Jason Wiese | Culture Editor
August 25, 2014; 11:33 p.m.
Host Seth Meyers summarized what made tonight’s 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony unique in his monologue with this joke: “We’re doing the show on Monday in part because the MTV Music Awards were last night. That’s right: MTV still has an awards show for music videos even though they no longer show music videos. That’s like network TV holding an awards show and giving all the trophies to cable and Netflix. That would be crazy.”
The only obscure elements of the show that he left out were the music director’s liberal use of wind chimes and Bryan Cranston’s reunion with former “Seinfeld” co-star, and Lead Actress in a Comedy Series winner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus by a uncomfortably passionate kiss.
However, cable programming did indeed manage to sweep the awards with AMC’s “Breaking Bad” taking home Outstanding Drama Series and stars Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn accepting dramatic acting awards.
Among other winning cable programs is FX’s miniseries “Fargo” and “American Horror Story: Coven,” Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” HBO’s original movie “The Normal Heart.” Streaming web site Netflix even scored a win with “Orange is the New Black” Uzo Aduba winning Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Throughout the show, Meyers tried to keep humor on the rise by lampooning the television industry and the awards-giving process and received help from many guests presenters, including “Brooklyn Nine Nine” star Andy Samberg who teamed with parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic for a send-up of theme songs without lyrics, such as “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones” by adding ridiculous lyrics to them.
Surprisingly, the least successful bit came from Stephen Colbert, who insisted that his imaginary friend Roscoe be rewarded for his work on “The Colbert Report” for standing by his side every night “without making a peep.” Ironically, neither did the audience.
The ceremony took a deeply emotional turn with Sara Bereilles singing “Smile” over the In Memoriam montage, which concluded with Billy Crystal’s heartfelt toast to his recently deceased friend Robin Williams. “It’s very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in our lives,” said the comedian of Williams. “He was the brightest comedy star in our galaxy.”
As for network programming’s winners, ABC’s “Modern Family” took home its fifth consecutive Outstanding Comedy Series win, as well as Lead Comedy Actor for star Ty Burrell. Julianna Margulies won Lead Actress in a Drama Series for CBS’s “The Good Wife” and Allison Janney won her sixth Emmy for her supporting role on CBS’s comedy “Mom.”
See the infographic below to understand a how a Primetime Emmy is won (infographic posted by the Television Academy’s official website):