The Emmy Awards refused to play it predictably Sunday, with awards going to Damian Lewis and Claire Danes of “Homeland” and Jon Cryer of “Two and a Half Men” and Jimmy Kimmel proving a game but uneven host.
Lewis’ win denied Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” wins his fourth Emmy Award as lead actor in a drama and made “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm an also-ran once more.
“I’m one of those pesky Brits, I apologize,” said Lewis, who plays an American in the espionage thriller.
“I don’t really believe in judging art, but I thought I’d show up just in case.”
Danes, eye-catching in a bright yellow dress that gracefully draped the pregnant actress, was effusive.
“My husband, my love, my life, my baby daddy, this doesn’t mean anything without you,” she said to her spouse, actor Hugh Dancy.
The acting trophies, along with a best writing award for the show, gave “Homeland” momentum as it headed toward the best drama award.
Aaron Paul won best supporting drama actor for “Breaking Bad” and “Homeland” won the best writing award.
“Thank you so much for not killing me off,” Paul said of his drug-dealing character’s lucky survival. “Thank you, Hollywood, for allowing me to be part of your group,” he added, noting he’d moved from Idaho to pursue his dreams.
On the comedy side, Emmy voters decided that “Two and a Half Men” with Jon Cryer and without Charlie Sheen is really good, as Cryer claimed the best comedy actor trophy.
“Don’t panic, people. Something has clearly gone terribly wrong. I’m stunned,” said Cryer. Among others, he beat Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory.”
Maggie Smith was honored as best supporting drama actress for her tart-tongued dowager in “Downton Abbey,” unhurt by the program’s move from the miniseries category.
“Homeland,” the domestic espionage thriller, won the best drama writing.
“Modern Family” made it look easy as the comedy’s Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen claimed supporting actor awards, although there was at least a minor backlash online as some questioned whether it had a deserving season.
Stonestreet was funny and touching as he accepted for his role as half of a devoted gay couple.
“I wouldn’t be standing here without Jesse Tyler Ferguson, there is no Cam without Mitch,” he said, saluting his co-star. “We get the awesome opportunity to play these two characters on TV and show America and the world what a loving couple we can be just like everybody else.”
The list of winners…
List of winners at Sunday’s 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:
— Drama Series: “Homeland,” Showtime.
— Actress, Drama Series: Claire Danes, “Homeland,” Showtime.
— Actor, Drama Series: Damian Lewis, “Homeland,” Showtime.
— Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
— Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey,” PBS.
— Writing, Drama Series: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, “Homeland,” Showtime.
— Directing, Drama Series: Tim Van Patten, “Boardwalk Empire,” HBO.
— Comedy Series: “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Actor, Comedy Series: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men,” CBS.
— Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO.
— Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Julie Bowen, “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Writing, Comedy Series: Louis C.K, “Louie,” FX Networks.
— Directing, Comedy Series: Steven Levitan, “Modern Family,” ABC.
— Miniseries or Movie: “Game Change,” HBO.
— Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Julianne Moore, “Game Change,” HBO.
— Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Kevin Costner, “Hatfields & McCoys,” History.
— Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story,” FX Networks.
— Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Tom Berenger, “Hatfields & McCoys,” History.
— Directing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Jay Roach, “Game Change,” HBO.
— Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Danny Strong, “Game Change,” HBO.
— Reality-Competition Program: “The Amazing Race,” CBS.
— Host, Reality-Competition Program: Tom Bergeron, “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC.
— Variety, Music or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central.
— Writing for a Variety Special: Louis C.K., “Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre,” FX Networks.
— Directing, Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Glenn Weiss, 65th Annual Tony Awards, CBS.