LOS ANGELES – The darkly intimate 1960s-era drama “Mad Men” and the comedy romp “Modern Family” were the top honorees at Sunday’s Emmy Awards as American life past and present proved a winning formula.

The best comedy series award was the first for “Modern Family,” which also captured an acting award for Eric Stonestreet and a best writing trophy.

The best drama series award for “Mad Men” was its third consecutive one. Series creator Matthew Weiner claimed the Emmy for best drama series writing with Erin Levy.

“Glee,” the musical-comedy that started the night as the most-nominated series, earned an acting trophy for Jane Lynch and a directing award for creator Ryan Murphy.

Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of a meth dealer in “Breaking Bad” and Kyra Sedgwick’s role as a brassy deputy police chief in “The Closer” earned the pair top drama series acting awards.

Cranston’s honor was his third for playing a high school math teacher gone wrong, while co-star Aaron Paul earned his first award as best supporting actor for playing his partner-in-crime.

Archie Panjabi of “The Good Wife” was honored as best supporting actress in a drama for her part as a law-firm’s in-house private investigator, as Emmy voters spread the riches widely among veterans and fresh faces.

Edie Falco of “Nurse Jackie” and Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory” were honored for their comedy series lead roles.

“Oh, this is the most ridiculous thing that has ever, ever happened in the history of this lovely awards show. I’m not funny!” said Falco, who was honored for playing a tough but troubled nurse.

Parsons won for his portrayal of a scientist as nerdy as he is brilliant. He ended fellow nominee Alec Baldwin’s two-year winning streak for “30 Rock” and beat out other heavyweights including three-time winner Tony Shalhoub, nominated for the final season of “Monk,” and Steve Carell of “The Office.”

Stonestreet of “Modern Family” and Lynch of “Glee” were honored for their comedy-series supporting roles.

Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” won its eighth consecutive Emmy Award for best variety, music or comedy series.

The victory kept Conan O’Brien from claiming an Emmy for his short-lived stint as “Tonight” host.