"Modern Family" beat out Fox's "Glee" to win the Emmy for best comedy series. The two much-lauded freshmen series went head to head in a number of categories and inspired skits featured in NBC's three-hour-long Emmy telecast.
"Glee's" finger prints were all over the opening song and dance, which starred the show's cast and included cameos by Kate Gosselin, Betty White, Jon Hamm, and Tina Fey. "Modern Family" got its moment during a mock plot brainstorming session that tried to work George Clooney into the show about a motley group of relatives.
"Temple Grandin," the biopic of an autistic woman turned doctor of animal science, dominated the TV miniseries/movie awards, winning best made-for-TV movie and best actress in a miniseries or movie for Claire Danes' portrayal of Grandin. Grandin herself scored a standing ovation from the audience.
The night's other big winners included "Mad Men" (best drama), Edie Falco (best actress in a comedy for "Nurse Jackie"), Kyra Sedgwick (best actress in a drama for "The Closer"), Bryan Cranston (best actor in a drama for "Breaking Bad"), Jim Parsons (best actor in a comedy for "The Big Bang Theory"), and Al Pacino (best actor in a miniseries/movie for "You Don't Know Jack").
There were a couple of surprises: "Top Chef" scored the award for best reality competition program, putting an end to "The Amazing Race's" seven-year-long winning streak.
Emmy voters bestowed the trophy for best variety, music or comedy series on "The Daily Show" instead of Conan O'Brien's "Tonight Show," saving NBC from a shudder of awkwardness but depriving "Team Coco" devotees of what could have been an acceptance speech for the ages.
The tone of the show was tongue-in-cheek, a dose of levity compared to the gravitas that often accompanies Hollywood awards shows. John Hodgman, best known as the "I'm a PC" guy from Apple's old ad campaign, served as announcer for the second year in a row, dispensing digs as winners walked up to accept statues instead of boring statistics. (For "Glee" director Ryan Murphy: "Ryan Murphy was previously nominated for directing 'Nip/Tuck.' Until then, no one in Hollywood had even heard of plastic surgery.")
Host Jimmy Fallon frequently whipped out his guitar to introduce a category with a little ditty, crooning with colleagues like Kim Kardashian and Stephen Colbert. Fallon's multi-song, multi-costume ode to three recently departed dramas -- "24," "Law & Order" and "Lost" -- was a welcome departure from the serious song tributes that often drag down awards shows. (Though the serious song tribute did take center stage when Jewel provided the vocal accompaniment to the annual montage of TV personalities who've passed.)
Memorable Quotes From the 2010 Emmys
Fallon's brand of humor may not have resonated with those unfamiliar with the former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and current "Late Night" host (Presenter Tom Selleck seemed unamused by Fallon's assertion that the "Magnum P.I." star is his real father.) But with Fallon and his like-minded crew of writers at the helm, TV's A-listers seemed a little more lighthearted and off-the-cuff than in Emmy ceremonies past. Below, a round up of some of the telecasts most memorable quotes, and after that, a full list of the 2010 Emmy Award winners:
"Dancing With the Stars" alum Kate Gosselin to Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey during the Emmy's "Glee"-themed introduction: "I can help, I'm a great dancer."
Fallon, during his opening monologue, standing steps away from Conan O'Brien: "Hi, I'm your host Jimmy Fallon from 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.' NBC asking the host of 'Late Night' to come to Los Angeles to host a different show -- what could possibly go wrong?"
Jane Lynch, accepting her best supporting actress in a comedy award for "Glee," addressing the show's teen and 20-something stars: "You're young, you're wonderful and you're fresh faced and when I'm not seething with jealousy, I'm so proud of you."
2009 Emmys host Neil Patrick Harris: "I would just like to take a moment to thank the Academy for allowing a gay man to host the Emmys for two years in a row. Congratulations Jimmy, you're doing a great job."
Fallon singing about "Lost" to the tune of Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life):" "The island it was mythical and in the end they died, I didn't understand it but I tried."
George Clooney, Bob Hope Humanitarian Award winner, on getting tabloid-level attention to worthy causes: "I have offered to go to the south of Sudan and have a wardrobe malfunction."
Presenter and "True Blood" star Stephen Moyer: "By an obscure and ancient Emmy bylaw, we are now legally required to make at least one vampire pun while presenting the next award."
Presenter and "Office" creator Ricky Gervais: "Mel Gibson. I'm not gonna have a go at him. He's been through a lot. Not as much as the Jews."
2010 Emmy Award Winners
Below, the full list of winners from Sunday's Emmy Awards.
-- Drama Series: "Mad Men," AMC.
-- Comedy Series: "Modern Family," ABC.
-- Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad," AMC.
-- Actress, Drama Series: Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer," TNT.
-- Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS.
-- Actress, Comedy Series: Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie," Showtime.
-- Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad," AMC.
-- Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Archie Panjabi, "The Good Wife," CBS.
-- Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family," ABC.
-- Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Jane Lynch, "Glee," Fox.
-- Miniseries: "The Pacific," HBO.
-- Made-for-TV Movie: "Temple Grandin," HBO.
-- Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack," HBO.
-- Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Claire Danes, "Temple Grandin," HBO.
-- Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: David Strathairn, "Temple Grandin," HBO.
-- Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Julia Ormond, "Temple Grandin," HBO.
-- Directing for a Comedy Series: Ryan Murphy, "Glee," Fox.
-- Directing, Drama Series: Steve Shill, "Dexter," Showtime.
-- Directing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Mick Jackson, "Temple Grandin," HBO.
-- Directing, Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Bucky Gunts, "Vancouver 2010 Winter Games Opening Ceremony," NBC.
-- Variety, Music or Comedy Series: "The Daily Show," Comedy Central.
-- Reality Competition Program: "Top Chef," Bravo.
-- Writing for Comedy Series: Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, "Modern Family," ABC.
-- Writing, Drama Series: Matthew Weiner and Erin Levy, "Mad Men," AMC.
-- Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Adam Mazer, "You Don't Know Jack," HBO.
-- Writing, Variety, Music or Comedy Special: 63rd Annual Tony Awards, CBS.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.