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‘Modern Family’ and ‘Mad Men’ Win at Emmys

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Cast and crew members of ‘Modern Family’ accepted the outstanding comedy series award. More Photos >

Published: August 29, 2010

LOS ANGELES — It was the “Glee” misfits versus the “Modern Family” brood at the Primetime Emmys here on Sunday night, and the family took the top prize.

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Emmy Awards

Complete coverage of the 2010 Emmy nominations and awards, including an interactive ballot, slide shows and other multimedia features.



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Jane Lynch won the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her work in “Glee.” More Photos »

The freshman darling of broadcast television, “Modern Family” was the first ABC comedy in more than 20 years to receive the Emmy for outstanding comedy series.

Steven Levitan, one of the executive producers, said onstage that “we are so thrilled that families are sitting down together to watch a television show.”

With the win, “Modern Family” broke the three-year winning streak of NBC’s “30 Rock.”

The outstanding drama, for the third year in a row, was “Mad Men,” which put the AMC cable channel on the map. “We’re now in our fourth season; I didn’t even think we’d get through half of one,” said Matthew Weiner, the executive producer, who also received a writing award.

After years of talk about the tension between broadcast and cable channels, the awards on Sunday, at the Nokia Theater, indicated that the two can coexist rather peacefully.

In the drama categories AMC’s other big series, “Breaking Bad,” won two acting awards, one for Aaron Paul in a supporting-actor role and one for Bryan Cranston in the lead-actor role.

Though it was overshadowed by “Modern Family,” “Glee,” the other much-buzzed-about new comedy of the last season, picked up two prominent Emmys on Sunday, for Jane Lynch in the supporting-actress category and for Ryan Murphy for directing.

Onstage Ms. Lynch told the young actors on “Glee,” “When I’m not seething with jealousy, I’m so proud of you.”

Mr. Murphy, who is also the show’s executive producer, said “Glee” was about the importance of arts education, “so I would like to dedicate this to all my teachers who taught me to sing and to finger paint.”

After the first hour of the telecast, Fox executives noted that “Glee” had become the most Emmy-winning live-action comedy series in the 24-year history of the network.

Breaking the streak for “Glee” early in the evening, the award for lead actor in a comedy went to Jim Parsons, who plays the lovable geek Sheldon Lee Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory,” a popular CBS sitcom that was otherwise shut out of the biggest categories.

There was one big upset: after seven straight years of wins by CBS’s “Amazing Race,” the cooking competition “Top Chef” took home an Emmy in the reality-competition category, stunning people at its parent cable channel, Bravo.

Clutching her Emmy, Padma Lakshmi, a host of “Top Chef,” told reporters backstage that she strutted up to Phil Keoghan, host of “The Amazing Race,” on the red carpet and said: “I was taking him down, and guess what? I was right.”

“The Amazing Race” producer Jerry Bruckheimer had been teasing the host of another nominated reality show, Ryan Seacrest of “American Idol,” on Twitter all day. After “Top Chef” won, Mr. Seacrest asked, “Are we calling it a draw, bro?”

Mr. Bruckheimer answered: “Only for this year. Hope to see you next.”

With the streak broken for “The Amazing Race,” “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” becomes the show with the longest winning streak on television. It picked up the Emmy for best variety, music or comedy series for an eighth year, beating, among other shows, the short-lived Conan O’Brien version of “The Tonight Show.”

The prospect of Mr. O’Brien winning an award on NBC’s airwaves — after being shown the door by the network after only seven months as host of “The Tonight Show” — added a delicious bit of drama to the ceremony.

Jimmy Fallon, host of Sunday’s show, addressed that tension right away in the telecast, saying in the opening monologue: “NBC asking a late-night host to go to L.A. to host another show. What could possibly go wrong?” The control room cut to a close-up shot of Mr. O’Brien, who nodded to the camera.

Mr. Fallon asked, “Too soon?”

Rory Albanese, an executive producer of Comedy Central’s “Daily Show,” acknowledged Mr. O’Brien when he accepted the award on behalf of that channel. “The category is insane; we keep winning,” he said, adding, “It’s tough to feel bad.”

In two other nods for cable, Kyra Sedgwick won lead actress in a drama for TNT’s “Closer” and Edie Falco won lead actress in a comedy for Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie.”

Back on the broadcast side, Archie Panjabi was recognized as best supporting actress in a drama for “The Good Wife” on CBS.