Ricky Gervais and Damian Lewis provide some of the memorable moments at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
In an overly staged three-hour awards ceremony for the US television industry, political drama Game Change, thriller Homeland (touted as President Obama's favourite show), and sitcom Modern Family won big. Here are some of the more memorable moments in a tightly run Emmy Awards production:
• 1 Show host Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the 2012 awards show by reminding the audience that although television is an American invention, "one out of every five nominees tonight is British".
• 2 Best Director Steven Levitan of Modern Family accepted his award saying he had been advised "with your cast, crew, and writers a complete idiot could direct an episode of Modern Family".
• 3 Kimmel observed "isn't there something strange about Homeland being President Obama's favourite tv show?" Homeland is based on a US soldier turning into a suspected Al Qaeda operative and infiltrating the US government.
• 4 Aaron Paul, a native of Idaho, who won Best Supporting actor for the drug crime drama Breaking Bad thanked his mom and dad for their tough love: "thank you for kicking me out of the house and making me follow my dreams".
• 5 An absent Maggie Smith won Best Supporting Actress for Downton Abbey.
• 6 Noting that he didn't really believe in "judging art" but decided to show up at the Emmy Awards anyway, Damian Lewis won the drama series Lead Actor award for Homeland---his second nomination for the role. He apologized for the British invasion of American tv: "I'm one of those pesky Brits. Apologies."
•7 A svelte and smiling Ricky Gervais was warmly received by the Emmys audience. He reminded them that even though the Emmys is "so much better than the Golden Globes" he knew they all wished they could be at the Golden Globes so they could drink.
•8 Julianne Moore took a swipe at Sarah Palin after winning Lead Actress in a tv movie for her portrayal of the 2008 Vice Presidential nominee in Game Change. "I feel so validated because Sarah Palin gave me a big thumbs down."
• 9 Julia Louis Dreyfuss who won the Lead Actress in a comedy award for Veep quipped that she found nothing funny about her being the Vice President of the United States.
• 10 Tom Hanks, a producer of Game Change, accepted the outstanding television movie award on behalf of the production. He thanked the country's Founding Fathers and noted that the American political landscape provides a "plethora of material that goes on and on and on".