'Modern Family,' 'Homeland' dominate Emmy Awards

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) Photo Credit: AP

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"Homeland" and "Modern Family" were the big winners coming out of the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards. While those two shows won multiple Emmys, television stars from the Hudson Valley went home empty-handed.

“Homeland” dominated in the drama category, winning for best drama as well for series leads Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

Lewis' win denied Stone Ridge resident Steve Buscemi his first-ever Emmy win for “Boardwalk Empire." The win for Lewis also prevented “Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad" from scoring his fourth Emmy Award as lead actor in a drama.

"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."

Among the nominees Danes bested in the lead actress category were two actors from the Hudson Valley: Spring Valley native Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") and northern Westchester resident Glenn Close ("Damages").

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 its best drama win.

HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" won the award for best directing, and in the supporting actor categories, Maggie Smith won for "Downton Abbey," as did Aaron Paul for "Breaking Bad," his second win. 

"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 once again voted "Modern Family" as best comedy series. The Emmy Awards kicked off with a trio of wins for the popular series, which  dominated the supporting actor categories. 

Julie Bowen won the Emmy for best supporting actress in a comedy, which she also won last year. Among the nominees she beat out for the award was "Nurse Jackie" star Merritt Wever, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

Bowen's co-star Eric Stonestreet won his second Emmy for best supporting actor as well, beating three of his "Modern Family" castmates as well as Dobbs Ferry native Max Greenfield and Bill Hader of "Saturday Night Live."

"Modern Family" also won for best directing, while standup comic Louie C.K. won for best writing for his comedy series "Louie."

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"Two and a Half Men" star Jon Cryer was also a second-time winner, nabbing the Emmy for best actor in a comedy (his previous win came as best supporting actor).

"Don't panic, people. Something has clearly gone terribly wrong. I'm stunned," said Cryer, who on the red carpet before the show has expressed confidence he wouldn't win. Among others, he beat out two-time winner Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus won the Emmy Award for best lead actress in a comedy for her role as a caustic U.S. vice president in the HBO comedy "Veep." It was the actor's third Emmy win. 

"The Daily Show" won best variety, music or comedy series, a category it has dominated since 2003. Show host Jon Stewart was almost prevented from accepting the award by fellow nominees Steven Colbert and former Saugerties resident Jimmy Fallon, who jokingly tried to stop Stewart from taking the stage. 

The "In Memoriam" segment was introduced by Armonk native Ron Howard. The actor / director paid tribute to his "Andy Griffith Show" co-star Andy Griffith, who passed away earlier this year. Mount Vernon natives Dick Clark and Heavy D were among those included in the tribute.

The awards show started with bathroom humor: A filmed bit with Kathy Bates, Zooey Deschanel and other nominated actresses prepping in the restroom, then discovering a weeping Jimmy Kimmel lamenting a Botox reaction he said would keep him off stage as host.

"You look beautiful," he was reassured. "You look like a 'Real Housewife.'"

Viewers of the skit may have been puzzled by a nude Lena Dunham, the creator-star of "Girls," who's routinely brave about showing skin on the HBO comedy.

Not all his material worked. One bit that fell flat had Kimmel's parents, or so the host said, escorted out of the theater because they promised he would win an Emmy and he didn't.

"Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane found presenting can be tricky.

"Oh, the mic's over there," he said, after discovering he was on the wrong side of the stage. "This is what happens when you don't come to rehearsal," MacFarlane said.

Fashionistas noticed yellow was hot, the color of choice for Julianne Moore, a pregnant Danes, Julie Bowen and Hannah Simone from "New Girl."

"Best hair and makeup goes to Danes. Perfect!" tweeted Emma Roberts.

HBO came into the night with a leading 17 creative arts Emmys from a Sept. 15 ceremony honoring technical and other achievements. CBS was second with 13, followed by PBS with 11. Discovery received six awards, NBC got five and ABC and the Cartoon Network won four each. Fox received two trophies.

Emmy has to prove herself a winner with the audience. After rebounding somewhat to 13.5 million viewers in 2010 after an all-time low in 2008 of 12.3 million, last year's show drew 12.4 million viewers airing on Fox. The ceremony rotates annually among the four major networks.

-With The Associated Press

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