The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards Liveblog

Will Breaking Bad get to take a victory lap at tonight's ceremony? Or will True Detective reign in a flat circle? 

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10:58: And that's that. This Emmys was very neutral. Seth did fine, but nothing crazy; not too many bits fell flat, apart from the Sofia Vergara thing; the winners were horribly boring. The big complaint seems to be the huge amount of repeat winners, which is a fair one. Even for the Emmys, who often reward the same folks over and over again, their choices seemed incredibly pedestrian.

10:57: Breaking Bad wins its second, and last, Emmy for Drama Series. It also won three of the four acting Emmys, the first time since The Sopranos in 2003 (which lost to The West Wing for Drama Series).

10:56: Halle Berry presents Best Drama series. Extant was robbed!

Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
True Detective

10:52: Steve Levitan's cloying speech is played off. Bye.

10:50: Jay Leno escapes from Dimension X to present Comedy Series. It goes to Modern Family for the fifth time in a row. The stench of death hangs in the air.

10:47: This is a somewhat surprising win. "Even I thought about voting for Matthew." McC isn't into it. Cranston, however, submitted the most incredible tape in "Ozymandias," and this was his last chance to win as Walter White. It's his fourth Emmy win as an actor (he also run for producing once).

10:46: "The Emmy goes to...and you're all fabulous, by the way...and the Emmy goes to, Bryan Cranston!"

10:44: Julia Roberts is here to give an Emmy to her MOVIE STAR friend Matthew McConaughey. She's trolling, hard.

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Woody Harrelson, True Detective
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective 
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

10:41: She praises The Good Wife for having 22 episodes a year. SHE SAID IT. "And Josh Charles, I miss you every day. What were you thinking?" Josh smirks.

10:40: "What a wonderful time for women on television," she says. I love Julianna Margulies.


10:38: JULIANNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:37: Viola Davis is here! Lead Actress! Things are moving quickly!

Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Claire Danes, Homeland
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards

10:35: Moira Walley-Beckett wins a deserved Emmy for writing "Ozymandias."

10:33: Katherine Heigl is here to talk about Guest Acting in a Drama and assure us she had nothing to do with the State of Affairs showrunner quitting. Joe Morton then follows her to present Best Writing.

Moira Walley-Beckett, Breaking Bad (“Ozymandias”)
Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad (“Felina”)
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones (“The Children”)
Beau Willmon, House of Cards (“Chapter 14”)
Nic Pizzolatto, True Detective (“The Secret Fate of All Life”)

10:29: She thanks her mom and stuff. She looks like she's auditioning to be in a reboot of Swingtown with that hair, though!

10:27: Supporting Actress goes to ANNA GUNN. Not surprisingly. Bad may run the table tonight.

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife 
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

10:26: Cary Joji Fukunaga wins. He directed all 8 eps, but that's the one with the crazy long tracking shot. Totally deserved!

10:25: Directing in a Drama Series.

David Evans, Downton Abbey (“Episode 1”)
Carl Franklin, House of Cards (“Chapter 14”)
Cary Joji Fukunaga, True Detective (“Who Goes There”) 
Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad (“Felina”)
Neil Marshall, Game of Thrones (“The Watchers on the Wall”)
Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire (“Farewell Daddy Blues”)

10:24: Seth Meyers does a zillion-year-old Dave Caruso on CSI: Miami bit. He can't even commit to it! Also that show isn't on the air anymore! I still laughed. Sigh.

10:22: Many are noting that the Emmys cut off the great "Fuck It!" ending of that Williams bit. For obvious reasons, but boy, it would have been even more perfect.

10:19: Emmys cuts to commercials, but at least on a moment of real silence.

10:16: "He made us laugh hard, every time we saw him in night clubs in arenas in hospitals, for troops over seas, even in a dying girl's living room for her last wish."

10:14: Nothin' to say except it's sure sad how many wonderful people we lost this year. Robin Williams caps the montage, and a choked-up sounding Billy Crystal takes the baton to talk about him.

10:11: In memoriam time. :( Sara Barielles sings "Smile." OK.

10:10: I love Breaking Bad but get ready for an hour of everyone thanking Vince Gilligan. And Bryan Cranston.

10:09: He gives another round of applause to all his nominees. Josh Charles gets a sympathetic pat from Baranski.

10:08: Aaron Paul winszzzzzzzzzzzz

10:06: Lucy Liu ushers us into the DRAMA section. DUN DUN DUN. Supporting Actor!

Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Josh Charles, The Good Wife 
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad 
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

10:05: See, it's funny because she's pretty, but also talks funny, so she should be quiet and spin around for us!

10:04: Sofia Vergara had a funny intro for the Emmy President but oh boy there's a bit with her being on a pedestal? This is lasting too long and a weeeaaaak gag.

9:59: Colbert kinda-accidentally acknowledges that he only has one female writer, and then says "Sorry for that, for some reason." Thud.

9:57: Gwen Stefani hits that T in The Colbert Report. Real hard. "What does she, live under a rock?" my roommate complains.

Then Fallon comes on to do his speech for him. "I want to thank his wife and his children," he says. Colbert then takes the reins to give a real thank-you to Jon Stewart as he prepares to leave him in the dust.

9:56: Gwen Stefani is here with the Orangest Sexiest Man Alive, Adam Levine. For Variety Series.

9:54: Variety Directing goes to the DIRECTOR OF THIS VERY SHOW. WHICH IS WEIRD. He directed the Tonys too, though? Glenn Weiss is his name? I feel like I'm caught in a feedback loop.

9:53: You can't escape Chris Hardwick, who's here to thank internet trolls! "They dare to tell us the truth! Anonymously!" Okay, Hardwick, just stop reading the comments maybe.

9:51: Key and Peele show up to introduce the accountants, and at least pretend to improvise. And talk over each other. There's no real way to spice up this segment, but, they try!

9:45: Sarah Silverman won! I love Sarah Silverman! It's her second win. Her first win was for a song for Jesus is Magic, maybe? She thanks "my Jews at CAA," of course. Then she says "we're all just made of molecules, and we're hurling through space right now." So, best speech of the night!

9:43: Ricky Gervais complains that he's lost 19 Emmys or something. Ricky! He's doing Writing for a Variety Special, but not before he reads a joke acceptance speech for Derek, where he poops on all the other actors, including "Joey from friends and Louis from Louie." LeBlanc thinks it's funny!

9:41: Ryan Murphy's talking, but he quickly cedes the stage to Larry Kramer. He asks "young people watching to become Larry Kramers." It's perfectly nicely done.

9:40: Julianna Margulies does TV Movie. Will Sherlock beat The Normal Heart? The Normal Heart wins! Will Larry Kramer give an impassioned rant?

Killing Kennedy
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight
The Normal Heart
Sherlock: His Last Vow
The Trip to Bountiful

9:38: AARP is claiming JLD's win for them. She's only 53!

9:34: SIX MINUTES to Ricky Gervais! Hide!

9:33: FARGO wins. Neat! The guy thanks the Coen Brothers. "Who, of course, don't watch the Emmys." I LOLed.

9:32: Lena Headey is here to present. Samberg runs onscreen, dying, in character as Joffrey. It's marvelous. They make Lena talk about Dickens to present Miniseries, cause she's BRITISH.

American Horror Story: Coven
Bonnie & Clyde
The White Queen

9:31: They just handed George R. R. Martin telling him they need more scripts. I'm weeping

9:30: People either love or hate this bit. I love this bit. Everyone who hates Weird Al goes in the garbage!

9:28: They're doing theme song lyrics for new shows! I like this bit now. I turned a corner! I like theme song stuff! OH MY GOD WITH WEIRD AL! I'M SO HAPPY

9:27: Seth is joined by Samberg. Is another bit approaching? He pretends to be co-hosting. I don't like the smell of this.

9:26: Jessica Lange beat Cicely Tyson for her third Emmy. That's a mild surprise considering that she's won before. So, I guess Emmy likes repeating miniseries? Sherlock and American Horror Story are running the table. Ryan Murphy can't even be mad!

9:25: Liev Schriber and Kerry Washington are here for Lead Actress in a Miniseries. GO WIIG!

Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Minnie Driver, Return to Zero
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon

9:24: These Emmys have been very proficient and have moved at a great clip.

9:20: BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH WON. Over the much-favored Billy Bob and Ruffalo! But he's not there, because apparently Brits hate the Emmys.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Martin Freeman, Fargo
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart  
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

9:19: A LOT of rambling just happened. But then they dig on Nic Pizzolatto's alleged plagarism, and I perked up!

9:16: Seth and Amy have fun introducing the True Detective boys. They settle on "The only two actors not rumored to be in season 2 of True Detective." Woody does an "alright alright alright!"

9:12: My burger came! My brother's not dead, guys!

9:11: "I'm so happy I got back from the loo in time," he says. I love it when odd little Brits win Emmys or Oscars.

9:10: COLIN BUCKSEY wins for Fargo. That's nice.

9:09: Kate Walsh outright misses the teleprompter to present Directing. Maybe Sherlock wins everything?

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, American Horror Story: Coven (“Bitchcraft”)
Adam Bernstein, Fargo (“The Crocodile’s Dilemma”)
Colin Bucksey, Fargo (“Buridan’s Ass”)
Stephen Frears, Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight
Nick Hurran, Sherlock: His Last Vow
Ryan Murphy, The Normal Heart

9:08: MARTIN FREEMAN WINS. They love Sherlock!

9:07: Colbert is onstage doing a whoooole bit with an imaginary friend. It is bombing. Supporting Actor will probably go to Matt Bomer?

Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
Martin Freeman, Sherlock
Colin Hanks, Fargo
Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart
Alfred Molina, The Normal Heart
Jim Parsons, The Normal Heart

9:00: Kathy Bates wins! She is, by default, the first new acting winner tonight, in that she has won before, but not for this role. She also beat Julia Roberts and the lovely Alison Tolman, which qualifies as a mild surprise.

8:59: He thanks the BBC, the greatest broadcast network in the world, in his Scottish brogue. Lovely. Now we're on to Supporting Actress:

Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Coven
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven
Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story: Coven
Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart
Alison Tolman, Fargo

8:58: Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries/Movie:

Neil Cross, Luther
Noah Hawley, Fargo (“The Crocodile’s Dilemma")
Larry Kramer, The Normal Heart
Steven Moffat, Sherlock
Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk, American Horror Story: Coven (“Bitchcraft”)
David Simon & Eric Overmeyer, Treme (“…To Miss New Orleans”)

MOFFAT WINS. That's surprising, up against The Normal Heart. Moffat is the king of UK TV, since he runs Sherlock AND Doctor Who.

8:57: It's time for a GENRE CHANGE. To Miniseries! Which is the boring part! But maybe famous people will win!

8:54: Seth takes an audience question from Jon Hamm. "I wanted to know if this show will be televised, and if so, when will it be on the air?" These bits are all very proficient but not that memorable. Melissa McCarthy asks about parking, blames getting towed on Edie Falco. Andre Braugher wants to use the bathroom. Josh Charles has the bathroom key, attached to a giant Emmy. Julianna Margulies asks where Maggie Smith is and if she can have her Emmy. "No." "Why?" "Someone else already called it." IT'S JON! Okay, this bit grew on me.

8:52: Still no burger. I may have to send help soon.


8:47: John Mulaney, my favorite person alive, is here with Mindy Kaling to present reality competition program.

The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef 
The Voice

8:45: JULIA WINS. She does a whole thing where Bryan Cranston aggressively makes out with her. That's how much we all knew she would win, those two pre-planned that. "Yeah, he was on Seinfeld," she deadpans. I VOTE FOR JULIA! She gives a lovely speech of course. It's her third for Veep, her...fifth overall? And four repeat acting winners now for Emmy.

8:43: Jimmy Fallon's here! He talks about lifting each other up as actors. He's being so sincere because he's cute ol' Jimmy Fallon and he's never been mean ever in his whole life. "There's one common truth that binds us all together. None of us will make as much money as Kim Kardashian did for her iPhone game." WEAK. Lead Actress in a Comedy (aka JLD for Veep):

Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep 
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Taylor Schilling, Orange is the New Black

8:42: I sent my brother out 45 minutes ago to get burgers. He still isn't back. I may be down one family member.

8:39: Jim Parsons probably just said a bunch of stuff, I couldn't hear him over my LOUD BITCHING. It's his fourth Emmy for Big Bang.


8:37: Oh, they're doing a Seinfeld dentist bit! It kinda falls flat, though.

Louis C.K., Louie
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Ricky Gervais, Derek
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes 
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

8:36: Billy Eichner may have just saved the Emmys! Great move by Seth to include him, that was a wonderful (if typical) bit for him to do. Now, Cranston's here to present Lead Actor in a comedy. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is there to mock him for his mustache. "Hold on there, Clark Gable!"

8:33: Billy Eichner and Seth did a Billy on the Street bit in New York!

8:32: Gail Mancuso is still talkin'! This is too long and rambling! I am so sick of Modern Family. She gets played off as she talks about her parents getting married 66 years ago. Shoulda led with that, Gayle!

8:31: "JIMMY FALLON IN SEVEN MINUTES," Emmy flashes onto the screen. In case you're sick of Seth.

8:30: The nominees:

Paris Barclay, Glee (“100”)
Louis C.K., Louie (“Elevator Part 6”)
Jodie Foster, Orange is the New Black (“Lesbian Request Denied”)
Mike Judge, Silicon Valley (“Minimum Viable Product”) 
Gail Mancuso, Modern Family (“Vegas”)
Iain B. McDonald, Episodes (“Episode 309”)
GAIL MANCUSO WINS. Oh yay. Are we in for a Modern Family five-peat?

8:29: OK, I like this bit. T.J. Miller's bit. I bet Gail Mancuso will win this again for Modern Family because life is a toilet.

8:28: Then Crazy Eyes (that's Uzo Aduba) comes out to tell us who wins Best Directing in a Comedy Series. We get an awful clip of Lea Michele telling us how good a director Paris Barclay is.

8:27: Hayden Panettiere is here to tell us who won Guest Acting in a Comedy awards. It was Crazy Eyes and Jimmy Fallon, in case you forgot!

8:21: ALLISON JANNEY wins THIS YEAR for Mom. It's her forty billionth Emmy. She already won Guest Actress for Masters of Sex (which she's phenomenal on) this YEAR. I love her, but I would have given this to Mulgrew or McKinnon.

8:20: Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series!

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Anna Chlumsky, Veep 
Allison Janney, Mom
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Kate Mulgrew, Orange is the New Black

8:19: Kimmel's here to make funnies. He rags on McConaughey. "How many little speeches of yours are we supposed to sit through? I mean alright, alright, alright already?" McC accepts this all with a blissed-out, open-mouthed laugh.

8:18: LOUIE WINS. "Thank you, that's very nice, I appreciate that." He dedicates the award to Sarah Baker, which is very nice, because she delivered the big monologue that obviously won him the award. As usual, he gives a clipped, to the point, not funny speech that's perfectly classy.

8:17: Zooey Deschanel and Allison Williams are here to present Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series:

Alec Berg, Silicon Valley (“Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency”)
Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, Armando Iannucci, Veep (“Special Relationship”) 
Louis C.K., Louie (“So Did the Fat Lady”)
David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes (“Episode 305”)
Liz Friedman & Jenji Kohan, Orange is the New Black (“I Wasn’t Ready”)

8:10: WINNER: TY BURRELL, MODERN FAMILY. He reads a speech from his kid-cast. It is un-charming. This is a genuine surprise because he already won and was up against some serious talent, but, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Modern Family has now won four Supporting Actor Emmys.

8:09: Amy Poehler is presenting Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. I'm picking Andre Braugher or Tony Hale to win here.

Fred Armisen, Portlandia
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep

8:08: This was a verrrrrrry set-up, joke, set-up, joke monologue. Seth's picking a lot of easy targets (like Duck Dynasty, or actors dying on Game of Thrones). I mean, it's what he does, so it makes sense, but is that gonna be it?

8:05: Seth reminds us that he wrote for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the Golden Globes. Maybe stay away from reminding us about really great hosting jobs, Sethy!

8:03: "We had comedies that made you laugh, and comedies that made you cry, because they were dramas submitted as a comedy," Seth snarks. I love category fraud jokes! I actually do!

8:01: Here's Seth! Mocking the Monday time-slot switch, and the VMAs. "That's like network TV holding an award show and giving all of the trophies to cable and Netflix." Kevin Spacey, Lord of Streaming, applauds in a lordly manner.

7:57: So, Julia Louis-Dreyfus just said she wouldn't vote for Selina Meyer, her character on Veep. The usual hard-hitting Emmy red carpet reporting, guys. Ceremony's about to start!

7:48: Billy Bush has crowned Jon Voight the frontrunner because he won the Golden Globe. If the Emmys followed the Golden Globes, well...that'd be stupid.

7:34: Kerry Washington is asked about the possibility that she could become the first African-American woman to win Actress in a Drama. Kerry very quickly steers into some perspective, talking about how, after watching Michael Brown funeral this morning and pivoting away from her own opportunity to make history and into a more ambivalent place about being African-American in this country right now.

7:32: The NBC pre-show begins with Matthew McConaughey, joined by his wife and his bald-faced hatred of interviewer-in-residence Billy Bush. It's gonna be a looooooong 28 more minutes until Seth Meyers.

We made it through the MTV VMAs, and now it's time for the big leagues. We're liveblogging the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards right here, and while Beyoncé probably won't be making an appearance, we can promise you Bryan Cranston. That's almost as good, right?

If you're interested in our Satisfaction Guaranteed predictions for tonight, we've got them in Drama, Comedy, and All The Rest. You can catch up with all of our coverage so far here.

The show starts at 8 p.m. EST – we'll see you then!

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.