With the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards now down in the history books, the television industry’s highest honors will be remembered as an awards show that was all about “in with the old and out with the new.”
With repeat program winners in the marquee drama and comedy series categories, it also turns out that every lead actor and actress whose name was announced for their work in those shows had other Emmys at home to keep their new ones company.
Here’s a look at the golden Emmy history of all the big winners who emerged triumphant with trophies in hand from the Nokia Theatre Monday night:
Drama Series — “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game of Thrones (HBO)
“House of Cards” (Netflix)
“Mad Men” (AMC)
“True Detective” (HBO)
Despite the controversy of limited series “True Detective” being in the category – and favored by many to win it –“Breaking Bad” made television history by taking the big crown of the evening home. Some may not recall that the meth-making crime drama set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, started off extremely slowly, both in viewership and in Emmy love. In 2008, the first year it was eligible, it picked up just four nominations and got two wins, including the first for lead actor Bryan Cranston, and for single camera picture editing. The following year, it won the same two trophies, garnering just three other nominations. In 2010, Cranston picked up his third trophy for playing the iconic character of Walter White while co-star Aaron Paul received his first Emmy Award for portraying Jesse Pinkman. There were five additional nominations.
By 2012 — the show didn’t air during the eligibility period for 2011 — “Breaking Bad” had become an awards powerhouse and a pop culture touchstone with 13 nominations and another win for Paul in the supporting actor category. Thirteen was the magic number again in 2013, with three more golden statuettes added to the trophy case, including the big one of outstanding drama series and the first of Anna Gunn’s two wins for playing Sklyer White. And this year, with eight nominations and a whopping five wins for its final season, which aired nearly a year ago, “Breaking Bad” cements its status as one of television’s greatest and most influential dramas.
Comedy Series – “Modern Family” (ABC)
“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
“Orange Is the New Black” (Netflix)
“Silicon Valley” (HBO)
It was another history making night for the comedy series, which matched “Frasier” in taking the Emmy five times, and in this case, five consecutive years that began with its first eligibility in 2010. Since its premiere, “Modern Family” has garnered 67 Emmy nominations and taken home 18 trophies. Just for comparison’s sake, “Frasier” holds the Emmy record for most statues, 37. Still, “Modern Family” is a steamroller. None of its comedic competition comes even close to those numbers. Many critics celebrated the new blood in the category, particularly “Orange Is the New Black,” while others questioned its inclusion in the comedy mix. “It’s a wonder that we get to do this for a living, that we get to be the ones up here when there are so many deserving shows,” said co-creator Steven Levitan. And many are left wondering whether “Family” can hold onto its comedy crown next year with such worthy competition, particularly the HBO laffers, of which “Silicon Valley” cracked into the elite group after its freshman season.
Miniseries – “Fargo” (FX)
“American Horror Story: Coven” (FX)
“Bonnie and Clyde” (AMC)
“Luther” (BBC America)
“The White Queen” (Starz)
This category was FX’s to lose, with its two contenders garnering an insane total of 35 nominations between them, “Fargo” with 18 and “AHS” with 17, trailing only “Game of Thrones’” 19 total in this year’s contest. Emmy voters went for the 10-episode miniseries inspired by the 1996 Coen Brothers film of the same name, written by Noah Hawley with the blessings of Joel and Ethan Coen, who were listed as executive producers. Shot in Calgary, standing in for Minnesota, “Fargo” also picked up a directing win for Colin Bucksey. All of its main actors – Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman and Colin Hanks — were nominated. Unlike the ensemble of “AHS,” none will appear in the second season announced earlier this summer by FX in the wake of its huge commercial and critical success.
Drama Series Actor – Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom” (HBO)
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” (AMC)
Woody Harrelson, “True Detective” (HBO)
Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective” (HBO)
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” (Netflix)
Amid formidable competition — especially Oscar-winner McConaughey – all hailed Walter White/Heisenberg, who in previous outings picked up three consecutive trophies before nailing the fourth Monday night at the Nokia Theatre. Also nominated in 2012 and 2013, Cranston’s character was bested then by Damian Lewis (“Homeland”) and Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom”) before sealing the deal again this year. Could there be any truer words in this case than, ”I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really — I was alive.”
Drama Series Actress – Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (CBS)
Lizzy Caplan, ”Masters of Sex” (Showtime)
Claire Danes, “Homeland” (Showtime)
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)
Kerry Washington, “Scandal” (ABC)
Robin Wright, ”House of Cards” (Netflix)
In the face of fierce competition, especially from the Showtime women — Danes has won this category for the past two years — Margulies showed that you can’t count out Alicia Florrick, particularly after such a groundbreaking season for the legal drama, which premiered in 2009. She took this prize in 2011 and was also nominated for her role in 2010 and 2012, giving her a stellar batting average of .500. Her first of three career Emmys came in the supporting actress category for “E.R.” in 1995.
Comedy Series Actor – Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
Louis C.K., “Louie” (FX)
Don Cheadle, ”House of Lies” (Showtime)
Ricky Gervais, “Derek” (Netflix)
Matt LeBlanc, ”Episodes” (Showtime)
William H. Macy, “Shameless” (Showtime)
Parsons’ role as Sheldon Cooper was catnip again to Television Academy voters, and his separate nomination for supporting actor in HBO telefilm “The Normal Heart,” which won for best movie, added to his cachet. His “Big Bang” track record is formidable, with six nominations beginning in 2009 and four acceptance speeches. So are the numbers racked up by his fellow nominees in the category, with C.K’s totaling 30 noms and five wins and Gervais with 21 nods and two Emmy wins. By comparison, Parsons’ Emmy stats may seem slim, but do the math.
Comedy Series Actress – Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (HBO)
Lena Dunham, “Girls” (HBO)
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime)
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly” (CBS)
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (NBC)
Taylor Schilling “Orange Is the New Black” (Netflix)
Despite the sentiment to finally recognize the multi-nominated Poehler for the final season of “Parks,” JLD is truly the reigning queen of comedy with her third consecutive win for portraying Selina Meyer — on top of two previous comedy statuettes for her roles in “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Seinfeld.” She has a total of 18 nominations going back to 1992. With Meyer about to fulfill her dream of becoming the president of the United States on “Veep,” there appears to be no stopping Louis-Dreyfus’ journey of total world domination.