It was a good night for cable at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, as the medium took home top honors in the drama category, grabbed three of the four lead acting statues, scored an upset in the reality show category, while HBO again dominated the miniseries and telepic picks.
For AMC, good things came in threes, with the Rainbow Media Holdings service garnering a third consecutive outstanding drama Emmy for Matt Weiner's Mad Men. The retro advertising series beat out series stablemate Breaking Bad, whose star Bryan Cranston earned his third straight best actor Emmy for his portrayal of Walt White. Moreover, Cranston's Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul broke through, grabbing the best supporting actress laurels for his role of Jess Pinkman.
Mad Men also got the best drama call over Showtime's serial killer series Dexter, HBO's vampire skein True Blood, ABC's outgoing Lost and CBS's rookie series entry The Good Wife.
Mad Men also took home an Emmy for best drama writing for Weiner and Erin Levy's work on the installment dubbed, "Shut the Door. Have a Seat."
Meanwhile for Kyra Sedgwick, the fifth time was the charm. She finally landed the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her portrayal of deputy chief Brenda Lee Johnson in TNT's The Closer. Her work in the episode entitled "Maternal Instincts." It was Sedgwick's fifth nomination for the best actress Emmy on what has been ad-supported cable's most-watched original series.
Her triumph denied Glenn Close a threepeat of her own as best drama actress award for FX's, now DirecTV's, Damages. Segdwick, who thanked her Closer character for being "close to my heart and never failiing to surprise me," also topped Connie Britton on DirecTV/NBC's Friday Night Lights; Julianna Margulies for CBS's The Good Wife; Mariska Hargitay in NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; and January Jones in Mad Men.
Edie Falco earned the Emmy for outstaning lead actress in a omedy as the titular character in Showtime's Nurse Jackie. Falco -- who said during her on-stage acceptance speech that "I'm not funny" -- had previously won three Emmys in the lead actress in a drama category for her portrayal of Carmela Soprano in HBO's mob series, The Sopranos. As such, she joins Carol O'Connor in winning statues as the lead actor for comedy (All in the Family) and drama (In the Heat of the Night).
Falco's performance topped last year's winner Toni Collette from Showtime's United States Of Tara, Lea Michele from Fox's Glee, Julia Louis-Dreyfus from CBS's The New Adventures Of Old Christine, Amy Poehler for NBC's Parks And Recreation, and Tina Fey for 30 Rock.
Cranston's third consecutive best actor Emmy came over Michael C. Hall for the latter's work as the lead character on Showtime's serial kiler series Dexter; Kyle Chandler as Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights; Hugh Laurie as the lead character on Fox's acerbic medical series House; Matthew Fox as Jack Shepard on Lost; and Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men.
In another streak, Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart pushed its Emmy streak to eight in the comedy/variety show category.
The Amazing Race, though, failed to match that amazing run, as Bravo's Top Chef finally came up with the main Emmy recipe. Bravo's cooking competition series dethroned CBS's stalwart, which had earned the Emmy every year since the category's inception in 2003. Top Chef, which also beat Fox's American Idol, ABC's Dancing With The Stars and Lifetime's Project Runway, had previously won an Emmy for outstanding editing in a reality series in 2008.
As is its habit, HBO swept the movie and miniseries categories, with autism film Temple Grandin earning Emmys for outstanding made-for-TV-movie, while Claire Danes, David Strathairn and Julia Ormond took home the attendant acting honorw. Al Pacino was Emmy's outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie for his take on controversial physician Jack Kevorkian in the premium net's You Don't Know Jack.
Meanwhile, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg's 10-part World War II miniseries The Pacific won the outstanding miniseries award beating out category challenger, PBS's Return to Cranford.
On the broadcast side, ABC's Modern Family was the big winner, scoring statues for outstanding comedy series, denying NBC's 30 Rock a fourth straight win. Modern Family also notched Emmys for supporting actor for Eric Stonestreet and writing for series co-creators and executive producers Steve Levitan and Chris Lloyd.
Other broadcast rookies, Glee and The Good Wife, netted outstanding supporting actress trophies for comedy and drama for Jane Lynch and Archie Panjabi, respectively.
And the geek quotient was high: Jim Parsons took home the statue with his second nomination as outstanding actor in CBS's The Big Bang Theory.
Below find a look at some of the top categories, with the winners signified in bold.
Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad (AMC)
The Good Wife (CBS)
Mad Men (AMC)
True Blood (HBO)
Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm(HBO)
Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
The Office (NBC)
30 Rock (NBC)
The Pacific (HBO)
Return to Cranford (PBS)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Steve Carell, The Office
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Matthew Morrison, Glee
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Hugh Laurie, House
Matthew Fox, Lost
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Jeff Bridges, A Dog Year
Ian McKellen, The Prisoner
Michael Sheen, The Special Relationship
Dennis Quaid, The Special Relationship
Al Pacino, You Don't Know Jack
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lea Michele, Glee
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Glenn Close, Damages
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
January Jones, Mad Men
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Maggie Smith, Capturing Mary
Joan Allen, Georgia O'Keeffe
Judi Dench, Return to Cranford
Hope Davis, The Special Relationship
Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Chris Colfer, Glee
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Martin Short, Damages
Terry O'Quinn, Lost
Michael Emerson, Lost
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Michael Gambon, Emma
Patrick Stewart, Hamlet
Jonathan Pryce, Return to Cranford
David Strathairn, Temple Grandin
John Goodman, You Don't Know Jack
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Jane Lynch, Glee
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Sharon Gless, Burn Notice
Rose Byrne, Damages
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Kathy Bates, Alice
Julia Ormond, Temple Grandin
Catherine O'Hara, Temple Grandin
Brenda Vaccaro, You Don't Know Jack
Susan Sarandon, You Don't Know Jack
Outstanding Made for Television Movie
Georgia O'Keeffe (Lifetime)
The Special Relationship (HBO)
Temple Grandin (HBO)
You Don't Know Jack (HBO)
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien (NBC)
Outstanding Reality Competition Program
The Amazing Race (CBS)
American Idol (Fox)
Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Project Runway (Lifetime)
Top Chef (Bravo)