LOS ANGELES – “Modern Family” and “Breaking Bad” triumphed at Monday’s Emmy Awards, proving that established broadcast and cable series retain the power to fend off challenges from upstart online series like “Orange Is the New Black.”
The ceremony’s emotional high point came with Billy Crystal’s restrained and graceful remembrance of Robin Williams, who died Aug. 11 by suicide.
“He made us laugh. Hard. Every time you saw him,” Crystal said of Williams at the conclusion of a tribute to industry members who died within the past 12 months. “Robin Williams, what a concept.”
ABC’s “Modern Family” won a fifth best comedy series Emmy, tying the record set by “Frasier,” while the final season of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” captured the top drama award and a trio of acting honors for its stars.
Netflix’s freshman “Orange Is the New Black,” which competed for best comedy series despite its dark prison setting, failed to sway Emmy voters, as did Netflix’s sophomore series “House of Cards.”
Bryan Cranston was honored as best actor in a drama for “Breaking Bad,” proving that “True Detective” nominee Matthew McConaughey’s movie-star appeal couldn’t conquer all.
“I have gratitude for everything that has happened,” Cranston said. His victory ties him with four-time best drama actor champ Dennis Franz. Cranston’s co-stars Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn were honored in categories for best drama supporting acting,
“Thank you for this wonderful farewell to our show,” “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan said of the series about a teacher-turned-drug kingpin that ended with a bang.
A broadcast win was scored by ABC’s “The Good Wife” star Julianna Margulies, honored as best lead actress in a drama series. “What a wonderful time for women on television,” Margulies said.
“The Colbert Report” was honored as best variety series for its farewell season, with its star departing to take over for David Letterman on CBS’ “Late Show.”