60th Annual Emmy Awards: The ‘Mad’ Era of Cable Television

It was Mad last night at the 60th Annual Emmy Awards — because cable television ruled!

HBO’s John Adams was the top winner with 13 Emmys — including Outstanding Miniseries, Actor (Paul Giametti), and Actress (Laura Linney). “It feels very strange being up here alone,” said Linney, “When this was such an enormously collaborative effort.” Adams now holds the records for the most Emmy wins held single-handedly — with 2003’s Angels in America coming second.

A completely bald Bryan Cranston took home the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for AMC’s Breaking Bad, in which he plays a chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and decides to run a meth lab to supports his family. “I haven’t been up close and personal [with the Emmy] until now. I guess the restraining order has been uplifted” jokes Cranston. Cranston’s victory was a surprise because Jon Hamm was the odds-on favorite for the award for his performance as suave ad man Don Draper on Mad Men.

However, it didn’t leave empty-handed, because the cool and chic 60s era piece won the top prize for Outstanding Drama — becoming the first cable series ever to win that award.

In the Outstanding Actress in a Drama category, Glenn Close didn’t make some Damages like her ruthless lawyer alter-ego character when accepting the award. The actress gave thanks to fellow nominees that includes Holly Hunter (Saving Grace), Kyra Sedgewick (The Closer), and Mariska Haritgay (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) for in a medium where they can play mature and complicated women that are sexy and in control.

Jeremy Piven thanks “the eleven people that watch” HBO’s Entourage when winning the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy for the third straight year. “To be a working actor is a gift” he stated, who was in the middle of performing a play.

Jean Smart was named Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for ABC’s Samantha Who? in which she jokes on having a tuxedo under her dress but not planning on ripping it.

Alec Baldwin calls co-star and 30 Rock creator Tina Fey “the Elaine May of our generation,” as both actors won the Emmy in the Comedy category of Lead Actor and Actress. The NBC series also won two more for writing and was named Outstanding Comedy for the second year in a row. Fey, when accepting the Comedy Award, thanks Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels for changing her life and putting her on television, but also said that she is also “grateful to have jobs in this turkey burger economy.”

And the tribe of Jimmy Kimmel has spoken, as Jeff Probst took home the first Primetime Emmy for CBS’ Survivor in the Outstanding Host in a Reality or Competition Program — eliminating Howie Mandel (Deal or No Deal), Heidi Klum (Project Runway), Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars), and Ryan Seacrest (American Idol).

For more Emmy coverage, go online to TV Guide.