Network comedies including The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family started out strong at Monday’s Emmy Awards, and so did True Detective nominee Matthew McConaughey – even before his category came up.
Margulies previously won an Emmy in 2011 for her starring role in the long-running CBS series. She also won the trophy for best supporting actress in 1995 for the medical drama “ER.”
Bryan Cranston, the memorable meth kingpin Walter White on Breaking Bad, is the winner of his fourth Emmy Award for best actor in a drama.
Cranston previously won the Emmy in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and won a Golden Globe as best dramatic actor earlier this year. It was his last chance for a major award for the role since the series aired its finale nearly a year ago.
Cranston beat the reigning Oscar winner for best actor, Matthew McConaughey, nominated in this category for his role in True Detective.
McConaughey, bringing movie-star sizzle to the ceremony, was the object of too-handsome jokes by presenter Jimmy Kimmel and adoration by winner Gail Mancuso, honored as best director for an episode of “Modern Family.”
“If you don’t mind, Matthew McConaughey, I’m gonna make eye contact with you right now,” she said from the stage.
The ceremony honouring the best of TV wasn’t shy about playing the movie-star card. “Six minutes to Woody Harrelson” flashed on screen during Colin Bucksey’s acceptance speech for best miniseries direction for Fargo.
Harrelson and his True Detective co-star were given time to banter before announcing that Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock was the winner of the best miniseries actor award.
“So you won Oscar, (People magazine’s) Sexiest Man Alive and now you want an Emmy, too. Isn’t that a little bit greedy?” Harrelson teased his fellow nominee.
Fargo was named best miniseries, and the award for best miniseries actress went to Jessica Lange of American Horror Story: Coven.
Buffering the miniseries awards was a parody routine about top nominees by “Weird Al” Yankovic. Musical numbers usually look out of place at the Emmys, and this one was no different.
CBS’ The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons was crowned as best comedy series actor, giving him his fourth Emmy and putting him in league long with all-time sitcom winners Kelsey Grammer and Michael J. Fox.
Besides Mancuso’s award, ABC’s Modern Family also captured a best comedy supporting actor trophy for Ty Burrell. Allison Janney was honoured as best supporting comedy actress for CBS’ Mom, adding to the trophy she’d already picked up as guest actress on Masters of Sex.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who received her third consecutive best comedy actress Emmy for the political comedy Veep, drew big laughs as she stopped to exchange faux heated kisses with Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, who earlier was her co-presenter and who appeared with her on Seinfeld.
Noting that the Emmys moved to Monday night to avoid a conflict with Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, he said that MTV doesn’t really specialise in videos anymore.
“That’s like network TV holding an awards show and giving all the trophies to cable and Netflix. That would be crazy,” Meyers joked.
First-time host Meyers was unflappable, even when comedy bits fell flat. There was muted laughter when he bantered with stars in the audience – including Melissa McCarthy, who asked if her illegally parked car would be towed – although Andre Braugher asking to use the bathroom and getting a key with an Emmy attached from Josh Charles was cute enough.
Below is a list of winners at Monday’s 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards:
— Drama Series: “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
— Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
— Actress, Drama Series: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife,” CBS.
— Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
— Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
— Directing, Drama Series: Cary Joji Fukunaga, “True Detective,” HBO.
— Writing, Drama Series: Moira Walley-Beckett, “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
— Comedy Series: “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS.
— Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO.
— Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Ty Burrell, “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Allison Janney, “Mom,” CBS.
— Directing, Comedy Series: Gail Mancuso, “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Writing, Comedy Series: Louis C.K., “Louie,” FX.
— Miniseries: “Fargo,” FX.
— Movie: “The Normal Heart,” HBO.
— Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow,” PBS.
— Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven,” FX.
— Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven,” FX.
— Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: His Last Vow,” PBS.
— Directing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Adam Bernstein, “Fargo,” FX.
— Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Stephen Moffat, “Sherlock: His Last Vow,” PBS.
— Variety Series: “The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central.
— Writing, Variety Special: Sarah Silverman, “Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles,” HBO.
— Directing, Variety Special: Glenn Weiss, “67th Annual Tony Awards,” CBS.
— Reality-Competition Program: “The Amazing Race,” CBS.