LOS ANGELES (AP) — Merritt Wever of "Nurse Jackie" won the Emmy Award for best supporting actress in a comedy series Sunday, kicking off the ceremony on a surprising note and with a remarkably brief acceptance speech.
"Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Um, I got to go, bye," Weaver told the audience after besting a field that included two-time winner Julie Bowen of "Modern Family."
"Merritt Weaver, best speech ever," host Neil Patrick Harris said.
Harris started out the ceremony with help — and harassment — from past hosts including Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch and Conan O'Brien. When they started to squabble, nominee Kevin Spacey of the online show "House of Cards" got a closeup.
"It's all going according to my plan. I was promised the hosting job this year and they turned me down," Spacey said, channeling the scheming politician he plays on the digital series.
An even bigger name, CBS Corp. chairman Les Moonves, did a cameo as a security guard greeting Harris as he arrived for the ceremony airing on CBS.
On the red carpet, there were plenty of slit skirts, romantic lace overlays, graphic black-and-white combinations, strategic skin-baring slashes and tough-girl harnesses. Emilia Clarke of "Game of Throne" was in a chalk-blue gown with geometric leaf cutouts, Claire Danes of "Homeland" wore a champagne-colored beaded gown and Robin Wright of "House of Cards" was in a black silk-cady gown.
"Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul brought two dates — his mom, Darla, along with his wife. Why his mom? "She just so incredible and always has been so supportive. She literally threw me out of the house when I was 17 and said, 'Good luck.' She always knew I wanted to do this."
Inside the Nokia Theatre, all eyes will be on the "House of Cards" from Netflix. The political thriller, the first online program to compete for the top trophy, is part of a video universe explosion that's added streaming services including Netflix and websites like YouTube to broadcast, cable and satellite TV delivery.
There could be history made: "Scandal" star Kerry Washington, the first African-American nominee for best actress in a drama since Cicely Tyson in 1995 for "Sweet Justice," would be the first ever to win.
ABC's "Modern Family" has the chance at its fourth consecutive best comedy series trophy.
"House of Cards" faces tough opposition. AMC's "Breaking Bad" is after its first best drama award as it nears the end of its five-season run, and "Mad Men" would like to claim a fifth honor to set a record for most wins in the category.
AMC's "Mad Men" is tied with past greats "Hill Street Blues," ''The West Wing," and "L.A. Law." Last year, Showtime's "Homeland" played spoiler by taking the trophy and is nominated again along with PBS' "Downton Abbey" and HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Bryan Cranston is bidding for a fourth lead-actor trophy for "Breaking Bad," facing competitors including Kevin Spacey of "House of Cards" and Jon Hamm of "Mad Men."
Spacey, his co-star Robin Wright and Jason Bateman of Netflix's comedy "Arrested Development" are the first to snare lead online series bids.
There have been Internet nominees before, such as last year's "Web Therapy" and "30 Rock: The Webisodes" in a short-format category, but not in the premier fields of acting and best series.