Less than an hour after its penultimate episode premiered on AMC, Breaking Bad captured the Emmy for best drama.
The series, starring Bryan Cranston as crystal meth dealer Walter White, beat out last year’s winner, Showtime's Homeland, as well as PBS's DowntonAbbey, HBO's Game Of Thrones, Netflix's House of Cards and AMC's Mad Men for its first Emmy in the prestigious category.
Breaking Bad's victory marks the second AMC series to capture TV's top drama honor: Matt Weiner's retro advertising show Mad Men won four consecutive Emmys from 2008-11. That's tied with the West Wing, L.A. Law and Hill Street Blues for the most outstanding drama wins.
Following the path taken by Breaking Bad, AMC is splitting Mad Men's final season into two parts, which could give the show a chance to break the aforementioned logjam. Seven installments will bow next year, followed by a like number in 2015.
For its part, Breaking Bad will have a chance to replicate its Emmy drama win as its final eight episodes, comprising its sixth campaign, will be eligible for consideration again for 2014 laurels. So, too, will Bryan Cranston, who has won three lead drama Emmys for his portrayal of White, while Aaron Paul took home trophies for his work as White's sidekick, Jesse Pinkman, in 2010 and 2012.
Both Cranston and Paul finished on the outside looking in on their respective categories on Sunday night, but Anna Gunn won the supporting actress Emmy in her second nomination for her role as Skylar White, Walt's wife.