Mad Men’s win for best drama series marked the third consecutive time the 1960s hit took the prize, seeing off competition this year (10) from Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Good Wife, Lost and blood-sucking vampire series True Blood.
Best comedy series winner Modern Family topped Curb Your Enthusiasm, Nurse Jackie, The Office, 30 Rock and Glee for its big win. The show’s Eric Stonestreet took home the night’s first prize, for best supporting actor in a comedy, while the hit also won best writing in a comedy series.
Musical comedy Glee started the evening as the most-nominated series after landing an impressive 19 nods, but the show failed to make a clean sweep – supporting actress Jane Lynch and director/co-creator Ryan Murphy walked away with wins while Glee star Lea Michele lost out on the best leading actress in a comedy to Nurse Jackie’s Edie Falco.
Hollywood stars took over a portion of the evening, as Claire Danes accepted the prize for best leading actress for her role in TV movie Temple Grandin, which also won the best made for television movie award and saw supporting actors Julia Ormond and David Strathairn take home prizes.
Meanwhile, Al Pacino’s You Don’t Know Jack scored two Emmys, for lead actor and writing, while Tom Hank’s The Pacific won for best mini-series.
The Closer star Kyra Sedgwick was a winner for best leading actress in a drama series, seeing off competition from The Good Wife’s leading lady Julianna Margulies. She took to the stage fresh from her defeat to present former ER co-star George Clooney with the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, to honour his use of television to help good causes.
Clooney used his speech to urge the media to put the plights of disaster victims on the front pages instead of headline-grabbing celebrities, telling the star-studded crowd: “It’s important to remember how much good can get done because we live in such strange times where bad behaviours suck up all the attention in the press and the people who really need the spotlight, the Haitians, the Sudanese, the people in the Gulf Coast… Pakistan, they can’t get any (press).”
This year’s show, hosted by comedian Jimmy Fallon, was opened with a rocking performance from the Glee cast and comediennes Tina Fey and Betty White, as the group took to the stage for a song and dance rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run.
Meanwhile, the spectacular ceremony was marked by an emotional in memoriam tribute by singer Jewel, who took the stage to play an acoustic version of an unrecorded song she dedicated to a friend who recently died of cancer.
The full list of the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Award winners is as follows:
Outstanding drama series: Mad Men
Outstanding comedy series: Modern Family
Outstanding mini-series: The Pacific
Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding lead actor in a drama series: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Outstanding lead actor in a mini-series or movie: Al Pacino, You Don’t Know Jack
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series: Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series: Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Outstanding lead actress in a mini-series or movie: Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series: Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Outstanding supporting actor in a mini-series or movie: David Strathairn, Temple Grandin
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series: Jane Lynch, Glee
Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series: Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Outstanding supporting actress in a mini-series or movie: Julia Ormond, Temple Grandin
Outstanding made for television movie: Temple Grandin
Outstanding variety, music or comedy series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Outstanding reality competition program: Top Chef.