‘Mad Men’ Scoops Top Honor at Emmys
LOS ANGELES ~ Period drama Mad Men scooped the top honor at the 60th Emmy Awards here on Sunday as politics took center stage at the US television industry’s annual equivalent to the Oscars.
The critically acclaimed cable series – about the workings of a New York advertising agency in the early 1960s – was named outstanding drama series at a star-studded ceremony at the Nokia Theatre.
However the other big winners of the evening were two politically themed productions: the acclaimed historical drama John Adams about the second president of the United States and Recount about the contested 2000 election.
Home Box Office’s seven-part John Adams, starring Paul Giamatti in the title role, set a new record after picking up five top awards including outstanding mini-series and a virtual sweep of the acting prizes.
Giamatti took home the honors for outstanding lead actor in a mini-series or movie, with Laura Linney emulating the honor in the lead actress category. It was the third Emmy of Linney’s career.
Britain’s Tom Wilkinson meanwhile, nominated for an Academy Award earlier this year in the thriller Michael Clayton, won best supporting actor.
The dominance of John Adams came after the drama won in eight lesser categories at last week’s Creative Emmys, giving the series a total of 13 awards outright, beating the previous best of 11 set by Angels in America.
“Is that right? I’m astounded and I’m glad to hear it,” Giamatti said when told of John Adamsâ€™ record haul. “Angels in America was amazing so if this is considered equally amazing I’m glad.
“It was long, hard and I never shut up,” Giamatti added. “It felt like it was never going to end. It was like doing six movies.”
Meanwhile Linney, who played Adams’ wife and confidante Abigail, could not resist a political barb after collecting her prize.
Linney said the mini-series was a tribute to “the great community organizers that helped form our country,” a clear reference to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, a former community organizer.
Recount, a drama depicting the events following the 2000 presidential election, won in the outstanding made for television movie category.
The film’s director Jay Roach said he hoped this November’s presidential poll would follow a different script.
“We don’t want to go somewhere and do Recount 2: The Sequel,” Roach said.
Other acting awards meanwhile saw wins for two of Hollywood’s most established names, with Glenn Close scooping the lead drama actress prize for her portrayal of a ruthless litigator in Damages.
Close, perhaps best known for her performance as a psychopathic stalker in the 1987 film Fatal Attraction, had also won an acting Emmy in 1995.
It was a case of seventh-time lucky for veteran actor and activist Alec Baldwin, who won the first Emmy of his career in the outstanding lead actor in a comedy for 30 Rock, where he plays a television network executive.
However there was an upset in the outstanding drama actor category, where Bryan Cranston won for Breaking Bad, in which he plays a terminally ill teacher who turns to a life of crime to support his family.
Cranston pipped Mad Men’s John Hamm for the prize.
“You don’t know if you’re going to dance with the pretty girl and when she asks you to dance it’s beautiful such a surprise,” said Cranston.