LOS ANGELES - Cult crime show "Breaking Bad" won the best drama Emmy on Sunday, but there was disappointment for "House of Cards," which had hoped to win the first major award for an online-only series.
The best comedy award in television's version of the Oscars went to "Modern Family," the fourth year in a row it has topped the category, while "Big Bang Theory" star Jim Parsons took the best comedy actor prize for a third time.
Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra" was the other big winner of the night, taking home Emmys for best miniseries/TV movie, best actor for Michael Douglas as the flamboyant gay piano icon, and best director Steven Soderbergh.
The critically-acclaimed "Breaking Bad," about a chemistry teacher turned drug lord Walter White, won the top drama prize only a weekend before its series finale next week after five seasons.
Show producer and writer Vince Gilligan looked shocked as he took the stage at the climax of the 65th Primetime Emmy awards show in Los Angeles. His show had been nominated for the top prize three times before.
"I thought this was going to be 'House of Cards'," he said, before adding that it could have been one of the other four shows nominated: "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones," "Homeland" or "Mad Men."
Perhaps the biggest upset of the night was for Jeff Daniels, who won best drama actor Emmy for his role as TV news anchor Will McAvoy in HBO's "The Newsroom."
The frontrunners had been "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston, who has already won it three times, and "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey for his turn as scheming congressman Francis Underwood.