LOS ANGELES – The terrorism thriller “Homeland” and “Modern Family” were the top winners at Sunday’s Emmy Awards in a ceremony that veered between daring and predictability in honors and Jimmy Kimmel’s turn as host.
The four awards for “Modern Family” included a three-peat as best comedy series.
“Homeland,” whose four trophies included honors for stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, stopped “Mad Men” in its tracks, denying the show a record-setting fifth best drama trophy.
Showtime’s “Homeland,” the cable channel’s first best drama winner, also kept Bryan Cranston from his fourth consecutive best acting award for “Breaking Bad” and made “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm an also-ran once more.
Aaron Paul won best supporting drama actor for “Breaking Bad” and “Homeland” won the best writing award.
“Thank you so much for not killing me off,” Paul said of his drug-dealing character’s lucky survival. “Thank you, Hollywood, for allowing me to be part of your group,” he added, noting he’d moved from Idaho to pursue his dreams.
In a surprise on the comedy side, Emmy voters decided that “Two and a Half Men” with Jon Cryer and without Charlie Sheen is really good, as Cryer claimed the best comedy actor trophy.
“Don’t panic, people. Something has clearly gone terribly wrong. I’m stunned,” said Cryer, who on the red carpet before the show has expressed confidence he wouldn’t win. Among others, he beat out two-time winner Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory.”
Andy Griffith topped a segment honoring industry members who died during the previous year. Ron Howard, who played Griffith’s son Opie in “The Andy Griffith Show,” said he belonged “in the pantheon.”
“Dang if he didn’t make it look powerful easy while he was going about it,” Howard said.
“Modern Family” made it look easy as the comedy won the best directing trophy, and Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen claimed supporting actor awards.
Stonestreet was funny and touching as he accepted for his role as half of a devoted gay couple.
“I wouldn’t be standing here without Jesse Tyler Ferguson; there is no Cam without Mitch,” he said, saluting his co-star. “We get the awesome opportunity to play these two characters on TV and show America and the world what a loving couple we can be just like everybody else.”
Julianne Moore’s uncanny take on Gov. Sarah Palin in the TV movie “Game Change,” about the 2008 presidential campaign, earned her best actress honors.
“I feel so validated because Sarah Palin gave me a big thumbs-down,” Moore said, beaming.
“Game Change” was crowned best miniseries or movie.
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” took home its 10th consecutive best variety show trophy.