Airing three weeks earlier than the norm, The 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on NBC was a quality production, with guitar strumming host Jimmy Fallon opening the evening on a song-and-dance note with the cast of Glee and a potpourri of celebrities including Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, Jorge “Hurley” Garcia, Kate Gosselin, Randy Jackson and everyone’s favorite, Betty White.
HBO made-for movie Temple Grandin was the night’s biggest winner, with five Emmys, including Outstanding Made-for Television Movie and acting nods to Claire Danes as Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and Julia Ormond and David Strathairn in the supporting categories. Including the two Creative Arts Emmys, which were awarded on August 21, Temple Grandin won seven trophies in total—one behind HBO miniseries The Pacific (which was named Best Miniseries, in addition to its seven Creative Arts Emmys).
The battle between ABC’s Modern Family and Fox’s Glee was neck-and-neck early in the telecast, with Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet and Glee’s Jane Lynch winning in the supporting comedy categories, Modern Family’s Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd dominating in writing, and Glee’s Ryan Murphy the top pick amongst the comedy directors. More traditional Modern Family reigned supreme in the end, however, with a trophy for Best Comedy Series (and six Emmy wins total—two more than Glee).
As always, there were repeat winners, including AMC’s Mad Men with its third consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart with Emmy No. eight for Variety, Music or Comedy Series (over NBC’s former The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien), and Bryan Cranston of AMC’s Breaking Bad as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the third straight year. But there were also a number of surprises, including Bravo’s Top Chef ending The Amazing Race’s seven year run as Outstanding Reality/Competition Program, Kyra Sedgwick winning her first Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama Series for TNT’s The Closer (over expected winner Julianna Margulies of CBS’ The Good Wife), and Archie Panjabi of The Good Wife as Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Standout Jim Parsons of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory was named Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, while Aaron Paul won his first Emmy as Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for AMC’s Breaking Bad. Emmy darling Edie Falco, who won three statuettes for HBO’s The Sopranos, was back at the podium for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy for Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, while the legendary Al Pacino took home the Emmy gold for his portrayal of Dr. Jack Kevorkian on HBO made-for You Don’t Know Jack. Said Falco: “Oh, this is the most ridiculous thing that has ever happened in the history of this lovely awards show.”
While the three-hour Emmy Awards telecast moved in a rapid and mostly satisfying pace (including George Clooney being honored with the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award and Jewel singing during the In Memoriam segment), the one false moment was presenter Ricky Gervais’ tired alcohol shtick. And, now that The Emmys are a wrap, traditionally we are programmed to believe the start of the new season is tonight.
What follows is a listing of last night’s winners:
-Drama Series: Mad Men (AMC)
-Comedy Series: Modern Family (ABC)
-Miniseries: The Pacific (HBO)
-Made-for Television Movie: Temple Grandin (HBO)
-Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
-Reality/Competition Program: Top Chef (Bravo)
-Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, AMC)
-Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer, TNT)
-Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory, CBS)
-Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie, Showtime)
-Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie: Al Pacino (You Don’t Know Jack, HBO)
-Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: Claire Danes (Temple Grandin, HBO)
-Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, AMC)
-Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife, CBS)
-Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family, ABC)
-Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Jane Lynch (Glee, Fox)
-Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie: David Strathairn (Temple Grandin, HBO)
-Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie: Julia Ormond (Temple Grandin, HBO)
-Directing for a Drama Series: Steve Shill (Dexter, Showtime)
-Directing for a Comedy Series: Ryan Murphy (Glee, Fox)
-Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Mick Jackson (Temple Grandin, HBO)
-Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Bucky Gunts (Vancouver 2010 Winter Games Opening Ceremony, NBC)
-Writing for a Drama Series: Matthew Weiner and Eric Levy (Mad Men, AMC)
-Writing for a Comedy Series: Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd (Modern Family, ABC)
-Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Adam Mazer (You Don’t Know Jack, HBO)
-Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special: The 63rd Annual Tony Awards (CBS)