By Darren Franich
Updated January 11, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST
Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images

In one of the night’s biggest upsets, Showtime’s freshman drama series The Affair took home the Best TV Series Drama. It emerged victorious ahead of Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, House of Cards, and The Good Wife, four of TV’s buzziest hits.

Understandably, producer Sarah Treem started her speech on a modest note: “We are so honored just to be nominated in this category.” She added, “This is unreal.” Treem thanked Showtime president David Nevins for taking a chance on a show with a somewhat abstract pitch—Treem recalled describing how the titular affair would be used to “talk about marriage,” which isn’t quite as immediately attention-grabbing as “a show about a CIA agent who falls in love with a possible terrorist.”

Treem went on to thank her cast, which includes a rogues’ gallery of beloved TV pros like Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Joshua Jackson, and the great Maura Tierney. As the music played, the cast mumbled a reminder to Treem. “I’m gonna thank my husband!” she exclaimed.

The Best Drama win could raise the show’s profile—The Affair had so-so ratings during its first season, though it hit a ratings high with its finale in December.