Before Sunday night’s Emmy Awards aired, critics and pundits predicted that this could be a year for a changing of the guard, with new shows like “Modern Family,” ”Glee” and “The Good Wife” shaking up an awards show that has been suffering from a serious case of deja vu.

And that’s what happened – in the comedy categories, anyway. It happened a little bit in drama, too. And sometimes the deja vu was shaken up in ways pundits didn’t expect.

The night’s big winner (in the series categories, anyway) was “Modern Family,” ABC’s hit about a seriously dysfunctional and unconventional but loving family. The series won best comedy series, and Eric Stonestreet won best supporting actor/comedy for his portrayal of Cameron, the less uptight half of the series’ gay couple.

Series creators Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd also won an Emmy for writing the show’s pilot episode, which introduced the family with a twist that would’ve been a surprise if it hadn’t been spoiled by ABC’s promos for the show.

As expected, “Glee’s” Jane Lynch won a best supporting actress/comedy for her portrayal of scheming, sharp-tongued cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, but the show’s mix of comedy, drama and lip-synced musical numbers may have been too much for Emmy voters. Series co-creator Ryan Murphy won an Emmy for directing the show’s pilot.

The main comedy-acting awards, however, came from series other than “Modern Family” or “Glee.” Jim Parsons, whom many observers thought should have won last year, took best actor/comedy for his portrayal of uptight genius Sheldon on CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.” Edie Falco, who won best actress/comedy for her portrayal as the blunt, pill-addicted, philandering Nurse Jackie, seemed stunned at her win, saying, “I’m not funny,” in her acceptance speech.

Although Falco is very good on “Nurse Jackie,” that quote seems sure to be taken up by the many critics who insist that the half-hour “Nurse Jackie” is not a comedy, but a drama, a contention that even Falco has made on some talk shows.

The drama categories, had a certain familiarity about them as AMC’s “Mad Men” won its third straight best-drama Emmy, while Bryan Cranston from “Breaking Bad” won his third straight best actor/drama nod for playing dying schoolteacher-turned-meth-maker Walt White. “Mad Men” (which aired an original fourth-season episode Sunday about the same time it was winning an Emmy for its third season) beat out such strong contenders as, well, “Breaking Bad” and “Lost,” which had an often infuriating but nonetheless mesmerizing final season.

“Lost,” in fact, was shut out of the major categories completely, as “Mad Men” won a writing Emmy and “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul, who plays Walt’s not-always-on-the-ball partner Jesse, won an overdue supporting actor/drama series.

Kyra Sedgwick of TNT’s “The Closer,” winning her first Emmy for that series in five tries, upset Julianne Margulies, who seemed like a shoo-in for her performance as a wronged politician’s wife re-starting her law career in “The Good Wife.” But her co-star Archie Panjabi, who plays the law firm’s enigmatic investigator, did nab a supporting-actress win. Steve Shill won best drama director for “Dexter”; apparently all those good “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” episodes direct themselves.

The night’s big winner, however, had nothing to do with series TV as the HBO TV-movie “Temple Grandin,” about the real-life autistic animal-rights activist, steamrollered the TV-movie/miniseries categories. (The real-life Grandin was in attendance at the Emmys, which what happened to fall on her 63rd birthday.) Claire Danes deservedly won an acting Emmy for her image-redefining portrayal of Grandin, and the movie also took best TV-movie, best director of a miniseries/movie (Mick Jackson), best supporting actor (David Strathairn) and supporting actress (Julia Ormond).

“Temple Grandin’s” only serious movie competition came from another HBO movie, “You Don’t Know Jack,” which earned Al Pacino an acting Emmy for playing Dr. Jack Kevorkian, as well as scoring a writing Emmy for Adam Mazer.

The show aired on NBC, which scored a total of zero wins on Sunday night’s broadcast. NBC executives were probably relieved enough that Conan O’Brien didn’t win in the variety/music/comedy series category, where a “Daily Show With Jon Stewart” victory saved NBC from the embarrassment of O’Brien getting in one last on-air shot at the network that did him wrong.

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