Mad Men shine at Emmys

Los Angeles:

Period drama Mad Men scooped the top honour at the 60th Emmy Awards on September 21 as politics took centre stage at the US television industry’s annual equivalent to the Oscars.

The critically acclaimed cable series — about the workings of a New York advertising agency in the early 1960s — was named outstanding drama series at a star-studded ceremony at the Nokia Theatre.

However, the other big winners of the evening were two politically themed productions: the acclaimed historical drama John Adams about the second president of the United States, and Recount about the contested 2000 election.

Home Box Office’s seven-part John Adams, starring Paul Giamatti in the title role, set a new record after picking up five top awards including outstanding mini-series and a virtual sweep of the acting prizes. Giamatti took home the honours for outstanding lead actor in a mini-series or movie, with Laura Linney emulating the honour in the lead actress category. It was the third Emmy of Linney’s career.

Britain’s Tom Wilkinson meanwhile, nominated for an Academy Award earlier this year in the thriller Michael Clayton, won best supporting actor. Recount a drama depicting the events following the 2000 presidential election, won in the outstanding made for television movie category. The film’s director Jay Roach said he hoped this November’s presidential poll would follow a different script.

“We don’t want to go somewhere and do ‘Recount 2: The Sequel’,” Roach said.

Other acting awards meanwhile saw wins for two of Hollywood’s most established na-mes, with Glenn Close scooping the lead drama actress prize for her portrayal of a ruthless litigator in Damages.

It was a case of seventh time lucky for veteran actor and activist Alec Baldwin, who won the first Emmy of his career in the outstanding lead actor in a comedy for 30 Rock, where he plays a television network executive.

However there was an upset in the outstanding drama actor category, where Bryan Cranston won for Breaking Bad, in which he plays a terminally ill teacher who turns to a life of crime to support his family.

Cranston pipped Mad Men’s John Hamm for the prize. “You don’t know if you’re going to dance with the pretty girl and when she asks you to dance it’s beautiful such a surprise,” said Cranston. — HNS