LOS ANGELES – “Mad Men” and “30 Rock” led a pack of Emmy winners who successfully defended their titles Sunday, but the snappy ceremony and a star turn by host Neil Patrick Harris made the evening far from a rerun.
AMC’s glossy 1960s Madison Avenue saga “Mad Men,” which last year became the first basic cable show to win a top series award, won the best drama trophy for a second time.
“NBC’s “30 Rock,” a satirical take on life inside a TV variety show, was honored for the third time as best comedy series, while star Alec Baldwin won his second comedy actor award.
“We want to thank our friends at NBC for keeping us on the air … even though we are so much more expensive than a talk show,” said “30 Rock” creator and star Tina Fey, a sly reference to Jay Leno’s new daily prime-time comedy show, which NBC notes is cheaper to produce than a scripted series – a fact that has irked some members of the creative side of the industry.
Glenn Close’s performance as a ruthless trial attorney on “Damages” and Bryan Cranston’s turn as a meth-making, cancer-stricken teacher on “Breaking Bad” were honored with the top drama series acting Emmys, the second consecutive awards for both.
“Oh my goodness,” exclaimed Cranston. “I’m a poor kid from the valley. I don’t know what I’m doing up here. I feel like Cinder-fella.”
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” won the trophy for best variety, music or comedy series, its seventh in a row.