Emmy Awards 2013: Jeff Daniels, Julia Louis-Dreyfus win awards
Jeff Daniels, winner for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, speaks onstage during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on Sept. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles. /KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES
Jeff Daniels won the Emmy Award on Sunday for best drama series actor for his role "The Newsroom," with Claire Danes capturing top dramatic actress honors for "Homeland."
Daniels, who beat out nominees like Kevin Spacey of "House of Cards" and Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad," noted that he'd also received an age 50-plus acting honor from the American Association of Retired Persons.
"With all due respect to the AARP, this is even better," Daniels said.
Danes, who captured her second trophy for the terrorism drama, paid tribute to one of the series' writers, Henry Brommell, who died last March and who received a writing Emmy posthumously Sunday.
Danes' win ended the hope that "Scandal" star Kerry Washington would become the first African-American actress to win in the category.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus claimed her second consecutive best comedy actress Emmy for her role on "Veep," while Jim Parsons won the top comedy actor trophy for "The Big Bang Theory."
"This is so much good fortune it's almost too much to bear," said Louis-Dreyfus. "I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to make people laugh. It's a joyful way to make a living."
Parsons got emotional while accepting his third Emmy, saying, "My heart, oh my heart. I want you to know I'm very aware of how exceedingly fortunate I am."
Laura Linney was named best actress in a miniseries or movie for "The Big C: Hereafter." "The Voice" won best reality-competition program, "The Colbert Report" was crowned best variety show and Tina Fey won for writing "30 Rock."
"Breaking Bad" star Anna Gunn was named best supporting actress in a drama series, while Bobby Cannavale of "Boardwalk Empire" won the best actor award in the same category.
Merritt Wever of "Nurse Jackie" won the night's first award, for best supporting actress in a comedy series, kicking off the ceremony on a surprising note and with a remarkably brief acceptance speech.
"Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Um, I got to go, bye," Weaver told the audience after besting a field that included two-time winner Julie Bowen of "Modern Family."
"Merritt Weaver, best speech ever," host Neil Patrick Harris quipped.
Backstage, she offered an explanation: "I'm sorry I didn't thank anyone. I was going to cry."
Tony Hale of "Veep" claimed the trophy for best supporting actor in a comedy, a category that has been the property in recent years of the men of "Modern Family."
"Oh, man... This is mindblowing, mindblowing," Hale said.
Robin Williams offered the first of five memorial tributes that were added to the traditional "In memoriam" group tribute. He paid tribute to actor-comedian Jonathan Winters, while actor-director Rob Reiner honoring the late actress Jean Stapleton, his co-star in the landmark 1970s series "All in the Family," and Michael J. Fox spoke in memory of "Family Ties" creator Gary David Goldberg.
"Glee" star Jane Lynch spoke in memory of her co-star Cory Monteith, who died of a drug overdose in July. "Cory was a beautiful soul. He was not perfect, which many of us here tonight can relate to," Lynch said. "His death is a tragic reminder of the rapacious, senseless destruction that is brought on by addiction. Tonight, we remember Cory for all he was, and mourn the loss for all he could have been."
Elton John performed a musical tribute to Liberace, introduced by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, the nominated stars of HBO's biopic "Behind the Candelabra."
The telecast also paid tribute to milestone television moments of the 1960s, including the coverage of President John F. Kennedy's assassination and the Beatles' performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," in a segment narrated by Don Cheadle and with a performance by Carrie Underwood.
The ceremony, airing live on CBS from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, began with an opener showing Harris in a room full of TVs, binge-watching all the night's nominated shows. (There was also a cameo from CBS Corp. chairman Les Moonves, as a security guard greeting the host as he arrived for the Emmys.)
On stage, Harris got some help -- and harassment -- from past emcees including Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler shouted that the host should take off his pants and twerk, while Kevin Spacey channeled his scheming "House of Cards" character with a nefarious aside from the audience.
All eyes are on Netflix's "House of Cards" on TV's big night. The political thriller, the first online program to compete for the top trophy, is part of a video universe explosion that's added streaming services including Netflix and websites like YouTube to broadcast, cable and satellite TV delivery.
ABC's "Modern Family" has the chance at its fourth consecutive best comedy series trophy.
"House of Cards" faces tough opposition. AMC's "Breaking Bad" is after its first best drama award as it nears the end of its five-season run, and "Mad Men" would like to claim a fifth honor to set a record for most wins in the category.
AMC's "Mad Men" is tied with past greats "Hill Street Blues," ''The West Wing," and "L.A. Law." Last year, Showtime's "Homeland" played spoiler by taking the trophy and is nominated again along with PBS' "Downton Abbey" and HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Spacey, his co-star Robin Wright and Jason Bateman of Netflix's comedy "Arrested Development" are the first to snare lead online series bids.
There have been Internet nominees before, such as last year's "Web Therapy" and "30 Rock: The Webisodes" in a short-format category, but not in the premier fields of acting and best series.
At last weekend's creative arts Emmys for technical and other achievements, "Behind the Candelabra" received a leading eight awards. Overall network leaders included HBO with 20 awards, followed by CBS with 15 and NBC with eight.