Last night's Emmy Awards rounded off one of the most addictive and successful years in television for quite some time. Whether you've hooked on Homeland, mad about Mad Men, devoted to Downton Abbey or hyped about House of Cards, the annual TV industry awards dished out some dazzlingly deserved gongs.
Jeff Daniels' Unexpected Best Drama Actor Win Was One Of The Evening's Highlights.
How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris acted as this year's compère and although his show wasn't nominated for the best 'Comedy Series,' Neil kept the jokes coming, making fun of how deceptively unpredictable some of this year's awards were.
Be sure to check out pictures from the 2013 Emmy Awards Ceremony
Neil Patrick Harris Did A Sterling Job As Emcee
Though it may not have been hard to see Claire Danes' best 'Lead Actress' award for Homeland coming, The Newsroom's Jeff Daniels' male counterpart win shocked even the actor himself. "Well, crap," began the 58 year-old's acceptance speech as he considered that he'd beaten the likes of Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, Mad Men's Jon Hamm, House of Cards' Kevin Spacey and Homeland's Damian Lewis for the most coveted single actor award of the night.
Claire Danes Reaped The Rewards For Her Stunning Homeland Acting.
"This just in. Nobody in America is winning their Emmy office pool. Surprises galore," joked host Harris.
Though Cranston, on his final run as Breaking Bad's meth-brewing chemistry teacher Walter White, didn't pick up the best actor award, the show was victorious in the overall 'Drama Series' category: it's first and last at the Emmy awards. "I did not see this coming," said Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, giving the nod to the show's strong rival for the award, House of Cards.
Anna Gunn Helped Bring Home Breaking Bad's Second Emmy Award Of The Night.
Additionally, Breaking Bad actress Anna Gunn netted herself the award for 'Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series,' flicking away the sizeable competition in the form of Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith, Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke, and Mad Men's Christina Hendricks.
Bobby Cannavale Found Fortune With Boardwalk Empire.
Likewise, the 'Supporting Actor' counterpart fell to Boardwalk Empire's Bobby Cannavale against the double threat of Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul and Jonathan Banks.
One of the evening's many high points came when Jim Parsons went up to collect his award for 'Best Actor in a Comedy Series' for his role as The Big Bang Theory's anal physicist Dr. Sheldon Cooper. "My heart, oh my heart. I want you to know I'm very aware of how exceedingly fortunate I am," he said, flushed with excitement at his third win.
Jim Parsons Excitedly Completed His Emmys Hat-Trick.
HBO's office comedy Veep enjoyed a triumphant evening with two awards to its four nominations. Though the Armando Iannucci series lost out to ABC's Modern Family in the big prize, the 'Comedy Series' award, Julia Louis-Dreyfus' 'Lead Actress in a Comedy Series' triumph over TV funny-ladies Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Lena Dunham was a welcome surprise.
So was Tony Hale's who picked the comedy's male supporting gong. "Oh, man.... This is mindblowing, mindblowing," gasped Hale, at a loss for words.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Secured Another Emmy Victory.
The awards nomination had been peppered with nods to ABC comedy Modern Family - eight to be exact - three of which were in the 'Supporting Actor' category. The Christopher Lloyd/ Steven Levitan show managed to make good for two of those nominations, eventually scooping best comedy direction and the huge 'Comedy Series,' which was its fourth consecutive in the hotly contested category.
Michael Douglas & Matt Damon Shared The Emmy Glory.
Behind The Candelabra's double win - one for Michael Douglas as 'Lead actor in a Miniseries or Movie' and one for the overall best 'Miniseries or Movie' category - hardly came as a surprise after the Douglas/Matt Damon-starring Liberace biopic received critical warmth and lamentation that it will be denied Oscar eligibility due to early funding issues. Surely the win of two prestigious Emmy awards will help to soothe any anguish at the missed Oscar opportunities.
"This is a two-hander and Matt, you're only as good as your other hand," Douglas said, adding cheekily: "You want the bottom or the top?"
The Colbert Report's win broke a 10-year winning streak held by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in the variety show category, adding another win on top for best writing for a variety show.
Cory Monteith Was Remembered In A Heartfelt Tribute.
Whilst celebrating the year in television that was, it would have been hard not to commemorate some of the fallen industry stars whose presence will be missed. In special 'In Memoriam' segments, the names honored included Cory Monteith, James Gandolfini, Gary David Goldberg, Jean Stapleton and Jonathan Winters. "Well, this may be the saddest Emmys of all time but we could not be happier," said Modern Family's executive producer Levitan, echoing the mood in the room; triumph tinged with sorrow.
TV Loses A Titan: James Gandolfini Was Honored.
While Game of Thrones was a marked absence from this year's roster of winners, the diversity and scope of modern television was emphasised by a broad range of winners. This year's Emmys pulled some real surprises on us, but all were well-deserved wins. With most of the shows set to continue into the next year, we should only expect grander things from our TV sets.