Mommie-Not-So-Dearest triumphed over
, who plays the ruthless matriarch of an outlaw motorcycle gang in
scored the first upset of the
ceremony when she won for lead actress in a television
, beating out popular favorites
in "The Good Wife" and
in "The Closer."
"I'm so shocked, but I am prepared," she said as she began her acceptance speech.
Her award came amid a night of surprises, as
series "BoardwalkEmpire" took home two awards in its first season (for TV drama and
for actor in a drama), and
won for actress in a
was the night's big winner for the television categories, with awards going to supporting actor
, supporting actress
, and television series, comedy or musical.
But Sagal's win was especially sweet for the actress and "Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, given the hoopla that erupted last year when the cable network's most popular series failed to nab any nominations. Critics hailed the drama and singled out Sagal, whose character endured several intense storylines, including being brutally beaten and raped by a white surpremacist.
Sutter, married to Sagal, fired off several scathing tweets on his blog blasting Emmy voters and taking a particularly nasty shot at nominee
("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"). Industry insiders said Sutter alienated academy members and potentially jeopardized the drama's chances for award consideration.
Sagal, best known for her role as the daffy Peg Bundy in "Married…With Children," paid special tribute to Sutter during her acceptance: "Sweetheart, I love you. I'm so glad you're the boss of me."
Appearing backstage moments later, Sagal said, "[Kurt] is super happy for me. This honors our show as well as honors me. So I give this to him, and we'll see what he does with it. I am proudly holding it."