"Homeland" ended the four-year run of "Mad Men" to win the top drama prize at the Primetime Emmy awards on Sunday, while "Modern Family" reigned for a third year as the best comedy series on television.
"Homeland," a post 9/11 psychological thriller, won best drama after one season on cable channel Showtime. It also took home trophies for best writing and best acting for its two leads, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.
"Homeland" brought to an end the reign of AMC's stylish 1960s advertising show "Mad Men," which left Sunday's Emmy ceremony empty-handed. "Modern Family," ABC's show about the chaotic lives of three related couples and their children, won best comedy series for a third year and supporting actor Emmys for Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen, as well as a directing award.
"Two and A Half Men's" Jon Cryer was the surprise winner in the comedy actor category. In what was seen as a tight race for lead comedy actress, Julia Louis-Dreyfus beat "Girls" star Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler, "New Girl" Zooey Deschanel and Tina Fey for the Emmy for her turn as a frustrated U.S. vice president in the satirical HBO show "Veep."
"Game Change," the HBO story of Sarah Palin's entry into the 2008 U.S. vice presidential race, was also a big winner, taking the Emmy for best miniseries, writing, directing, and acting for star Julianne Moore. "The Amazing Race" won for the best reality series Emmy for the ninth time, while Tom Bergeron won best reality host for "Dancing with the Stars."