May 24, 2013
'Modern Family' takes early Emmys on TV's big night
"Modern Family" got off to a strong start at the Primetime Emmy awards on Sunday as television's biggest night kicked off with a star-studded red carpet and high tension over who will win the top drama and comedy series trophies.
Eric Stonestreet won his second supporting comedy actor Emmy for his portrayal of Cameron Tucker, one half of the gay couple on "Modern Family," while the ABC comedy's Julie Bowen walked off with her second Emmy for her role as a stressed out mother of three.
The show, featuring the chaotic lives of three related couples and their children, also took home the Emmy for best comedy directing, setting it up for a widely expected third straight win for best comedy series.
Stonestreet paid tribute to his screen partner Jesse Tyler Ferguson, saying "There is no Cam without Mitch."
"We get to show America and the world what a loving couple we can be, just like everybody else," Stonestreet said.
Stand-up comedian Louis C.K. won the comedy writing Emmy for his FX show "Louie" in which he also stars, but he lost out in the lead comedy actor race to Jon Cryer of long-running CBS show "Two and A Half Men."
"I am stunned," Cryer said, accepting his award. "This is crazy."
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the star of "Veep," won the award for best lead comedy actress.
"The Amazing Race" won the Emmy for best reality competition series.
Hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel and shown live on ABC television, more than 20 Emmy awards - the highest honors in the TV industry - are being handed out in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Kimmel got the festivities off to a biting and topical start in an opening monologue that welcomed the audience to celebrate U.S. television as "the only American product the Chinese haven't figured out how to make."
As for British best drama Emmy contender "Downton Abbey," which is set in an aristocratic country house at the beginning of the 20th century, Kimmel quipped, "It really gives you a sense of what it must have been like to grow up in (US Republican presidential candidate) Mitt Romney's house."
Stylish 1960s-era advertising show "Mad Men," with 17 nominations, is hoping for a record fifth straight win in the best drama series category that for the first time features only shows on cable TV channels.
But the AMC show is facing tough competition for the top prize, particularly from PBS English period show "Downton Abbey," Showtime's psychological thriller "Homeland," and dark drug drama "Breaking Bad," also on AMC.
Six members of the large cast of "Downton Abbey," about the lives of aristocrats and their servants, also have acting nominations.
"It's been incredibly thrilling that it has taken off (in the United States) in the way that it as. I think we just have to enjoy it," Julian Fellowes, creator of "Downton Abbey," told Reuters as he arrived for Sunday's ceremony
"Homeland," a CIA thriller set in post-9/11 America, earned acting nominations for stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, while three time-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston is hoping to make it four for his turn as a mild chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine dealer in "Breaking Bad."
"This whole experience has been a surprise. The response from the critics and the audiences has been incredible," Howard Gordon, executive producer of "Homeland" told Reuters on the red carpet. "We are so overwhelmed to be here. We hope we come home with something. We could totally come home with nothing."
Lavish Prohibition-era gangster show "Boardwalk Empire" on HBO, and the warring medieval knights and kings of "Game of Thrones" (HBO) round out the drama series nominees.
British actors are also expected to do well on Sunday.
Maggie Smith is seen as a front-runner for supporting actress for her acid-tongued dowager countess in "Downton Abbey," while Benedict Cumberbatch is tipped to take home the miniseries actor Emmy for his modern twist on fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in the PBS/BBC drama "Sherlock," which is also a best miniseries contender.