Emmy Telecast Wins Biggest Audience in 8 Years

The Nielsen Co. says Sunday’s Emmy broadcast scored a one-third audience spike over last year.

Prelimary ratings figures indicate the 3-hour telecast on CBS averaged 17.6 million viewers, compared to 13.3 million viewers for last year’s Emmy show on ABC.

It was the largest audience for the awards show since 2005.

But Sunday’s broadcast, which aired live across the country, was undoubtedly helped by the network’s very strong lead-in: NFL football.

Neil Patrick Harris was host of the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.


“Breaking Bad,” AMC’s soon-to-end tale of Walter White’s descent into depravity, won the Emmy Award for best drama.

The honor on Sunday was the first time “Breaking Bad” had won the award despite three previous nominations. Its star, Bryan Cranston, has won three best actor Emmys for his portrayal of White, the terminally ill chemistry teacher who turns into a drug lord to provide for his family. He lost this year but Anna Gunn, the actress who portrays his wife, won a supporting actress award.

The win came one week before AMC is due to air the series finale.

ABC’s madcap “Modern Family” won its fourth Emmy Award in a row as best comedy series.

The much-honored comedy and its ensemble cast had won the best comedy Emmy in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The series stars Ed O’Neill as a family patriarch, with his young wife portrayed by Sofia Vergara. They live near households led by two of O’Neill’s TV children.

Although getting the honor again as best series, none of the series’ stars won acting awards on Sunday.

Jeff Daniels won the Emmy for best actor in a drama series for his portrayal of a TV anchorman in “The Newsroom.” He says this award is better than the last one he won, an AARP award for best actor over 50 for ‘The Squid and The Whale.’ Daniels’ win contributed to HBO winning the most Emmys this year – a total of 27. CBS was next, with 16.

Her acceptance speech will go down as one of the shortest. When Merritt Wever stepped to the microphone after being named best supporting actress in a comedy for “Nurse Jackie,” she seemed at a loss for words. Her entire speech: “Thanks so much. Thank you so much. I gotta go. `Bye.” Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris called it the “best speech ever.” Backstage, Wever told reporters that she had a list of people to thank, but just blanked out. Asked what she thought about winning, she said she was “scared, because it was unexpected.” Wever said she’d deal with it in therapy next week.

Michael Douglas was honored as best actor for his portrayal of Liberace in “Behind the Candelabra,” besting his co-star Matt Damon. The film also captured a top trophy as best movie or miniseries. In accepting, Douglas said “This is a two-hander and Matt, you’re only as good as your other hand.” Then he got really racy, asking Damon, “You want the bottom or the top?” Douglas also thanked his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones. That got attention since he recently announced that the couple was taking time apart to work on their marriage. Zeta-Jones did not accompany her husband to the Emmys.

And – “Saturday Night Live” became the most-honored series ever with Don Roy King’s directing award at Sunday night’s Emmys. Its 40 Emmys over the years top previous record-holder “Frasier.” (AP)

Complete List of Emmy Winners
List of winners at Sunday’s 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:

Drama Series: “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
Actor, Drama Series: Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom,” HBO.
Actress, Drama Series: Claire Danes, “Homeland,” Showtime.
Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Bobby Cannavale, “Boardwalk Empire,” HBO.
Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad,” AMC.
Directing, Drama Series: David Fincher, “House of Cards,” Netflix.
Writing, Drama Series: Henry Bromell, “Homeland,” Showtime.
Comedy Series: “Modern Family,” ABC.
Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS.
Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO.
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Tony Hale, “Veep,” HBO.
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Merritt Wever, “Nurse Jackie,” Showtime.
Directing, Comedy Series: Gail Mancuso, “Modern Family,” ABC.
Writing, Comedy Series: Tina Fey, Tracey Wigfield, “30 Rock,” NBC.
Miniseries or Movie: “Behind the Candelabra,” HBO.
Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra,” HBO.
Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Linney, “The Big C: Hereafter,” Showtime.
Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: James Cromwell, “American Horror Story: Asylum,” FX.
Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Ellen Burstyn, “Political Animals,” USA.
Directing, Miniseries or Movie: Steven Soderbergh, “Behind the Candelabra,” HBO.
Writing, Miniseries or Movie: Abi Morgan, “The Hour,” BBC America.
Reality-Competition Program: “The Voice,” NBC.
Variety Series: “The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central.
Writing, Variety Series: “The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central.
Directing, Variety Series: Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live,” NBC.
Choreography: Derek Hough, “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC.


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