TV’s Emmy Awards resembles a rerun

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

With the rise of streaming services like Netflix and the continued boom of long-form cable dramas, there’s a lot of talk about the changing face of television. But familiarity ruled at the Emmys on Monday night.

“The Big Bang Theory’s” Jim Parsons won his fourth Emmy in five years for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus picked up her third straight Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for “Veep.” Meanwhile, “The Amazing Race” won for Outstanding Reality Competition Program, its 10th win in the category.

Other early winners included “Modern Family” and the CBS sitcom “Mom,” so if there’s a revolution at hand, it has yet to hit the Emmys. That didn’t stop host Seth Meyers for zinging good old-fashioned network TV: “With all due respect to cable and streaming, something you can only get on network television: Please enjoy a whole bunch of commercials,” he said before one ad break.

The night’s real winner might have been Matthew McConaughey, who won just by showing up. Early in the show, presenter Jimmy Kimmel ribbed McConaughey, who was seated up front and considered a favorite to win for his role in “True Detective.” “You just won the Oscar like five months ago. No offense, but how many of those speeches of yours are we supposed to sit through?” Kimmel joked. “I mean, alright alright alright already. Should we give you the BET Award for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist too while we’re at it?”

The night kicked off on a light comic note when host Meyers joked about the Emmy show airing on a Monday, the first time it has done so since 1976. “This year we’re doing the Emmys on a Monday in August, which if I understand television, means the Emmys are about to get canceled,” he said.

Networks still put up a strong fight. Allison Janney won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the CBS sitcom “Mom,” marking her sixth career Emmy win, and “Modern Family’s” Ty Burrell nabbed his second statue for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

Among the newbies, FX’s “Fargo” made its presence felt, snagging a pair of awards, including Outstanding Miniseries. FX also snagged a pair of wins for “American Horror Story,” with Jessica Lange (her third Emmy win and second for “AHS”) and Kathy Bates taking home statues, and PBS’ “Sherlock” won a pair of awards.

Louis CK also won an early award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, marking his sixth career Emmy win. He was recognized for the episode “So Did the Fat Lady,” which set the Internet ablaze earlier this year, and he thanked the episode’s star, Sarah Baker, during his brief, sincere speech.