For the second year running and for its final season, Breaking Bad won Outstanding Drama Series at the 66th Annual Emmy Awards. It virtually swept the awards in an especially stacked year, also picking up awards for Best Actor Bryan Cranston, Best Supporting Actress Anna Gunn, Best Supporting Actor Aaron Paul, and Best Writing for Moira Walley-Becket for the episode “Ozymandias”.
Only new HBO drama True Detective swiped a major award away from the AMC smash, when Cary Joji Fukunaga (also of films Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre) picked up the award for Best Directing. The other major award went to Julianna Marguiles for Best Actress in a Drama for her show The Good Wife, making this her second Emmy for The Good Wife and third overall (ER).
Breaking Bad managed to upset the equally popular and critically acclaimed True Detective, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Downton Abbey.
In the Comedy categories, Modern Family continued its reign over the Emmys and won Outstanding Comedy Series for the fifth year running, having won every time since it began in 2009. The ABC series bested other popular favorites and critical darlings, including The Big Bang Theory, Louie, Veep, and freshman shows Silicon Valley and Orange is the New Black.
Modern Family also picked up an award for Best Supporting Actor for Ty Burrell. This is his second Emmy as Phil Dunphy but he has lost previously to several of his co-stars. But despite the show’s dominance, these awards were more predictably dispersed. Jim Parsons won yet again for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on The Big Bang Theory (his second straight and fourth total), Julia Louis-Dreyfus won yet again for her work on Veep (her third straight), and Allison Janney won her fifth Emmy, this time for the new show Mom.
The prize for Outstanding Miniseries went to FX’s Fargo while the miniseries acting prizes were split among Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates for American Horror Story and Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman for Sherlock: His Last Vow. And in another surprise, The Colbert Report won for Outstanding Variety Series. At last year’s Emmys, Colbert swiped the award away from long time winner and sister show The Daily Show, and it’s especially poignant as Stephen Colbert approaches his final year on the show to eventually replace David Letterman.
Seth Meyers hosted the awards Monday night, which also included a tribute by Billy Crystal to the late Robin Williams.