ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family won four awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series and supporting actor Emmys for Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen. Showtime’s Homeland upset recent Emmy favorites Mad Men and Breaking Bad, winning four in its first showing, including Outstanding Drama Series and best actor awards for Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. HBO’s Game Change, a fictional look at the Republican ticket in the 2008 presidential election, also won four Emmys, including one for Outstanding Miniseries or TV Movie and an acting award for Julianne Moore, who played Sarah Palin.
In another upset, Two and a Half Men star John Cryer won Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, snapping a three-year winning streak for Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory.
Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama for the second time for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman.
Louis C.K. took home a pair of Emmys for writing, one each for his FX show Louie and his comedy special Live at the Beacon Theater.
The Daily Show continued its decade-long dominance of the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series category. When the winner was announced, fellow nominees Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon playfully wrestled Daily Show host Jon Stewart to the ground as he stood up to accept the award.
It was one of several comical moments, many of which featured host Jimmy Kimmel. He opened the show by rushing into a stall in the women’s bathroom, where he sobbed over a botched Botox procedure until a group of actresses led by Kathy Bates kindly offered to “punch it” back in place. Later, Josh Groban accompanied himself on piano to sing a somber version of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” during a fake “In Memoriam” montage that exclusively featured Kimmel.