Tina Fey, the creator and star of NBC’s ‘30 Rock’, failed to defend her best comic actress title. She lost to Australia’s Toni Collette, who plays a woman with multiple personalities in Showtime’s ‘United States of Tara’.
Fey’s co-star Alec Baldwin was the only one of the 13 nominees from either ‘30 Rock’ or ‘Mad Men’ to win an acting prize, in his case for playing a bumbling network TV boss.
Still, ‘30 Rock’ was named best comedy for a third year, and ‘Mad Men’ best drama for a second. Both prizes were announced at the end of the three-hour ceremony.
“Phew! That was a nail-biter,” said Fey, accepting the big prize for ‘30 Rock’, which won just five of the leading 22 Emmys for which the cult favourite had been nominated. ‘Mad Men’, whose audience is about 2 million on the niche cable channel AMC, won just three of the 16 Emmys for which it had been nominated. Last year, the period saga made history by becoming the first series from a cable network other than HBO to win the Emmy for best drama.
“I may be the only person in the room with complete creative freedom. That is why the show is so good,” said ‘Mad Men’ creator Matthew Weiner, who shared the Emmy with Kater Gordon for best drama writing. Glenn Close repeated her win for best dramatic actress for her role as a ruthless lawyer in ‘Damages’ on the FX cable channel.
Bryan Cranston, who plays a chemistry teacher who turns to drug dealing to pay for his medical bills in ‘Breaking Bad’ on AMC, was also a repeat as best actor in a drama.
Despite expanding the number of nominees this year to acknowledge the range of shows on more than 120 network and cable channels in the United States, upstarts like Fox’s irreverent cartoon series ‘Family Guy’ and HBO’s polygamy drama ‘Big Love’ went home empty-handed.
Host Neil Patrick Harris, star of the CBS sitcom ‘How I Met Your Mother’, kicked off the live telecast with a comic song and dance routine called ‘Put down the Remote’ that urged viewers to resist the urge to switch channels or go online.