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Associated Press, Published September 22 2013

‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Modern Family’ claim top honors at Emmy Awards

LOS ANGELES – “Breaking Bad,” the brutal saga of an everyman’s ambition turned evil, captured its first Outstanding Drama Series Emmy Award on Sunday, while “Modern Family” won its fourth consecutive trophy for Outstanding Comedy Series.

“I did not see this coming,” said “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan, tipping his hat to competitor “House of Cards,” the first online contender for top Emmy honors.

Jeff Daniels won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of an idealistic TV anchorman in “The Newsroom,” with Claire Danes capturing top actress honors for her troubled CIA agent in “Homeland.”

Daniels noted that he’d also received an age 50-plus acting honor from AARP, which represents the interests of older Americans.

“With all due respect to the AARP, this is even better,” Daniels said.

Danes, who captured her second trophy for the terrorism drama, paid tribute to one of the series’ writers, Henry Bromell, who died last March and who received a writing Emmy posthumously Sunday.

The ceremony often struck a melancholy note with extended tributes to stars and other industry members who died in the past year.

“Well, this may be the saddest Emmys of all time but we could not be happier,” said “Modern Family” executive producer Steve Levitan.

It also included upsets, defying the conventional wisdom in several categories, including acting categories.

“This just in. Nobody in America is winning their Emmy office pool. Surprises galore,” host Neil Patrick Harris said.

Danes’ win ended the hopes that “Scandal” nominee Kerry Washington would become the first African-American to win in the category since Cicely Tyson in 1995 for “Sweet Justice.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus claimed her second consecutive Oustanding Lead Actress in a Comedy award for her role as an ambitious political second banana in “Veep,” with Jim Parsons again claiming the top comedy acting trophy for “The Big Bang Theory.”

“This is so much good fortune, it’s almost too much to bear,” said Louis-Dreyfus. “I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to make people laugh. It’s a joyful way to make a living.”

Parsons added to the awards he won in 2011 and 2010 for the role of a science nerd.

“My heart, oh my heart. I want you to know I’m very aware of how exceedingly fortunate I am,” he said.

Merritt Wever of “Nurse Jackie” won the night’s first award, for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, kicking off the ceremony on a surprising note and with a remarkably brief acceptance speech.

“Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Um, I got to go, bye,” Wever told the audience after besting a field that included two-time winner Julie Bowen of “Modern Family.”

“Merritt Wever, best speech ever,” host Neil Patrick Harris said.

Backstage, she offered an explanation: “I’m sorry I didn’t thank anyone. I was going to cry.”

Tony Hale of “Veep” claimed the trophy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy, a category that has been the property in recent years of the men of “Modern Family.”

Bobby Cannavale, from “Boardwalk Empire,” won as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama, and Anna Gunn from “Breaking Bad” won the actress award in the same category.


The winners

A look at some of the major winners from Sunday night's Emmy Awards:

Outstanding Drama Series: "Breaking Bad”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Claire Danes, “Homeland”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Bobby Cannavale, “Boardwalk Empire”

Outstanding Comedy Series: “Modern Family”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Merritt Wever, “Nurse Jackie”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Tony Hale, “Veep”


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