The drama Mad Men and the comedy 30 Rock took top honors at television's Emmy Awards Sunday. Mike O'Sullivan has details from Los Angeles.
Mad Men, a show about a New York advertising agency set in the 1960s, was named best drama, a breakthrough for the show's American Movie Classics cable network.
Glen Close holds Emmy award for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her work on Damages, 21 Sep 2008
The situation comedy 30 Rock from the National Broadcasting Company network was named best comedy series, and its stars, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, earned top acting honors for comedies.
Glenn Close was named best actress in a drama show for her role as a ruthless lawyer in the series Damages. She praised the other nominees, including Sally Field of the series Brothers and Sisters and Holly Hunter of Saving Grace.
"And for my fellow nominees, I want to salute because I think we're proving that complicated, powerful mature women are sexy and high entertainment and can carry a show," Close said.
Bryan Cranston, an actor better-known for comedy than drama, was named best actor in a drama for the series "Breaking Bad," an unconventional show about a chemistry teacher turned drug dealer.
The historical drama John Adams, about the second U.S. president, was named best mini-series, and set a record in that category with 13 Emmys. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, who starred in the mini-series, and Tom Wilkinson, who co-starred, earned acting awards.
The caustic comic Don Rickles was honored for his performance in a variety or music program for the special Mr. Warmth: the Don Rickles Project.
In this U.S. election year, the theme of politics came up a number of times. The television film Recount, about the contested 2000 U.S. presidential election, was named best movie made for television.
Comedian Tommy Smothers, who co-hosted the controversial variety show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the 1960s, received a commemorative award for his writing on the program. Tommy and his brother, Dick, used humor to criticize the Richard Nixon administration and Vietnam War. In 1969, the Columbia Broadcasting System network canceled the popular show.
"So I dedicate this Emmy to all people who feel compelled to speak out, and (are) not afraid to speak to power, and won't shut up, and refuse to be silenced," Smothers said.
Martin Sheen, who played a U.S. president on the series The West Wing, urged viewers to vote this year - at least once, he joked.
The Emmys are presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. These were the 60th annual Emmys, and Sunday's presentation had repeated salutes to memorable moments in the medium's past.