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Drama series 'Mad Men' wins at Emmy awards

August 30, 2010

The television series "Mad Men" won the best drama series award at the 62nd annual Emmy Awards late Sunday while "Modern Family" was named the best comedy show.

"Mad Men," which tells the story of an advertising agency in the 1960s, won the award for the third year in a row.

ABC's "Modern Family," which makes fun of the everyday life of three American families, dethroned "30 Rock" in the category for outstanding comedy series.

Television movie "Temple Grandin," about a woman who triumphed over autism, also did well, boosting the standing of its producer, the Home Box Office cable television network.

The movie swept three prizes: Claire Danes won for lead actress in a movie or miniseries; Julia Ormond won supporting actress; and David Strathairn won the supporting actor award.

Hollywood's glitterati were out in force Sunday to fete television's finest performances, with actress Edie Falco nabbing one of the first coveted statuettes of the evening.

The evening at Los Angeles' Nokia Theater got under way with Falco, an alumna of the hit show "The Sopranos", winning top acting honors for her starring turn in the show "Nurse Jackie," a dark comedy in which she depicts a drug-abusing hospital worker.

"This is just the most ridiculous thing that has ever happened in the history of this ceremony," a flabbergasted Falco told the audience. "I'm not funny!"

Ryan Murphy scooped an Emmy for directing "Glee," another popular situation comedy show.

"Glee," which entered the award season with 19 nominations, picked up a total of only two statuettes. In addition to Murphy, Jane Lynch won for supporting actress for playing in the show a supercompetitive cheerleading coach.

Producer Tom Hanks' and director Steven Spielberg's World War II US army epic "The Pacific" got the prize for outstanding miniseries in another triumph for HBO, which led the field with 101 nominations this year.

Kyra Sedgwick won her first Emmy, for actress in a drama series, playing a tough Los Angeles policewoman in TNT's "The Closer."

Bryan Cranston for the third year in a row won for lead actor in a drama for "Breaking Bad," where he plays a deranged chemistry professor turned methamphetamine dealer.

Other winners included Adam Mazer for writing the screenplay for the TV movie "You Don't Know Jack."

Jim Parsons was named best actor in a comedy series for his performance in CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" while Eric Stonestreet won the best supporting actor award in a comedy for playing half of the gay couple in "Modern Family."

Al Pacino, who plays the much maligned right-to-die activist in "You Don't Know Jack", won the outstanding best lead actor award in a miniseries or a movie.

In a major surprise, "Top Chef," produced by the cable channel Bravo, won the outstanding reality-competition program prize, beating "The Amazing Race," an international chase show that had reigned in the genre for seven years.

The success marked the first Emmy for the producers of the cooking series.

"It's something we never expected," commented the show's executive producer, Dan Cutforth.

George Clooney, who led a galaxy of stars in a January telethon fundraiser for Haiti's earthquake victims, received a special Emmy for his humanitarian efforts.

The 49-year-old Hollywood heartthrob was honored for hosting the "Hope for Haiti Now" special, as well as his efforts to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina and raise awareness of the crisis in Darfur.

"George was an obvious choice for this honor," said John Shaffner, chairman and chief executive of the Television Academy.

"It's important to remember how many good things can be done because we live in such strange times where bad behaviors suck up all the attention in the press, and the people who really need the spotlight -- the Sudanese, people in the Gulf Coast, people in Pakistan -- they can't get any," Clooney told the audience after accepting the award from his former "ER" co-star Julianna Margulies.

The actor expressed regret that many of the current humanitarian efforts become short-lived and fizzle soon after television cameras go away.

"The hard part is seven months later, five years later," he said. "Honestly, we fail at that, most of the time."

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