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IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR THE TELEVISION ACADEMY - EXCLUSIVE - Julia Louis-Dreyfus, left, and Bryan Cranston kiss at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

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Colin Bucksey, winner of the Outstanding Director for "Fargo," poses in the press room at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Jordan Strauss, Associated Press - Jordan Strauss/invision/ap

'Breaking Bad,' 'Modern Family' again score big at Emmys

  • Article by: NEAL JUSTIN
  • August 26, 2014 - 10:18 AM

Turns out the revolution hasn’t quite begun. Many predicted that Monday’s 66th Emmy Awards would be a turning point for streaming video, leaving traditional TV to look as antiquated as the manual typewriter.

“Even cable is looking at Net­flix the way Justin Bieber looks at One Direction — through a cloud of marijuana smoke,” said host Seth Meyers, reflecting on the state of the indutry in his opening monologue.

Not so fast. Streaming shows such as “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” failed to score in any major categories. The final season of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” steamrolled the competition with five major wins, including its second in a row for best drama. Star Bryan Cranston collected his fourth win for lead dramatic actor, tying him with Dennis Franz and fending off “True Detective’s” Matthew McConaughey, who was trying to become the first male to win an Emmy and Oscar for leading roles in the same calendar year.

“Even I thought about voting for Matthew,” said Cranston. Castmates Anna Gunn and Aaron Paul were also repeat winners in the supporting categories.

Familiarity was a common theme throughout the evening at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

“Modern Family” was named best comedy for the fifth year in a row, an accomplishment matched only by “Frasier,” while Ty Burrell won his second Emmy as supporting actor.

Almost all of the winning actors — including Kathy Bates and Minnesota’s Jessica Lange (both for “American Horror Story: Coven”), Allison Janney (“Mom”), Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife)” and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) — have won numerous times in the past.

Ricky Gervais made light of the ceremony’s unofficial theme when he jokingly groused about losing to four-time winner Parsons.

“I’ve come a long way to get here,” he said while presenting an award later in the show. “He’s probably local.”

About that kiss

The veteran champs did their best to look surprised, but they weren’t fooling anybody. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was so confident of picking up her fifth Emmy that she pre-planned a smart comedy bit with Cranston.

Early in the show, while they were onstage together as presenters, Louis-Dreyfus remarked that the “Breaking Bad” star looked an awful lot like a dentist she dated on “Seinfeld.” When Cranston insisted that he was indeed that character and that the two had even had a kissing scene. Louis-Dreyfus blew him off.

A few minutes later, to the shock of no one, she was named best comedic actress for “Veep.” As she made her way to the stage, Cranston slid out of his front-row seat and planted a very long kiss on his former co-star.

“Yeah, he was on ‘Seinfeld,’ ” she said when she reached the mike.

‘Fargo’ takes two

One of the year’s most innovative new programs, the Minnesota-set “Fargo,” on FX, won for best mini-series, but not before a few scares. Leading man Billy Bob Thornton lost in the lead actor category to Benedict Cumberbatch, star of “Sherlock,” which airs on supposedly stodgy PBS. Martin Freeman did notch a win, but it was for his work on “Sherlock,” not “Fargo,” which did manage to pick up an award for best direction.

Meyers did a competent, if not spectacular job as emcee, playing to his laid-back, soft-soap style and leaving the more outrageous bits to other comics. Jimmy Kimmel scored big with a seemingly endless amount of digs at McConaughey.

“How many speeches of yours are we supposed to sit through?” Kimmel said. “Should we just give you the BET award for best hip-hop artist.

There were a couple of somber highlights as well.

Billy Crystal did a masterful job of paying tribute to a late friend, ending his eulogy with the line: “Robin Williams. What a concept.”

But the evening’s most memorable snapshot came when “The Normal Heart,” a drama by Larry Kramer about the early days of the AIDS epidemic, was named best movie. As the cast and creative team made their way to the podium they were joined by a frail figure bundled in a scarf and hat — Kramer, who is in extremely poor health. He didn’t say a word, but his mere presence was enough to move the star-studded audience.

Netflix’s goosebump moment has yet to occur.

 

Neal Justin • 612-673-7431

 

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