Cable shows, especially “Breaking Bad” of AMC, may have done well at the 2014 Emmy Awards, but programs from networks like ABC and CBS still cleaned up at the show, with comedies like “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory” and dramas like “The Good Wife” taking top prizes.
“Bad,” which was honored for its final season, took home the Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Awards and actor Bryan Cranston took the Lead Actor in a Drama prize, with Aaron Paul receiving the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama prize and Anna Gunn being honored with the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama award. One of the few prizes “Bad” missed out on was the Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series award, which went to Cary Joji Fukunaga for the HBO show “True Detective.”
However, many other categories showed broadcast wins. The ABC program “Modern Family” took the best comedy series award (it’s now tied for the most wins in that category with the show “Frasier,” according to USA Today), triumphing in a cable and Netflix-dominated category that found it facing off against HBO’s “Veep” and “Silicon Valley,” Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” and FX’s “Louie” as well as the CBS show "The Big Bang Theory." In addition, “Family” actor Ty Burrell won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy award, while Gail Mancuso took the Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series award for the sitcom. In addition, actor Jim Parsons won the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy award for "The Big Bang Theory," actress Allison Janney won the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy prize for the CBS sitcom “Mom,” and actress Julianna Margulies took home the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama prize for the CBS show “The Good Wife.”
By contrast, nominees from cable shows took home the statuettes in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series award (Tony Hale for "Veep"), the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series prize (Merritt Wever for "Nurse Jackie"), and the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama award (Claire Danes for "Homeland") last year, though “Family” still won Outstanding Comedy Series and Parsons still took the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy award.
Other winners at the 2014 ceremony included Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy award for the HBO show “Veep”; comedian Louis C.K. won the best writing for a comedy series award for the FX show “Louie”; and the FX program “American Horror Story” and the PBS British import “Sherlock” dominated the "miniseries or movie" categories, with “Sherlock” actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman winning the Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actor prizes in those categories and “American” actresses Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates winning the Outstanding Lead Actress and Outstanding Supporting Actress awards, respectively. The exception was the FX program “Fargo” taking the Outstanding Miniseries award.
Many TV seasons this year were exceptionally strong, with the nominees for the Best Drama category (“Downton Abbey,” “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men,” “True Detective,” and “House of Cards”), to name one, being some of the most acclaimed TV shows ever, let alone of this year. One race that was especially tough to call was that for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama prize, with some predicting “True Detective” actor Matthew McConaughey would win over Cranston.