Emmys 2012 shows love to 'Homeland'

Actress Claire Danes, winner of the Outstanding Lead

Actress Claire Danes, winner of the Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series award for "Homeland," poses backstage at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. (Sept. 23, 2012) (Credit: AP)

The record will have to wait: The Emmy for best drama Sunday night went to "Homeland," denying AMC's "Mad Men" a fifth best drama award, which would have made it the most honored drama in TV history.

But enough about "Mad Men": The 64th annual Prime Time Emmys belonged to the new Showtime drama (whose second season starts Sunday).

"This is the biggest night of my career," said co-executive producer Alex Ganza, who joked that "I'm going to keep talking until" he was kicked off the stage. Joined on stage by his colleagues, including co-executive producer and Roslyn native Howard Gordon, he also noted that the win was Showtime's first ever for a drama. "This is your night as well as ours."

PHOTOS: The 2012 Emmy Awards | Emmy Nominees

MORE: Complete list of winners

Earlier, "Homeland" won for lead actress (Claire Danes) and actor (Damian Lewis). Danes as CIA agent Carrie Mathison was an overwhelming favorite to win, but Lewis, who plays Nicholas Brody, her lover and "Manchurian Candidate" turned by his captors, was not. He beat out favorites, including Jon Hamm of "Mad Men," for his first best actor win. "Homeland" also won for best writing on a drama.

Meanwhile, "Modern Family" won its third straight Emmy for best comedy, while Jon Cryer, long overshadowed by Charlie Sheen in one of TV's most popular sitcoms, "Two and a Half Men," finally nailed down the award Sheen never could (after four nominations) -- best actor in a sitcom. "Don't panic, people. Something has clearly gone terribly wrong. I'm stunned," he said. Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home the Emmy for lead actress in a comedy for HBO's "Veep."

Other highlights:

 

THE OPEN. Emmy cold opens have a long, colorful and very silly history, but last night's may have been the first to open in a women's bathroom. Host Jimmy Kimmel rushed -- crying -- into a stall, a botched Botox treatment the source of his anxiety. Nominated actresses, working on their own faces, punched his back into shape and, well . . . you saw it, too. (In another amusing bit, "Girls" star Lena Dunham was shown topless -- albeit digitized -- in another stall.) Kimmel's monologue worked out better: "Being a Republican in Hollywood is like being a Chick-fil-A sandwich on the snack table at 'Glee.' " Noting President Barack Obama's favorite show, he said: "I don't think the president should watch 'Homeland' for the same reason Charlie Sheen shouldn't watch 'Breaking Bad.' "

THE PRANK. Kimmel all week promised a prank that would get people talking and tweeting. He brought "30 Rock's" Tracy Morgan on stage, then said, "Here's what we're going to do. Everyone in the audience go on Facebook and go on Twitter right now [and write] 'Oh My God, Tracy Morgan just passed out at the Emmys turn on ABC right now." The prank fell flat, even if presenters Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere seemed amused by having Morgan's prostrate body a few feet away.

ANDY GRIFFITH TRIBUTE. Director Ron Howard, perhaps better known to boomers as Opie of "The Andy Griffith Show," offered a moving tribute to his longtime friend and castmate. "Andy's legacy of excellence, accessibility and range puts him in the pantheon, but dang if he didn't make it look powerful easy while he was going about it. He will be missed."

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