Emmy Awards: Breaking Bad and Newsroom beat Brits
Despite being nominated for 11 gongs and previously seeing huge awards success, UK favourite Downton Abbey was left almost empty-handed when it took home just one trophy, for the show’s musical composition, during the prestigious event’s 65th ceremony.
Famous British faces, including Hugh Bonneville, previous winner Dame Maggie Smith and Homeland lead Damian Lewis, lost out on the top accolades to their US competitors. Michelle Dockery, Dame Helen Mirren and Cat Deeley also went home with nothing.
Stars gathered for the annual celebration in Los Angeles, where Sir Elton John made a debut performance with a tribute to Liberace.
It was Danny Boyle’s fantastic and colourful display for the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony which gained Britain recognition, with the worldwide broadcast scooping the title of outstanding art direction for variety programming.
And Cardiff-born Abi Morgan, creator of 1950s drama The Hour, had the last laugh after scoring an Emmy for best writing in a mini-series or movie – despite the critically acclaimed show being axed by the BBC earlier this year after two series.
The successful writer, also behind The Iron Lady and Sex Traffic, looked shocked when her name was read out, but she happily accepted the statuette and didn’t mention the fact the popular show had been cancelled.
Downton Abbey, which was up for several top gongs including best drama series and best lead actor, was pipped to the post for both by American favourite Breaking Bad and The Newsroom.
Breaking Bad scooped best drama – viewed as the top award – and The Newsroom star Jeff Daniels was crowned best lead actor in a surprise win.
Homeland’s Damien Lewis, who won lead actor in 2012, and Kevin Spacey, from House of Cards, Netflix’s internet-only remake of the British series, lost out to The Newsroom star.
Downton’s Hugh Bonneville, who was also up for the award, had tipped Breaking Bad’s teacher-turned-drug-lord Bryan Cranston to secure the prize.
Last year, Downton Abbey became the most Emmy-nominated show in history when it received 16 nominations, although the period drama won only one top gong: best supporting actress for Dame Maggie Smith.
This year, she was nominated for best lead actress in a mini-series or movie category for her role as a lawyer in drama Phil Spector, but she failed to lift the trophy.
Homeland swept the top of the board in 2012 when it won best drama, best lead actor and best lead actress, but it only managed to hold on to the latter this time round, won for the second time by Claire Danes, who plays troubled CIA agent Carrie Mathison. The show also won a best writing accolade.
Bonneville, who plays the Earl of Grantham in Downton, which has just started its fourth series, told how he wouldn’t be disappointed by a lack of win at a pre-awards party.
“I feel slightly embarrassed to have been nominated alongside these amazing actors and, much as I love the others, I hope it is Bryan Cranston’s year because that show has been phenomenal and his performance has been extraordinary,” he said.
Although Breaking Bad didn’t scoop that prize, the series saw other wins, including best supporting actress in a drama for Anna Gunn.
In the comedy stakes, Modern Family, a show about unconventional families, was named the best for the fourth consecutive year.
The best writing for a comedy series award went to Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield for their scriptwork for American TV show 30 Rock, which ended this year.
Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale picked up lead actress and supporting actor gongs in the comedy categories. Merritt Wever, who plays a quirky nurse in comedy Nurse Jackie, won best supporting actress.
Drama Series: Breaking Bad (AMC)
Actor, Drama Series: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom (HBO)
Actress, Drama Series: Claire Danes, Homeland (Showtime)
Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Directing, Drama Series: David Fincher, House of Cards (Netflix)
Writing, Drama Series: Henry Bromell, Homeland (Showtime)
Comedy Series: Modern Family (ABC)
Lead Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Lead Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Tony Hale, Veep (HBO)
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
Directing, Comedy Series: Gail Mancuso, Modern Family (ABC)
Writing, Comedy Series: Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock (NBC)
Miniseries or Movie: Behind the Candelabra (HBO)
Lead Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra (HBO)
Lead Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter (Showtime)
Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)
Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals (USA)
Directing, Miniseries or Movie: Steven Soderbergh, Behind the Candelabra (HBO)
Writing, Miniseries or Movie: Abi Morgan, The Hour (BBC America)
Reality/Competition Programme: The Voice (NBC)
Variety Series: The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
Writing, Variety Series: The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
Directing, Variety Series: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Choreography: Derek Hough, Dancing With the Stars (ABC)