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'Homeland' triumphs as Emmys go for dose of reality

Updated: 2012-09-24 14:44

'Homeland' triumphs as Emmys go for dose of reality

Claire Danes and Britsh actor Damian Lewis hold their Emmy awards for outstanding lead actress and actor in a drama series for their roles in "Homeland" at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles September 23, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

LOS ANGELES -- "Homeland" toppled "Mad Men" to win the top drama prize on Sunday as the Primetime Emmy awards favored politics and 21st century tensions over shows set in bygone eras.

"Modern Family," ABC's show about the chaotic lives of three related couples and their children, won best comedy series for a third year and supporting actor Emmys for Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen, as well as a directing award.

"I am praying that everyone doesn't get sick of us," joked executive producer Steve Levitan.

Backstage, Stonestreet joked, "We know that eventually it will not be this way and you will hate us all."

'Homeland' triumphs as Emmys go for dose of reality

Steven Levitan (C) accepts the award for outstanding comedy series for "Modern Family" at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, September 23, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

"Homeland," a post 9/11 psychological thriller about a returning Iraq war hero turned by al Qaeda, won best drama after one season on cable channel Showtime. It also took home trophies for best writing and best acting for its two leads, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, for a total of six including technical awards.

"Homeland," said to be one of President Barack Obama's favorite TV programs, brought to an end the reign of AMC's stylish 1960s advertising show "Mad Men," which left Sunday's Emmy ceremony empty-handed.

It was the biggest shutout in Emmy history for "Mad Men," which had gone into Sunday's awards as joint top nominee with  17 nominations.

"Homeland" also beat popular "Downton Abbey," about aristocrats and their servants in an English country house, and HBO's medieval fantasy series "Game of Thrones," in what was the first year that all the nominated best drama series came from cable television.


Danes, who plays a bipolar CIA operative in a cat-and-mouse game with Lewis's sleeper agent, said she believed "Homeland" had succeeded with viewers and critics because it was neither preachy nor overtly political.

"We are a little startled. I don't think anyone was expecting to be recognized this way starting off," Danes told reporters backstage.

(The show) "doesn't take a very biased position (but) it does speak to our feelings of anxiety and unrest right now, in the sense that we're in a new era where the enemy is not so clear."

Danes said it was "way cool" that Obama is a fan. "I think it speaks to the relevancy of the show, and it's hugely validating," she added.

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