Newbies no match for old favourites
FOR all the talk about newcomers raising the game of television, the industry on Monday chose to bestow its top Emmys on the long-running shows Breaking Bad and Modern Family, as well as long-time television actors who held off challenges from film stars.
Breaking Bad won the night's biggest honour, the Emmy for best drama series, for the second year in a row, while lead Bryan Cranston took best drama actor for the fourth time in that role.
It held off the ballyhooed HBO anthology True Detective, a bayou thriller starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey and fellow film star Woody Harrelson, whom Cranston beat.
Modern Family won its fifth consecutive Emmy for best comedy series, leaving Netflix's dark jailhouse comedy, Orange Is The New Black, as one of the big losers of the night.
The 66th annual Primetime Emmys took a sombre turn towards the end to remember Robin Williams, the versatile actor and comedian who died two weeks ago in an apparent suicide at the age of 63.
Billy Crystal, a long-time friend of Williams who rose to fame in the same 1970s comedy circuit, remembered the madcap performer as "the brightest star in a comedy galaxy".
"It is very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in our lives," said Crystal.
There were plenty of laughs in television's biggest night, from Julia Louis-Dreyfus passionately locking lips with Seinfeld guest star Cranston to Melissa McCarthy asking if her car would be towed.
When asked about the prolonged smooch later, Cranston quipped: "I think it's not a question of 'Why?', more a question of 'Why not?' "
Jim Parsons won his fourth lead-acting Emmy for playing the pedantic nerd Sheldon in the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory, and Louis-Dreyfus won her third consecutive Emmy for her role as the foul-mouthed, gaffe-prone United States Vice-President Selina Meyer on HBO's political satire, Veep.
"I love the idea of being powerful and powerless at the same time, it mirrors Hollywood in some ways," said Louis-Dreyfus of her character.
In other comedy awards, comedian Louis C. K. won his second writing award for his FX show Louie.
The comedian said of Williams: "I grew up watching him. He was somebody who worked so hard at it and was explosive energy, so he was a beacon when I was a kid."
One of the big surprises of the night was Sherlock: His Last Vow, which won a total of seven Emmys for US public broadcaster PBS, more than any other show.