The first-year Showtime thriller about a bipolar counterterrorism analyst, played by Claire Danes, who suspects a U.S. Marine and recently repatriated prisoner-of-war of being a sleeper agent won the TV industry’s highest honour, taking home the Emmy for outstanding drama series. Homeland won a total of six Emmys, equalling the mark set by Game of Thrones. Homeland won Emmys for best drama series, actor, actress, writing and, at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys, casting and editing.
Game of Thrones‘ awards came in primarily technical categories.
Comedy perennial Modern Family won five Emmys over-all, including the coveted award for outstanding comedy series. It was Modern Family‘s third win in as many years in the category.
Homeland‘s Damian Lewis won the Emmy for outstanding lead actor. Lewis’s win surprised those who believed Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston might win his fourth Emmy, after winning three consecutive times from 2008-10.
“I’m one of those pesky Brits,” Lewis said dryly, in accepting his award. “Apologies. I don’t believe in judging art but I thought I’d show up just in case. It worked out.”
Danes won the lead drama actress award, also for Homeland. It was Danes’s second Emmy, to go with the Emmy she won in 2010, for Temple Grandin.
Accepting the Emmy for drama writing, co-executive producer and showrun-ner Howard Gordon credited Israeli screenwriter Gideon Raff for Homeland’s inspiration. Gordon noted that Raff wrote Hatufim, whose English translation is Prisoners of War, the award-winning Israeli series on which Homeland‘s drama is based.
Homeland aside, it was a night for the blended family that makes up Modern Family, standup comedian Louis C.K., Emmy perennial The Amazing Race and frequent winner Jon Stewart, of The Daily Show.
Among Modern Family‘s five Emmys were outstanding comedy series, supporting comedy actor Eric Stonestreet, supporting actress Julie Bowen, directing and sound mixing.
“I want to thank me for hiring me as a director when no one else would,” Modern Family co-creator and head writer Steve Levitan said, in accepting the award for directing. “I wouldn’t be standing here with-out my faith in me.”
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart made Emmy history as well, winning its 10th Emmy in as many years. The Daily Show was first nominated in 2001, and won its first award in 2003.
It won over a field of competitors this year that included The Colbert Report, which Stewart co-produces, Real Time with Bill Maher, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Kimmel was the evening’s host. He soldiered on gamely and handled the three-hour event as best he could, despite frequent sound drops with live microphones, awkward comedy bits and stilted lines that often seemed forced.
The awards themselves are known for the occasional surprise, and on Sunday the surprise came early: Jon Cryer won the Emmy for best lead actor in a comedy, for Two and a Half Men, over a field that included past Emmy favourites Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons, and first-time nominee and consensus front-runner Louis C.K.