"Mad Men" and "30 Rock" led a pack of Emmy winners who successfully defended their titles at Sunday's show, but the snappy ceremony and cleverness interjected by host Neil Patrick Harris made the evening far from a rerun.
AMC's glossy 1960s Madison Avenue saga "Mad Men," which last year became the first basic cable show to win a top series award, won the best drama trophy for a second time.
Matthew Weiner, "Mad Men" creator said, "It is an amazing time to work in TV. And, I know that everything is changing, but I'm not afraid of it because I feel like all these different media is just more choice and more entertainment. It's better for the viewers in the end and I'm glad to be a part of it."
NBC's "30 Rock," a satirical take on life inside a TV variety show, was honored for the third time as best comedy series, while star Alec Baldwin won his second award as best comedy actor.
Glenn Close's performance as a ruthless trial attorney on "Damages" and Bryan Cranston's turn as a meth-making, cancer-stricken teacher on "Breaking Bad" were honored with the top drama series acting Emmys, the second consecutive trophies for both.
Michael Emerson, who plays the cruelly devious Ben on "Lost," and Cherry Jones, the stalwart U.S. president on "24," were honored as best supporting actors in a drama series.
Toni Collette of Showtime's "United States of Tara" was honored as best lead actress in a comedy series for her role as a mother with multiple personalities.