LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Modern Family" and "Breaking Bad" triumphed at Monday's Emmy Awards, proving that established broadcast and cable fare retains the power to fend off challenges from upstart online series such as "Orange Is the New Black."
The ceremony's emotional high point came with Billy Crystal's restrained and graceful remembrance of Robin Williams, who was found dead Aug. 11, an apparent suicide.
"He made us laugh. Hard. Every time you saw him," Crystal said of Williams at the conclusion of a tribute to industry members who died within the past 12 months. "Robin Williams, what a concept."
ABC's "Modern Family" won a fifth best comedy series Emmy, tying the record set by "Frasier," while the final season of AMC's "Breaking Bad" captured the top drama award and a trio of acting honors for its stars.
Netflix's freshman "Orange Is the New Black," which competed for best comedy series despite its dark prison setting, failed to sway Emmy voters, as did Netflix's sophomore series "House of Cards."
Bryan Cranston was honored as best actor in a drama for "Breaking Bad," proving that "True Detective" nominee Matthew McConaughey's movie-star appeal couldn't conquer all.
"I have gratitude for everything that has happened," Cranston said. His victory ties him with four-time best drama actor champ Dennis Franz. Cranston's co-stars Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn were honored in categories for best drama supporting acting — he for the third time and she for the second straight year — and the series won its second consecutive best drama award.
"Thank you for this wonderful farewell to our show," ''Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan said of the series about a teacher-turned-drug kingpin that ended with a bang.
A broadcast win was scored by ABC's "The Good Wife" star Julianna Margulies, honored as best lead actress in a drama series. "What a wonderful time for women on television," Margulies said.
McConaughey was the object of too-handsome jokes by presenter Jimmy Kimmel and adoration by winner Gail Mancuso, honored as best director for an episode of "Modern Family." It was one of the better gags of the night.
"If you don't mind, Matthew McConaughey, I'm gonna make eye contact with you right now," she said from the stage, making good by holding the actor's gaze for much of her speech.
The ceremony honoring the best of TV wasn't shy about playing the movie-star card. "Six minutes to Woody Harrelson" flashed on screen during Colin Bucksey's acceptance speech for best miniseries direction for "Fargo."
Harrelson and his "True Detective" co-star were given time to banter before announcing that Benedict Cumberbatch of "Sherlock: His Last Vow" was the winner of the best miniseries actor award.
"So you won Oscar, (People magazine's) Sexiest Man Alive and now you want an Emmy, too. Isn't that a little bit greedy?" Harrelson teased his fellow nominee.
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