Modern Family, Homeland & Game Change Win Big at Emmys
updated 09/23/2012 AT 11:30 PM EDT
•originally published 09/23/2012 AT 08:00 PM EDT
Eric Stonestreet took home the first award of the night for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy, setting the tone for the rest of the evening. In a repeat of last year's early Emmys sweep for the series, Julie Bowen took home the best supporting actress award, marking her second consecutive win in the category, followed by the show's co-creator Steve Levitan winning the Emmy for outstanding comedy direction. The cast closed out the evening the same way it began, with another win, this time for outstanding comedy series.
Newcomer Homeland had an incredible night following the show's debut season. The Showtime series' star Damian Lewis won the Emmy for the lead actor in a drama series – while his pregnant costar Claire Danes scooped up the best actress award. Homeland also took home the Emmys for outstanding writing and outstanding drama series.
After playing Sarah Palin in HBO's Game Change, Julianne Moore won her first Primetime Emmy for lead actress in a miniseries or movie. "I feel so validated because Sarah Palin gave me a big thumbs down," she said as she accepted her award. The political film – which won four awards total – also took home honors for outstanding writing, outstanding directing and outstanding miniseries or movie.
Two and Half Men's Jon Cryer won the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a comedy. "Don't panic people, something has clearly gone terribly wrong. I am stunned, I didn't actually win this – this did not just happen!" Cryer said, addressing his fellow nominees Don Cheadle, Louis C.K., Jim Parsons, Larry David and Alec Baldwin. Meanwhile, Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy.
Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul was stunned as he accepted his Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series. "I cannot believe I'm standing on this stage, let alone in this room," he said. But before stepping down from the stage, the actor thanked his fiancée Lauren Parsekian. "You saved me," he said.
Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series, beating out Archie Panjabi, Anna Gunn, Joanne Froggatt, Christina Hendricks and Christine Baranksi, but wasn't present to accept.
While accepting the Emmy for outstanding variety series, Jon Stewart earned first-to-get-bleeped honors after winning his 10th consecutive Emmy for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.
And Jessica Lange stunned in red as she accepted the Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for her role as Constance Langdon in American Horror Story, while Kevin Costner took home the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in the same category for his role in Hatfields and McCoys.