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September 22, 2009

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It's a mad world at the Emmys again

"MAD Men" and "30 Rock" led a pack of Emmy winners who successfully defended their titles this year, while Australia's Toni Collette of "United States of Tara" was honored as best lead actress in a comedy series for her role as a mother with multiple personalities.

AMC's glossy 1960s Madison Avenue saga "Mad Men," which last year became the first basic cable show to win a top series award, won the best drama trophy for a second time.

"It is an amazing time to work in TV," said "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner. "And, I know that everything is changing, but I'm not afraid of it because I feel like all these different media is just more choice and more entertainment."

NBC's "30 Rock," a satirical take on life inside a TV variety show, was honored for the third time as best comedy series, while star Alec Baldwin won his second award as best comedy actor.

"We want to thank our friends at NBC for keeping us on the air ... even though we are so much more expensive than a talk show," said "30 Rock" creator and star Tina Fey, referring to Jay Leno's new daily show, which NBC likes to note is cheaper to produce than a scripted series.

Glenn Close's performance as a ruthless trial attorney on "Damages" and Bryan Cranston's turn as a meth-making, cancer-stricken teacher on "Breaking Bad" were honored with the top drama series acting Emmys, the second consecutive trophies for both.

Iranian Shohreh Aghdashloo won for her role in HBO's "House of Saddam." Aghdashloo won best supporting actress in a TV movie or miniseries for playing Saddam's wife Sajidah Khairallah Tulfah.

The BBC's Dickens adaptation "Little Dorrit," co-produced with PBS's Boston affiliate WGBH, won for best miniseries as well as awards for cinematography, art direction, casting and costumes.

Ireland was well represented as Irish actress Dearblha Walsh won for directing "Little Dorrit" and Irish actor Brendan Gleeson won for playing Winston Churchill in the HBO miniseries "Into the Storm."

Australian Hugh Jackman won for his opening musical performance for the Oscars awards show.

In the night's biggest surprise, Collette deprived Fey of a second consecutive award in the category. Collette had previously been nominated for an Emmy, an Oscar and a Golden Globe but had never won.

Fey took the stage a few moments later to acknowledge a guest actor award she received for her Sarah Palin impersonation on "Saturday Night Live."

Michael Emerson, who plays the devious Ben on "Lost," and Cherry Jones, the United States president on "24," were honored as best supporting actors in drama series.

Kristin Chenoweth of "Pushing Daisies" and Jon Cryer of "Two and a Half Men" won supporting acting Emmys for their comedies.

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" won the trophy for best variety, music or comedy series, its seventh in a row.

"Grey Gardens," the story of a reclusive mother and daughter who were relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, won for best TV movie.

"The Amazing Race" won its seventh consecutive Emmy in the outstanding reality-competition category, once again turning "American Idol" into an also-ran.


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