‘Homeland’ a surprise winner as ‘Modern Family’ gets more Emmys
BY LORI RACKL TV Criticemail@example.com September 23, 2012 10:50PM
Damian Lewis of "Homeland" accepts the drama series lead actor Emmy on Sunday. John Shearer~Invision/AP
Actor: Damian Lewis, “Homeland”
Actress: Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Supporting actor: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”
Supporting actress: Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Directing: Tim Van Patten, “Boardwalk Empire”
Writing: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Ruff, “Homeland”
Series: “Modern Family”
Actor: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men”
Actress: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Supporting actor: Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family”
Supporting actress: Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Directing: Steven Levitan, “Modern Family”
Writing: Louis C.K., “Louie”
Miniseries or movie: “Game Change”
Actor: Kevin Costner, “Hatfields & McCoys”
Actress: Juliannne Moore, “Game Change”
Supporting actor: Tom Berenger, “Hatfields & McCoys”
Supporting actress: Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story”
Directing: Jay Roach, “Game Change”
Writing: Danny Strong, “Game Change”
Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”
Special directing: Glenn Weiss, “65th Annual Tony Awards”
Special writing: Louis C.K., “Live at the Beacon Theater”
Series: “The Amazing Race”
Host: Tom Bergeron, “Dancing With the Stars”
Updated: October 25, 2012 6:24AM
The 64th annual Modern Family Awards once again saw the ABC comedy haul in a heap of Emmys on a night that also included a few curveballs, courtesy of freshman hit series “Homeland.”
The television academy isn’t exactly a Cracker Jack box when it comes to surprises, but it shook up the status quo by passing over two-time winner Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) for outstanding lead actor in a comedy. This time the statuette went to Jon Cryer, who pulled off something former colleague Charlie Sheen never did: win best lead for “Two and a Half Men.”
With several categories long on stiff competition, the 2012 Emmys proved to be one of the trickier to predict (“Modern Family” excluded). But one category — lead actress in a drama series — had just about every pundit’s crystal ball showing the same face.
As expected, Claire Danes dominated for her turn as an intense, bipolar CIA operations officer in the cat-and-mouse thriller “Homeland,” whose debut season produced an impressive nine Emmy nods.
What wasn’t preordained was the Showtime series taking the best lead actor category, too. British actor Damian Lewis, who nailed it as a turned P.O.W. in the Israeli-inspired show, logged a surprise win. He defeated three-time victor and ostensible shoo-in Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and kept the statuette out of the hands of perennial nominee Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”).
“Mad Men” once again failed to win any acting awards, a tradition upheld by the AMC series every year. A much happier tradition — snagging top drama honors — was blown up by “Homeland,” which ended “Mad Men’s” record-tying four-in-a-row winning streak.
“Does it bother anybody else that President Obama said his favorite show is ‘Homeland?’ ” asked Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel. “I don’t think the president should be watching ‘Homeland’ for the same reason I don’t think Charlie Sheen should watch ‘Breaking Bad.’ ”
Kimmel, at the helm of his first Emmys, did a good if not great job as host. His monologue worked better than the opening pre-taped segment, where actresses huddled in the bathroom to inexplicably punch the Botox out of Kimmel’s Joker face. But even that bit had its humorous highlights, namely Lena Dunham (“Girls”) perched naked on a toilet while feasting on cake, and a self-deprecating cameo by the disastrous team of reality TV hosts who emceed the low-rated Emmys four years ago.
Kimmel noted that this year marked the first time none of the best drama series nominees came from a Big Four broadcast net. “The academy is sending a pretty clear message,” he quipped. “Show us your boobs.”
The academy also sent a lot of Emmy love in the direction of “Game Change,” which raked in four trophies, including one for best miniseries or movie and one for lead actress Julianne Moore.
“I feel so validated because Sarah Palin gave me a big thumbs down,” said a beaming Moore, who played the former Republican vice-presidential nominee in the HBO movie.
As for the awards show itself, some of the best skits involved Don Knotts getting offed in a “Breaking Bad”-“Andy Griffith Show” mash-up and Tracy Morgan (“30 Rock”) pretending to be passed out on stage in the hopes of lighting up the Twittersphere.
Another inspired bit featured the young Lily from “Modern Family” being replaced by “Community’s” Ken Jeong, sporting pigtails.
It’s been a banner year for the “Modern Family” cast — fat raises followed by more hardware to fill an already well-stocked trophy case.
The ensemble sitcom pulled off a three-peat, snagging top comedy honors for the third year in a row. Julie Bowen was crowned best supporting actress for the second time, while Eric Stonestreet won best supporting actor over fellow castmate Jesse Tyler Ferguson, giving Cam and Mitch one more reason to bicker.