The veteran TV producer ("Glee," "American Horror Story") who shepherded the play-to-telepic adaptation of Larry Kramer's Tony-winning play "The Normal Heart" for HBO, strolled into the network's after-party around 11 p.m.--one of many party stops in the night--to celebrate his Emmy gold.
"My heart may be slightly dented, but it's not broken," Murphy told the Times.
"The Normal Heart," about the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York, had received a total of 16 nominations and had been in contention for nearly every major award in the miniseries/movie categories--many for its all-star cast that included Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello and Jim Parsons.
In the end, the TV film walked away with two wins, including makeup for a miniseries or a movie (non-prosthetic) and television movie.
"I'm relieved," said Murphy, who implored folks around him who had been champions of the film to touch the atom that the statue's winged-woman holds, said of the experience. "You never know how these things will turn out. And getting the gold for the movie was a nice end to a project that was such a labor of love."
HBO programming president Michael Lombardo admitted he had wished for a slightly more golden outcome for the TV film.
"It's always disappointing when the things you care about don't win big," he said. "But I'm here to celebrate the positive. That's all I can control."
Many of the film's stars were in attendance at HBO's retro-themed shindig, including Roberts, Molina and Ruffalo, that latter of whom said he was heartened to have Kramer on stage to see how far his work was felt.
"I wanted Larry to win, I wanted him to win so badly," Ruffalo said of Kramer's nomination for writing for a miniseries, movie or dramatic special. "The lives he's touched with that piece is astounding. That's why it was so touching to have him on stage when the movie won. The way people reacted. You just felt it."
For more TV news, follow me on Twitter: @villarrealy