Jim Parsons accepts the award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series for his role in The Big Bang Theory from presenter Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who would follow with her own win. Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Jim Parsons was back on familiar ground on Monday night, stepping to the podium at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.
The star of The Big Bang Theory on CBS won for best actor in a television comedy, his fourth Emmy. That tied Parsons on the all-time comedy list with Michael J. Fox and Kelsey Grammar.
Parsons was up against Ricky Gervais, Matt LeBlanc, Don Cheadle, Louis C.K. and William H. Macy.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus took home her fifth career Emmy, a third consecutive best actress in a comedy win for HBO's Veep. She previously won Emmys for Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine.
The comedy veteran beat out Lena Dunham, Edie Falco, Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy and Taylor Schilling.
Ty Burrell and Allison Janney received Emmys for their supporting work in comedies.
Burrell, the Modern Family dad, won for best supporting actor in a comedy, his second win and fifth nomination. Burrell's ABC show could win a fifth time for best comedy.
Janney won as best supporting actress in a comedy, for the first season of CBS's Mom.
Louis C.K. was also rewarded early on in the show, with an outstanding writing nod for his FX series Louie.
Fargo, Normal Heart recognized
Aaron Paul took home the first dramatic series acting award handed out, for the final season of Breaking Bad.
Paul won for the third consecutive time for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman, beating out the likes of Peter Dinklage, Jon Voigt and Josh Charles.
Paul was soon joined by co-star Anna Gunn, a winner for supporting actress in a drama for the second consecutive year. Her competition included Christina Hendricks, Maggie Smith and Christine Baranski.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who was not in attendance, was the best actor in a miniseries or movie winner for Sherlock: His Last Vow on PBS.
Jessica Lange was named best actress in a miniseries or movie for American Horror Story: Coven, an FX production.
Fargo landed the Emmy Award for this year's best miniseries.
The FX drama, inspired by the 1996 Coen brothers film, was chosen over American Horror Story: Coven, Bonnie & Clyde, Luther, Treme and The White Queen.
The Normal Heart, the HBO production featuring Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo in starring roles and based on Larry Kramer's 1980s play about the beginning of the AIDS crisis, was named best television movie.
The other contenders for TV movie were Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, Killing Kennedy, Sherlock and The Trip to Bountiful.
Monday night move
Late Night host Seth Meyers is presiding over the showcase for television's best at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, held on a weeknight for the first time in 40 years.
Noting that the Emmys moved to Monday night to avoid a conflict with Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, host Meyers said that MTV doesn't really specialize in videos anymore.
"That's like network TV holding an awards show and giving all the trophies to cable and Netflix. That would be crazy," Meyers joked.
Billy Crystal, meanwhile, paid tribute to longtime friend and occasional collaborator Robin Williams, who died earlier this month.
"I used to think if I could put a saddle on him and stay on for eight seconds, I'd be OK," said Crystal of performing onstage with Williams.
"It's very hard to talk about him in the past, because he was so present in all of our lives," Crystal added. "For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy."
Other notable winners on Monday:
- Directing, Comedy Series: Gail Mancuso, Modern Family, ABC.
- Reality-Competition Program: The Amazing Race, CBS.
- Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Stephen Moffat, Sherlock: His Last Vow, PBS.
- Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven, FX.
- Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow, PBS.
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