2012 Emmys: Winners, Losers and Emmy Awards ceremony
(AP, ABC7) - "Homeland" struck a nerve with Emmy Award voters on Sunday, being crowned best drama series and earning Damian Lewis and Claire Danes lead acting awards.
On the comedy side, Jon Cryer of "Two and a Half Men" and "Modern Family" won best comedy series again and Jimmy Kimmel proving a game but uneven host.
Lewis' win denied Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad" wins his fourth Emmy Award as lead actor in a drama and made "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm an also-ran once more.
"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."
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.
Backstage, Danes said she particularly appreciated one fan: President Barack Obama has said he's a fan of "Homeland," about a Marine and former POW who's suspected of working for al-Qaeda.
"No pressure," the actress said. "It's way cool that he is a fan. It speaks to the relevancy of the show and it's hugely validating."
The acting trophies, along with a best writing award for the show, gave "Homeland" momentum as it headed toward the best drama award. Aaron Paul won best supporting drama actor for "Breaking Bad" and "Homeland" won the best writing award.
"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 decided that "Two and a Half Men" with Jon Cryer and without Charlie Sheen is really good, as Cryer claimed the best comedy actor trophy.
"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." Ashton Kutcher, who joined the show after Sheen was fired, wasn't nominated. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was honored as best actress in comedy for "Veep."
Andy Griffith topped a segment honoring industry members who died during the previous year. Ron Howard, who played Griffith's son Opie in "The Andy Griffith Show," said he belonged "in the pantheon."
"Dang if he didn't make it look powerful easy while he was going about it," Howard said.
Phyllis Diller, Davy Jones of "The Monkees," Sheman Hemsley and Richard Dawson were among the others honored in a montage.
Earlier in the show, Kimmel dared to mock the in memorial package that typically airs at awards shows with one showing him in various guises. Josh Groban sang a mournful "You're Beautiful" in background.
"I will be missed," Kimmel said.
Maggie Smith was honored as best supporting drama actress for her tart-tongued dowager in "Downton Abbey," unhurt by the program's move from the miniseries category.
"Homeland," the domestic espionage thriller, won the best drama writing award.
"Modern Family" made it look easy as the comedy won the best directing trophy and Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen claimed supporting actor awards.
There was at least a minor backlash online as some questioned whether the show had a deserving season. Stonestreet was funny and touching as he accepted for his role as half of a devoted gay couple.
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