a Comedy Series: “The Office: Stress Relief,” Jeff Blitz, NBC.
Directing for a Drama Series: “ER: And in the End,” Rod Holcomb, NBC.
Directing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “American Idol: Show 833 (The Final Three),” Bruce Gowers, Fox.
Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special: “Little Dorrit: Part 1,” Dearbhla Walsh, PBS.
Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central.
Reality-Competition Program: “The Amazing Race,” CBS.
Writing for a Comedy Series: “30 Rock: Reunion,” Matt Hubbard, NBC.
Writing for a Drama Series: “Mad Men: Meditations in an Emergency,” Kater Gordon and Matthew Weiner, AMC.
Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central.
Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special: “Little Dorrit,” Andrew Davies, PBS.
Host, Reality or Reality-Competition Program: Jeff Probst, “Survivor,” CBS.
Original Music and Lyrics: “81st Annual Academy Awards: Song Title: Hugh Jackman Opening Number,” ABC.
List of winners in the creative arts categories of the 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards:
Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Justin Timberlake, “Saturday Night Live,” NBC.
Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Ellen Burstyn, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Swing,” NBC.
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Tina Fey, “Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash 2008,” NBC.
Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Michael J. Fox, “Rescue Me: Sheila,” FX Networks.
Governors Award: Sheila Nevins, HBO Documentary Films president.
Animated Program (for Programming One-Hour or More): “Destination Imagination (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends),” Cartoon Network.
Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour): “South Park: Margaritaville,” Comedy Central.
Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series: “How I Met Your Mother: Shelter Island, Not A Father’s Day,” CBS.
Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series: “Pushing Daisies: Dim Sum Lose Some,” ABC.
Art Direction for a Miniseries or Movie: “Grey Gardens,” HBO, and “Little Dorrit,” PBS.
Art Direction for Variety, Music, or Nonfiction Programming: “American Idol: Episode 821-822,” Fox, and “2008 MTV Video Music Awards,” MTV.
Casting for a Comedy Series: “30 Rock,” NBC.
Casting for a Drama Series: “True Blood,” HBO.
Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special: “Little Dorrit,” PBS.
Choreography: “81st Annual Academy Awards: Musicals Are Back,” ABC, and “So You Think You Can Dance: Adam and Eve/Silence,” Fox.
Cinematography for a Half-Hour Series: “Californication: In Utero,” Showtime.
Cinematography for a One-Hour Series: “The Tudors: Episode 303,” Showtime.
Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie: “Little Dorrit: Part 1,” PBS.
Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming: “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Laos,” Travel Channel.
Cinematography for Reality Programming: “Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment, What Did I Sign Up For?” Discovery Channel.
Commercial: “Heist,” Coca-Cola.
Costumes for a Series: “Pushing Daisies: Bzzzzzzzzz!” ABC.
Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special: “Little Dorrit: Part 3,” PBS.
Costumes for a variety/music program or a special: “So You Think You Can Dance: Episode 415-416A,” Fox.
Directing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special: “Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony,” Bucky Gunts, NBC.
Directing for Nonfiction Programming: “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” Marina Zenovich, HBO.
Main Title Design: “United States of Tara,” Showtime.
Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special (prosthetic): “Grey Gardens,” HBO.
Makeup for a Single Camera Series (non-prosthetic): “Pushing Daisies: Dim Sum Lose Some,” ABC.
Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series or Special (non-prosthetic): “MADtv: Episode 1405,” Fox.
Makeup for a Miniseries or a Movie (non-prosthetic): “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (Hallmark Hall of Fame Presentation),” CBS.
Music Direction: “Streisand: The Concert,” CBS.
Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score): “Legend of the Seeker: Prophecy,” Syndicated.
Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score): “Into the Storm,” HBO.
Original Main Title Theme Music: “Great Performances,” PBS.
Picture Editing for a Drama Series (Single-Camera): “Breaking Bad: ABQ,” AMC.
Picture Editing for a Comedy Series (Single or Multi-Camera): “30 Rock: Apollo, Apollo,” NBC.
Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie (Single-Camera): “Taking Chance,” HBO.
Picture Editing (Short Form): “81st Annual Academy Awards,” ABC, and “Stand Up to Cancer,” ABC, CBS and NBC.
Picture Editing for a Special (Single or Multi-Camera): “Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger,” HBO.
Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming: “This American Life: John Smith,” Showtime.
Picture Editing for Reality Programming: “Project Runway: Finale (Part 1),” Bravo.
Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series: “Mad Men: The Gold Violin,” AMC.
Hairstyling for a Multi-Camera Series or Special: “Dancing With the Stars: Episode 709,” ABC.
Hairstyling for a Miniseries or a Movie: “Grey Gardens,” HBO.
Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Nonfiction: “The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Digital Experience,” NBC.com.
Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Fiction: “The Dharma Initiative,” DharmaWantsYou.com.
Lighting Direction (Electronic, Multi-Camera) for Variety, Music or Comedy Programming: “American Idol: Finale,” Fox.
Variety, Music, or Comedy Special: “The Kennedy Center Honors,” CBS.
Special Class Programs: “Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony,” NBC.
Special Class – Short-format Live-Action Entertainment Programs: “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” drhorrible.com.
Special Class – Short-format Nonfiction Programs: “Writer’s Draft,” Fox Movie Channel.
Children’s Program: “Wizards of Waverly Place,” Disney Channel.
Children’s Nonfiction Program: “Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? With Maria Shriver,” HBO, and “Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Coming Home: When Parents Return from War,” Nickelodeon.
Nonfiction Special: “102 Minutes That Changed America,” History.
Nonfiction Series: “American Masters,” PBS.
Reality Program: “Intervention,” A&E.
Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking: “The Memory Loss Tapes,” HBO.
Writing for Nonfiction Programming: “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” HBO.
Sound Editing for a Series: “Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak (Part 2),” Syfy.
Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special: “Generation Kill: The Cradle of Civilization,” HBO.
Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera): “102 Minutes That Changed America,” History.
Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour): “House: House Divided,” Fox.
Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or Movie: “Generation Kill: The Cradle of Civilization,” HBO.
Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour and Animation): “Entourage: Pie,” HBO, and “Weeds: Three Coolers,” Showtime.
Sound Mixing for a Variety or Music Series or a Special: “81st Annual Academy Awards,” ABC, and “The 51st Annual Grammy Awards,” CBS.
Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera): “102 Minutes That Changed America,” History.
Special Visual Effects for a Series: “Heroes: The Second Coming/The Butterfly Effect,” NBC.
Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special: “Generation Kill: The Cradle of Civilization,” HBO.
Stunt Coordination: “Chuck: Chuck Versus the First Date,” NBC.
Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Series: “American Idol: Episode 834A,” Fox.
Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special: “Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony,” NBC.
Voice-Over Performance: “The Simpsons: Father Knows Worst,” Fox.
Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special: “Chris Rock – Kill The Messenger,” HBO.