Television may be churning out more original programming than ever, but Emmy voters on Monday opted for a healthy dose of repeats.
Throwing off the temptation to heap honors on up-and-comers such as
"To be compared with a show like 'Frasier' ... This is a really mind-blowing experience," said Steven Levitan, co-creator of "Modern Family" along with Christopher Lloyd, who was a writer-producer on "Frasier."
The lack of surprise was remarkable even to some of the winners. "Even I thought about voting for Matthew," quipped "Breaking Bad's"
In fact, the only new show to take a top prize was "Fargo," FX's crime drama inspired by the film of the same name, which won in the miniseries category. Like
This year's Emmys were the first held on a Monday since 1976, when the comedy prize went to "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." The switch from the typical slot — the last Sunday before the TV season officially starts in late September — was necessary because
Seth Meyers, NBC's late-night star who served as host of the three-hour ceremony, alluded in his monologue to the fact that the show was running on a Monday in late August. "Which, if I understand television, means the Emmy Awards are about to get canceled," he joked.
Before the event, some attendees had worried that red-carpet arrivals in the midst of Los Angeles rush hour would mean traffic Armageddon. Alternate means of transport became popular. ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel even tweeted a picture of himself in a tuxedo riding the Metro subway downtown.
In the end, the dreaded commuting mess did not materialize.
"I was so nervous about getting here," Julianna Margulies said on the red carpet, before she picked up her third overall Emmy, the latest one for
In terms of awards, the biggest breakthrough went to
"Sherlock: His Last Vow" won for
HBO's "The Normal Heart" — a star-studded adaptation of Larry Kramer's play about the early years of the AIDS crisis — won for TV movie.
Otherwise, voters' bias toward the tried-and-true was striking.
Comedy Central's "The
Allison Janney had already won five Emmys, including one last week for a guest spot on Showtime's drama "Masters of Sex." But the academy gave yet another on Monday for her supporting work on "Mom," a CBS sitcom that struggled to find an audience in its first season. That meant bypassing Kate Mulgrew in Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black" and Anna Chlumsky in HBO's "Veep," two shows with far greater critical acclaim.
Even if the results were not eye-popping, some winners still saw the overall crop of nominees as proof of the industry's health. This year the Emmys received the highest number of submissions ever in both the drama category with 108 and comedy with 86.
Margulies in particular cited the plethora of roles available to women. "Look at what's happening right now," she said backstage. "Just having
At least one person who claimed to be surprised at the outcome was "Breaking Bad" show runner Vince Gilligan, despite the fact that "Breaking Bad" had one of the most critically acclaimed final seasons in TV history. "I did not think we were going to win tonight," he said backstage. "But when Aaron won and then when
"We were up against some very stiff competition," he said. "We are so proud to be up there and so honored because you know, so many people could have won this tonight and it would have been justified and deserved. But I'm glad it was us."