The 2014 Primetime Emmys were chock full of surprises, repeats, and history-making moments. “Breaking Bad” won Best Drama for the second year in a row, becoming a rare show to win for its final season, while star Bryan Cranston won Best Drama Actor for the fourth time, tying the record set by Dennis Franz (“NYPD Blue”).
Aaron Paul won Best Drama Supporting Actor for the third time; no other actor has ever pulled off a three-peat in the category. Anna Gunn won Best Drama Supporting Actress for the second year in a row. And Moira Walley-Beckett won the first ever writing Emmy for “Breaking Bad”; she penned the acclaimed episode “Ozymandias.”
Julianna Margulies was named Best Drama Acress for the second time for “The Good Wife,” even though she was snubbed in the category last year. “The Good Wife” keeps its streak alive of winning an acting Emmy every year.
“True Detective” won Best Drama Directing for Cary Joji Fukunaga, for the episode “Who Goes There,” which ended with an action-packed six-minute tracking shot.
Emmy Awards: Complete list of winners
Repeat winners were also rampant in the comedy races, where there was not a single first-time champ.
“Modern Family” won Best Comedy Series for a record-tying fifth year in a row. The only other show with as many victories in the race was “Frasier,” which dominated the category for five straight years in the 1990s.
Ty Burrell prevailed as Best Comedy Supporting Actor for the second time for playing Phil Dunphy on the ABC comedy; he previously won in 2011. “Modern Family” also won Best Comedy Directing for the episode “Las Vegas“; it was the second consecutive Emmy win for helmer Gail Mancuso and the fourth straight directing win for the series.
Jim Parsons made history by taking his fourth Best Comedy Actor Emmy for “The Big Bang Theory.” Only Carroll O’Connor, Kelsey Grammer, and Michael J. Fox have also claimed the category four times.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was another repeat winner, earning her third consecutive Comedy Actress prize for “Veep” and her fifth Emmy overall.
Allison Janney won her sixth career Emmy: Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Mom.” She also won Drama Guest Actress this year for “Masters of Sex,” but this is her first award for comedy.
Louis C.K. took Best Comedy Writing for the “Louie” episode “So Did the Fat Lady.” It was his second writing victory for the series and his fifth Emmy for writing overall.
Brad Pitt wins Emmy and Oscar as top film producer of the year
Emmy’s longform categories were filled top-to-bottom with upsets. Though “Fargo” won Best Miniseries and “The Normal Heart” won Best TV Movie as expected, every other race defied our racetrack odds.
Benedict Cumberbatch came out of nowhere to take Movie/Mini Actor for “Sherlock: His Last Vow” after losing for “A Scandal in Belgravia” two years ago.
Arguably even more shocking was his co-star Martin Freeman‘s victory as Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor. He defeated the overwhelming favorite, Matt Bomer (“Normal Heart”).
And a year after Best Movie/Mini Writing gave us one of the year’s biggest upsets when “The Hour” beat juggernaut “Behind the Candelabra,” the TV academy writers’ branch once again awarded a Brit: “Sherlock” scribe Steven Moffat overtook frontrunner Larry Kramer (“The Normal Heart“).
With three prizes tonight and four at Creative Arts, that brings “Sherlock’s” total to seven, more than any other program this year. Surprisingly, before this year’s awards, it had never won a single Emmy.
Jessica Lange won Movie/Mini Actress for “American Horror Story: Coven,” her third Emmy overall and her second for “Horror Story.” She defeated another frontrunner, Cicely Tyson (“The Trip to Bountiful“).
Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress went to Lange’s co-star Kathy Bates, even though the race seemed to be a tight battle between Julia Roberts (“The Normal Heart“) and Allison Tolman (“Fargo“).
“Normal Heart” helmer Ryan Murphy was also defeated. He lost Best Movie/Mini Directing to Colin Bucksey for the “Fargo” episode “Buridan’s Ass.”
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After last year’s shocking loss to “The Voice,” “The Amazing Race” returned to the winners’ circle yet again with its 10th prize for Best Reality-Competition Series.
Sarah Silverman won Best Variety Special Writing for her comedy special “We Are Miracles,” while Glenn Weiss won Variety Special Directing for last year’s Tony Awards; Weiss accepted from the control room while in the midst of directing the Emmy telecast.
After dethroning “The Daily Show” last year, “The Colbert Report” repeated as Best Variety Series. But the show’s days might be numbered at the Emmys, since Stephen Colbert leaves “Report” at the end of the year to take over as host of “The Late Show.”