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This year's Emmys shook things up in the top categories with a few surprise wins… and some early favorites went home empty-handed. Read on to get the scoop on the night's biggest snubs and surprises.
"Mad Men" (Snub)
Emmy's love affair with AMC's impeccable period drama seems like it might be on the rocks. (Funny, that's also how Don Draper likes his whiskey.) After stringing together four straight wins for Best Drama, the cast and crew of "Mad Men" had to stew in their seats this year while newcomer "Homeland" took home the top prize. And despite coming into the night with a whopping 17 nominations, you know how many Emmys "Mad Men" won? None. Not one! That's the biggest single-year shutout in Emmy history. Jeez, we know Season 5 was a bit of a letdown compared to the near-flawless Season 4, but it's still "Mad Men," for Pete Campbell's sake.
The Best Drama race was positively stacked this year, with four-time winner "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," and "Downton Abbey" all having legitimate claims to the top prize. But we were stunned to see Showtime's nail-biter of a thriller outpace them all in its first season, taking home Best Drama as well as both top drama acting prizes (Claire Danes and Damian Lewis). Fans of those other shows might be disappointed, but if you haven't seen it, take our word for it: "Homeland" earned every Emmy it got… and even some it didn't. (Mandy Patinkin, holla!)
[ Photos: Emmys red carpet report card ]
"American Horror Story" (Snub)
FX's creepy frightfest probably thought it was pretty clever submitting itself in the Miniseries or Movie category, dodging the big TV drama guns and racking up 17 total nominations. But a strong run by HBO's "Game Change" meant that "AHS" only walked off with a measly two awards: for Jessica Lange's devilishly great performance and for hairstyling. As much as we enjoyed Connie Britton's flowing locks last season, we still expected to see "AHS" scare up a few more Emmys.
Damian Lewis, "Homeland" (Surprise)
Taking on Walter White and Don Draper is no easy task. But the London-born Lewis topped them both in the Best Actor in a Drama race with his searing portrayal of Marine POW Nicholas Brody on Showtime's compelling terrorist drama. We pretty much knew his co-star Claire Danes would win, but Lewis's victory came as a real shocker, especially since "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston had won the award all three years he was eligible for coming into this year.
Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation" (Snub)
On the bright side, our beloved Amy has now worked her way onto the podium for two straight Emmys ceremonies with a pair of inspired comedy bits. But that's not good enough, Emmy voters: She still needs some recognition for her warm, winning work as peppy government worker Leslie Knope. And don't get us started on "Parks and Rec" not getting nominated for Best Comedy, and Nick Offerman never even being nominated for playing the great Ron Swanson. Are you Emmy voters all from Eagleton or what?
Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men" (Surprise)
Charlie Sheen may be gone, but his former co-star still managed to take home Emmy gold tonight. Beating out reigning champ Jim Parsons and critical fave Louis C.K. for Best Actor in a Comedy, Cryer snuck in under the radar to claim his second Emmy for playing the eternally neurotic Alan Harper on CBS's long-running sitcom. Even Cryer was shocked to hear his name called: As he took the stage, he said, "Don't panic, people. Something has clearly gone terribly wrong." ("Louie" fans agree with you, Jon.)
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" (Snub)
We don't begrudge Damian Lewis his Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama; he's fantastic. But this is Walter Freakin' White we're talking about here! Cranston had already taken home three Emmys for his work as "Breaking Bad's" ever-fascinating anti-hero, and Season 4 may have featured some of his best work yet. For that nutso laughing fit in "Crawl Space" alone, we're sorry Cranston didn't make it four for four.
Tom Bergeron, "Dancing With the Stars" (Surprise)
The Emmy for Best Reality Host might as well be renamed the Jeff Probst Award, since the "Survivor" host has won the prize all four years it's been handed out. But oddly, Probst wasn't even nominated this year, opening the door for Bergeron, about to kick off his 15th season as "DWTS's" quippy emcee. Frankly, we're shocked that "DWTS" has won an Emmy of any kind. But making hundreds of mediocre salsas and cha-chas seem interesting has got to be worth something.
Giancarlo Esposito, "Breaking Bad" (Snub)
"Breaking Bad" fanatics (like us) can't be too upset at this outcome, since Esposito's co-star Aaron Paul took home this year's prize for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. But with cold-blooded drug kingpin Gus Fring, Esposito had fashioned one of the best villains in TV history. And Fring's explosive demise last season means that this was Esposito's last shot at Emmy gold for this role. Well, no matter what Emmy says, we won't soon forget the Chicken Man.