Television drama Breaking Bad won the top Primetime Emmy award for the first time on Sunday, just as the gritty tale of a chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine cook and drug kingpin winds down to widespread acclaim.
Although it won best drama series for its fifth season, AMC's Breaking Bad has just one episode left to air on Sunday in its sixth and final season.
Its creators credited a changing television world of binge-watching, video on demand, online streaming and social-media buzz for its success.
"I don't think our show would have even lasted beyond season two if it wasn't for video on demand, and also the Internet component of it where folks get to chat," said creator Vince Gilligan.
"It's a bold new era."
If the best-drama nod highlighted the gritty power of basic cable, the best-comedy-series award honoured the slick production values of the broadcast networks.
ABC's Modern Family, a highly stylised show about unconventional families, won the top comedy award for the fourth consecutive year.
The Emmys are handed out by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In a nod to the changing times, host Neil Patrick Harris made much of the latest trends in television viewing. He opened the ceremony enclosed in a room, binge-watching on multiple screens to catch up on every episode.
"Right now, I am watching an episode of American Horror Story: Asylum on my contact lens," he joked with the audience at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.