The Emmy Awards stuck with old favorites last night

2013 Creative Arts Emmys Show - Arrivals

There was a sense going into the Emmy Awards yesterday that it might be a chance to say “out with the old and in with the new”, so to speak. Essentially, last night was shaping up to be a big battle between old guard winners like Breaking Bad and Modern Family against young bucks like Orange is the New Black and True Detective. I don’t watch enough television to have done official predictions, but I certainly had a rooting interest in seeing some of the top notch new shows take home prizes. Well, last night proved that the Emmy voters like what they like, as old favorite beat back new contenders fairly consistently.

I’ll post all of the winners at the end of this piece, but I wanted to focus in on a few of the categories in particular. Mainly the versions of Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress for this show. That would be Drama Series, Best Actor in a Drama, Best Actress in a Drama, Best Comedy Series, Best Actor in a Comedy, and Best Actress in a comedy. Those are more or less the ones with the biggest match ups that pundits were looking forward to, so that’s where I’ll focus.

Obviously, the big one is Best Drama Series and it was set up to potentially be a Breaking Bad vs True Detective fight to the finish, but earlier categories made it pretty clear that the former was going to win. My personal pick would have been the latter, but those two seemingly left other nominees Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Mad Men in the dust, even if some were predicting a Game of Thrones upset. It was not to be.

Not far behind is Best Actor in a Drama and Best Actress in a Drama. Best Actor was another Breaking Bad vs True Detective cage match, with Matthew McConaughey actually tipped to beat Bryan Cranston. That didn’t happen though, as Cranston beat back McConaughey as well as other nominees Jeff Daniels for The Newsroom, Jon Hamm for Mad Men, Woody Harrelson for True Detective (potentially syphoning off some votes from McConaughey), and Kevin Spacey for House of Cards. Voters couldn’t resist Cranston.

Best Actress didn’t have either of those shows, but it did have House of Cards, where Robin Wright was expected to walk to a win. An upset went down, as Julianna Margulies from The Good Wife shocked everyone, beating Wright and fellow nominees Lizzy Caplan for Masters of Sex, Claire Danes for Homeland, Michelle Dockery for Downton Abbey, and Kerry Washington for Scandal. This one was a slam dunk win for Wright, I thought. So much for that.

With Best Comedy Series, it was thought that Modern Family’s time was finally over, most likely in favor of Orange is the New Black. Well, the Emmy voters obviously felt differently, as the former took down the latter, as well as the other nominated shows The Big Bang Theory, Louie, Silicon Valley, and Veep. It’s possible that splitting some votes with Louie and Veep hurt Orange is the New Black, but any way that you slice it, Modern Family wins again.

There was less of a battle in the Best Actor in a Comedy and Best Actress in a Comedy, but still it’s worth mentioning. Best Actor once again went to Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory, as the likes of Louis C.K. for Louie, Don Cheadle for House of Lies, Ricky Gervais for Derek, Matt LeBlanc for Episodes, and William H. Macy for Shameless were unable to pull an upset. It seems like C.K. is poised to take this one at some point, but it wasn’t to be this year.

With Best Actress, it seemed to me like anyone potentially could have won, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Veep always appeared to be the safest bet. Well, go figure…she won. She defeated the likes of Lena Dunham for Girls, Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie, Melissa McCarthy for Mike & Molly, Amy Poehler for Parks and Recreation, and Taylor Schilling for Orange is the New Black. Had her show done better, it’s possible that Schilling could have pulled off the win, but that just didn’t go down.

Finally, some other notable victories were True Detective and filmmaker Cary Joji Fukunaga winning Best Directing in a Drama Series, The Normal Heart winning for Made for Television Movie and Fargo taking Best Miniseries. Most of those were expected, but with those categories being the closest to actual films, I felt they deserved a quick mention.

Here are all of the Emmy Award winners from last night:

Outstanding Drama Series
“Breaking Bad” (*WINNER)
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”
“House of Cards”
“Mad Men”
“True Detective”

Outstanding Comedy Series
“The Big Bang Theory”
“Louie”
“Modern Family” (*WINNER)
“Orange is the New Black”
“Silicon Valley”
“Veep”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (*WINNER)
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Woody Harrelson, “True Detective”
Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (*WINNER)
Kerry Washington, “Scandal”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Louis C.K., “Louie”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Ricky Gervais, “Derek”
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” (*WINNER)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (*WINNER)
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly”
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”
Josh Charles, “The Good Wife”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad” (*WINNER)
Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad” (*WINNER)
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Allison Janney, “Mom” (*WINNER)
Kate Mulgrew, “Orange Is the New Black”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Adam Driver, “Girls”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” (*WINNER)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
Fred Armisen, “Portlandia”
Tony Hale, “Veep”

Outstanding Miniseries
“American Horror Story: Coven”
“Bonnie & Clyde”
“Fargo” (*WINNER)
“Luther”
“Treme”
“The White Queen”

Outstanding Television Movie
“Killing Kennedy”
“Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight”
“The Normal Heart” (*WINNER)
“Sherlock: His Last Vow”
“The Trip to Bountiful”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge”
Martin Freeman, “Fargo”
Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo”
Idris Elba, “Luther”
Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow” (*WINNER)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven” (*WINNER)
Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton and Taylor”
Minnie Driver, “Return To Zero”
Kristen Wiig, “The Spoils of Babylon”
Cicely Tyson, “The Trip To Bountiful”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart”
Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: His Last Vow” (*WINNER)
Colin Hanks, “Fargo”
Jim Parsons, “The Normal Heart”
Joe Mantello, “The Normal Heart”
Alfred Molina, “The Normal Heart”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Frances Conroy, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven” (*WINNER)
Angela Basset, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Allison Tolman, “Fargo”
Ellen Burstyn, “Flowers in the Attic”
Julia Roberts, “The Normal Heart”

Outstanding Variety Series
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“Real Time With Bill Maher”
“Saturday Night Live”
“The Colbert Report” (*WINNER)
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
“The Amazing Race” (*WINNER)
“Dancing with the Stars”
“Project Runway”
“So You Think You Can Dance”
“Top Chef”
“The Voice”

Outstanding Structured Reality Program
“Antiques Roadshow”
“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”
“MythBusters”
“Shark Tank” (*WINNER)
“Undercover Boss”
“Who Do You Think You Are?”

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program
“Alaska: The Last Frontier”
“Deadliest Catch” (*WINNER)
“Flipping Out”
“Million Dollar Listing New York”
“Wahlburgers”
“Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan”

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program
Betty White, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers”
Tom Bergeron, “Dancing With The Stars”
Jane Lynch, “Hollywood Game Night” (*WINNER)
Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn, “Project Runway”
Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance”
Anthony Bourdain, “The Taste”

Outstanding Variety Special
“AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute To Mel Brooks” (*WINNER)
“The Beatles: The Night That Changed America”
“Best Of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Primetime Special”
“Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays”
“The Kennedy Center Honors”
“Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles”

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife”
Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”
Paul Giamatti, “Downton Abbey”
Robert Morse, “Mad Men”
Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex”
Joe Morton, “Scandal” (*WINNER)

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Kate Burton, “Scandal”
Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom”
Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex” (*WINNER)
Kate Mara, “House of Cards”
Margo Martindale, “The Americans”
Diane Rigg, “Game of Thrones”

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Nathan Lane, “Modern Family”
Steve Buscemi, “Portlandia”
Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live” (*WINNER)
Louis C.K., “Saturday Night Live”
Bob Newhart, “Arthur”
Gary Cole, “Veep”

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black” (*WINNER)
Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black”
Natasha Lyonne, “Orange is the New Black”
Tina Fey, “Saturday Night Live”
Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”
Joan Cusack, “Shameless”

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
“Breaking Bad” — “Ozymandias” (Moira Walley-Beckett) (*WINNER)
“Breaking Bad” — Felina” (Vince Gilligan)
“Game of Thrones” — “The Children” (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss)
“House of Cards” — “Chapter 14” (Beau Willimon)
“True Detective” — “The Secret Fate of All Life” (Nic Pizzolatto)

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
“Episodes” — “Episode 305” (David Crane)
“Louie” — “So Did The Fat Lady” (Louis C.K.) (*WINNER)
“Orange Is the New Black” — “I Wasn’t Ready” (Jenji Kohan and Liz Friedman)
“Silicon Valley” — “Optimal Tip-To-Tip Efficiency” (Alec Berg)
“Veep” — “Special Relationship” (Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Armando Iannucci)

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
“Boardwalk Empire” — Farewell Daddy Blues” (Tim Van Patten)
“Breaking Bad’ — “Felina” (Vince Gilligan)
“Downton Abbey” — “Episode 1” (David Evans)
“Game of Thrones” — “The Watchers on the Wall” (Neil Marshall)
“House of Cards” — “Chapter 14” (Carl Franklin)
“True Detective” — “Who Goes There” (Cary Joji Fukunaga) (*WINNER)

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
“Episodes” — “Episode 309” (Iain B. MacDonald)
“Glee” — “100” (Paris Barclay)
“Louis” — “Elevator, Part 6” (Louis C.K.)
“Modern Family” — “Vegas” (Gail Mancuso) (*WINNER)
“Orange Is the New Black” — “Lesbian Request Denied” (Jodie Foster)
“Silicon Valley” — Minimum Viable Product” (Mike Judge)

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
“The Colbert Report” (*WINNER)
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”
“Inside Amy Schumer”
“Key & Peele”
“Portlandia”
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special
“The Beatles: The Night That Changed America”
“Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays”
The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards
“Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles” (*WINNER)
67th Annual Tony Awards

Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
“American Horror Story: Coven” — “Bitchcraft” (Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk)
“Fargo” — “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” (Noah Hawley)
“Luther” (Neil Cross)
“The Normal Heart” (Larry Kramer)
“Sherlock: His Last Vow” (Steven Moffat) (*WINNER)
“Treme” — “…To Miss New Orleans” (Eric Overmyer and David Simon)

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series
“The Colbert Report” — “Episode 9135” (James Hoskinson)
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” — “Episode 18153” (Chuck O’Neil)
“Portlandia” — “Getting Away” (Jonathan Krisel)
“Saturday Night Live” — Jimmy Fallon (Don Roy King) (*WINNER)
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” — Will Smith/U2 (Dave Diomedi)

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special
“The Beatles: The Night That Changed America” (Gregg Gelfand)
The Kennedy Center Honors (Louis J. Horvitz)
The Oscars (Hamish Hamilton)
“Six By Sondheim” (James Lapine)
“The Sound of Music Live!” (Beth McCarthy Miller)
67th Annual Tony Awards (Glenn Weiss) (*WINNER)

Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
“American Horror Story: Coven” — “Bitchcraft” (Alfonso Gomez-Rejon)
“Fargo” — “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” (Adam Bernstein)
“Fargo” — “Buridan’s Ass” (Colin Bucksey) (*WINNER)
“Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” (Stephen Frears)
“The Normal Heart” (Ryan Murphy)
“Sherlock: His Last Vow” (Nick Hurran)

Outstanding Special Class Program
The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC)
The Oscars (ABC)
Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony (NBC)
The Sound of Music Live! (NBC)
67th Annual Tony Awards (CBS) (*WINNER)

Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program
Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama (Funny or Die) (*WINNER)
Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim)
Parks And Rec in Europe (NBC)
The Soup: True Detective (E!)
Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show Starring Bruno Mars (NFL)
Park Bench With Steve Buscemi (AOL)
30 For 30 Shorts (ESPN)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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