‘Modern Family,’ ‘Mad Men’ Lead Emmy Award Winners as Best Comedy, Drama

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CHICAGO – Jimmy Fallon brought his increasingly impressive wit to the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night, August 29th, 2010, at which AMC’s “Mad Men” and ABC’s “Modern Family” were the big winners with Eric Stonestreet, Jane Lynch, Jim Parsons, Edie Falco, Aaron Paul, Archie Panjabi, Bryan Cranston, and Kyra Sedgwick walking away with the major awards.

After a rocking opening to “Born to Run” and a clever monologue, the night started off with the presentation of Best Supporting Actor to Eric Stonestreet of “Modern Family,” who reportedly submitted the fantastic episode in which his character Cameron revealed his background and abilities as a clown. Stonestreet was humble and honored and a great winner.

Jane Lynch
Jane Lynch
Photo credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC

“Modern Family” made it two-in-a-row with a win for writing for the pilot of their great series and it began to look like the ABC freshman program could sweep all the way to Outstanding Comedy Series. Of course, that was about to change. The Supporting Actress in a Comedy category predictably went to Jane Lynch for “Glee” and then Ryan Murphy accepted the Directing prize for that show’s pilot. At two awards a piece, the stage was set for a “Modern Family” vs. “Glee” showdown in the category of Outstanding Comedy Series.

With “Modern Family” not nominated in either Lead Actor or Lead Actress, “Glee” had a serious chance to move ahead but these categories finally spread the wealth, awarding the spectacular Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory” for the first time and Edie Falco for her jaw-dropping work on “Nurse Jackie.” The humble, beautiful, and talented Falco gave a great speech, pointing out “I’m not funny.” Of course, Falco had won before for “The Sopranos,” but every winner in the comedy categories was a first-timer for that particular role. It was a great year for new comedy.

The only reality award category presented on the live show was Best Reality Competition Program, which shockingly went to the great “Top Chef,” the first time that a series other than “The Amazing Race” won in the relatively new category.

The show skipped over the mini-series and movie categories and jumped straight to drama where the talk was AMC darlings “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men” vs. the final season of “Lost.”.

Edie Falco
Edie Falco
Photo credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC

The section began with a win for “Mad Men” for writing and it was followed by a win for another AMC show with Aaron Paul taking his first Emmy for his truly spectacular work on “Breaking Bad.” The winner for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series went to another first-time winner (the theme of the evening) with Archie Panjabi winning for “The Good Wife.”

At this point in the evening, not a single winner was a repeat from the year before, just another sign of the incredible shift in programming quality in the last year. Would it continue?

Nope. Bryan Cranston won for the third year in a row for his flawless work on “Breaking Bad,” a hard win to argue with unless you’re friends with Kyle Chandler or Michael C. Hall or held on to the hope that Matthew Fox would be awarded for his last season of “Lost.” Lead Actress in a Drama Series was arguably the most shocking win of the night as Kyra Sedgwick took home her first Emmy for her excellent work on “The Closer.”

“Dexter” surprisingly won the prize for Directing and it looked like Outstanding Drama Series was a bit wide open with the Showtime series, “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” and “The Good Wife” all having won awards on the night.

The night hit a bit of a lull with the Variety and Movie/Mini-Series categories with “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” winning for the SEVENTH time. We’re not saying it’s not deserving but yawn.

HBO predictably swept the movie and mini-series categories with Julia Ormond, David Strathairn, Claire Danes, and Director Mick Jackson all winning for “Temple Grandin,” which also won the big prize for Best Movie. Al Pacino predictably won for HBO’s “You Don’t Know Jack” and “The Pacific” won Mini-Series.

It was back to Outstanding Dramatic and Outstanding Comedy Series. Would “Mad Men” and “30 Rock” repeat or would a night of surprised end with two more?

Despite not winning a single acting award, “Mad Men” won for the third year in a row, disappointing “Lost” fans everywhere. Finally, ABC’s excellent “Modern Family” won Best Comedy, ending a night of wonderful surprises and mostly-deserving winners on a delightful note.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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