Los Angeles (AFP) - Popular British detective series "Sherlock" picked up three awards at the annual Emmys in Los Angeles while hit drama "Breaking Bad" was the big winner of the night.
Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman won best actor and supporting actor in a mini-series for their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in the BBC crime drama, though neither was at the ceremony to receive his gong.
"Fargo", which also stars British actor Freeman and was screened on Channel 4 earlier this year, also picked up the Emmy for best mini-series.
Cult TV drama series "Breaking Bad" beat off competition from ITV period drama "Downton Abbey" to claim the top prize for best drama.
"This is... a wonderful time to be working in television," said director Vince Gilligan, accepting the award late Monday.
Bryan Cranston won the best drama actor award for his role in "Breaking Bad," about high school chemistry teacher-turned-drugs-kingpin Walter White, while there were best supporting prizes for Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn, who played his partner and wife.
American sitcom "Modern Family" won best comedy series for the fifth year in a row, equalling a record set by "Frasier" between 1994 and 1998.
The evening's big loser was "Game of Thrones", which was shortlisted in 19 categories and has already renewed for a fifth and sixth season.
"Game" left with only relatively minor prizes -- joining a list of snubbed shows also including "True Detective", "Orange is the New Black" and "House of Cards".
British comic Ricky Gervais joked about missing out on an Emmy for his show "Derek".
"Hello. I lost again! That's good. Twenty-one times! Twenty-one times I've been nominated. Lost 19. It's a cruel joke," he said.
He then read out the speech he said he had prepared, beginning "Ha, ha. I won! I knew I would because I am the best actor," adding that he was "better" than his five fellow nominees.
"Look at their stupid faces. Thank you to the Emmy voters who are never wrong. Well, we know that's bollocks now," he said.