Emmy Awards 2013: Breaking Bad takes Best Drama gong ahead of Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The small screen? Not any more. Television is as big as cinema nowadays – as shown by the quality of programmes honoured at the Emmys

Los Angeles

The dresses were fabulous. The ceremony was long. Michael Douglas broke the stupor with a wonderful acceptance speech, after beating Al Pacino and Matt Damon to the big prize. Ellen Burstyn and Jeff Daniels took home long-overdue acting statuettes, too. It was not a great night for the British. David Fincher won Best Director (and so did Steven Soderbergh). It sounds a lot like the Oscars – but it was the Emmys.

Click here for the list of winners in full

If any more evidence were needed that television is the new movies, you need only have studied the nominees list for this year’s 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, which took place at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday evening. The acting categories – not to mention the writing and directing ones – were littered with movie stars and former Academy Award nominees: Julian Fellowes, Kevin Spacey, Vera Farmiga, Tom Stoppard.

Oscar-winner Douglas claimed the award for Best Actor in a mini-series or TV movie, for his portrayal of Liberace in the HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra. “You deserve half of this,” he told his co-star and fellow nominee Matt Damon during his speech. “So, you want the bottom or the top?”

Jeff Daniels was a surprise winner for Best Actor in a drama, for his performance as news anchor Will McAvoy in The Newsroom, overcoming the favourite, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, as well as Spacey, nominated for Netflix’s House of Cards. The British star of Homeland, Damian Lewis, could not repeat his 2012 triumph in the category, though his co-star Claire Danes won a Best Actress award for a second year.

Downton Abbey missed out this year for the most part, though screenwriter Abi Morgan was honoured for Best Writing in a miniseries, for the BBC’s now-cancelled The Hour. Breaking Bad was named Best Dramatic Series– the one sure thing on a night full of upsets. It was the first time the acclaimed AMC drama had won the award, just a week before its finale.

The ceremony also featured moving tributes to some of the industry’s fallen stars, including The Sopranos’ James Gandolfini and Cory Monteith, the 31-year-old Glee actor, who died in July. If television is the new movies, then this year’s awards also suggested that the internet is the new TV.

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan summed up the state of today’s TV industry, saying any one of the other nominees – House of Cards, Homeland, Downton, Mad Men, Game of Thrones – would have made worthy winners. “It could have been any of them... and even others that were not nominated in this golden age of television that we feel so proud to be a part of.”

Michelle Dockery lost out to Claire Danes for Best Lead Actress Michelle Dockery lost out to Claire Danes for Best Lead Actress

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game