By Lynette Rice
Updated September 23, 2012 at 11:58 PM EDT
Credit: Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images[/caption]

Showtime’s freshman drama Homeland unseated Mad Men in the best drama series during the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday on ABC. Actors Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, along with drama’s writers, confirmed pundit predictions by winning the gold for starring in Showtime’s year-old thriller that (conveniently!) returns for its second season next Sunday. But the night’s biggest surprise occurred when the domestic terrorist drama triumphed over AMC’s perennial winner Mad Men as well as last year’s period favorite, Downton Abbey, in the series category.

Modern Family ruled in the comedy categories yet again, including repeat wins for stars Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet. “We feel so lucky to have jobs that we love with people we love,” said Co-Creator Steve Levitan, who also won a statue for directing.

Julianne Moore took the gold for playing Sarah Palin in the HBO movie Game Change. “I feel so validated because Sarah Palin gave me a big thumbs down!” she said on stage. Kevin Costner won his first Emmy for starring in History’s Hatfields & McCoys, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus returned to TV with Veep this season on HBO and promptly won her third gold statue (previous wins occurred on The New Adventures of Old Christine and Seinfeld). Jon Cryer also grabbed another for co-starring on CBS’ Two and a Half Men – a prize he clearly did not expect to receive. (Backstage, he told reporters he thought the gold would go to Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory).

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart won its 10th consecutive Emmy for outstanding reality series. “We were told we get a free sandwich after 10,” he joked on stage. Longtime TV host Tom Bergeron finally scored for emceeing Dancing with the Stars, and The Amazing Race won its 1,345th for best reality show.

ABC’s latenight host Jimmy Kimmel served up some of the night’s biggest yuks as host. His opening monologue included a few political potshots (“Being Republican in Hollywood is like being a Chick-fil-A sandwich on the snack table at Glee”) and a prophetic quip about Mad Men’s Jon Hamm (“I, for one, am shocked you did not win tonight.”). He would turn out to be right: Lewis won in that category. Other gut-busting moments included Melissa McCarthy lusting for the nominees in the male comedy actor category, a video clip of the Modern Family cast that depicted Lily – aka Aubry Anderson-Emmons — as the set’s biggest diva, and Kimmel asking viewers to tweet that 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan had passed out stage. (He then got Morgan to lay down on stage through an award presentation and a commercial break).

Later, Ron Howard took the stage to pay tribute to his TV dad, the late Andy Griffith, and the many actors and execs who passed over the last year. (Farewell, Davy Jones, Richard Dawson, Sherman Hemsley, Phyllis Diller, Michael Clarke Duncan, Chad Everett, Don Cornelius, Andy Rooney, Ben Gazzara, Kathryn Joosten, Harry Morgan, and Dick Clark, among others).

And the winners are:

Outstanding comedy series: Modern Family

Outstanding drama series: Homeland

Outstanding miniseries or movie: Game Change

Outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie: Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys

Outstanding directing for a miniseries or movie: Jay Roach, Game Change

Outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie: Julianne Moore, Game Change

Outstanding writing for a miniseries or movie: Danny Strong, Game Change

Outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie: Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys

Outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story

Outstanding variety series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Outstanding directing for a variety special: Glenn Weiss, 65th Annual Tony Awards

Outstanding writing for a variety special: Louis C.K., Louie C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre

Outstanding lead actress in a drama series: Claire Danes, Homeland

Outstanding lead actor in a drama series: Damian Lewis, Homeland

Outstanding directing for a drama series: Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Outstanding writing for a drama series: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, Homeland

Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Outstanding host for a reality show: Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars

Outstanding reality-competition program: The Amazing Race

Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series: Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men

Outstanding directing in a comedy series: Steve Levitan, Modern Family

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series: Julie Bowen, Modern Family

Outstanding writing for a comedy series: Louis C.K., Louie

Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series: Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family


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