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Emmys 2013 are full of surprises, upsets

The Emmys ceremony included many upsets, including 'The Newsroom' actor Jeff Daniels taking home the Best Actor in a Drama prize. The Emmys were hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris.

By David BauderAssociated Press / September 23, 2013

The Emmys were hosted by Neil Patrick Harris (center, with Nathan Fillion, left, and Sarah Silverman, right).

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

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The Emmys lived up to its reputation as the least predictable entertainment awards show.

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Television's annual night of honors, where the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and ABC comedy "Modern Family" were judged the industry's finest on Sunday night, mixed in surprises with expected winners, and ended some winning streaks while extending others. Newcomer Netflix made its presence felt, but not in the splashy way it had hoped for.

"Nobody in America is winning their office pool," host Neil Patrick Harris said late in the CBS telecast from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

The best drama win for "Breaking Bad" was its first ever, and Anna Gunn won a best supporting actress award for playing the wife of Bryan Cranston's Walter White character, the chemistry teacher turned drug lord whom the series revolves around. Cranston was denied a bid for his fourth drama acting award for the show.

It was splendid publicity for "Breaking Bad," which airs its series finale next Sunday. "What a way to go out," Cranston said backstage.

"I'm biased, I love our show," added Vince Gilligan, the series' creator. "I was stunned that we won. It was a very big surprise for me."

Going into the Emmys, much speculation surrounded whether Netflix's "House of Cards" would be the first series not shown on a broadcast or cable network to win best drama. It didn't, but Gilligan said if it wasn't for streaming services like Netflix, his show wouldn't have lasted beyond its second season.

"House of Cards" was the first online program to be nominated for a top series honor, as big a revolution in the TV industry as when HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" became the first cable series nominee. It was a decade, however, until another cable show, "Sex and the City," won one of the awards. David Fincher of "House of Cards" won a directing award.

The "Modern Family" win can't be called a surprise, since it has been declared best comedy all four years that it has been on the air. None of its ensemble cast took home trophies, though.

Jeff Daniels of the HBO drama "Newsroom" was probably the most unexpected winner, declared best actor in a drama in a category with heavyweights like Cranston, Jon Hamm of "Mad Men," Kevin Spacey of "House of Cards" and Damian Lewis of "Homeland."

"I felt the work stood up to what the other guys are doing," Daniels said. "But we're all doing different things."

One of the show's oddest moments came quickly, when Merritt Wever of "Nurse Jackie" won best supporting actress in a comedy series. "Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Um, I got to go, bye," Wever told the audience. Her brevity drew positive notices from Harris and not a few folks on Twitter.

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