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Emmys 2014 hits and misses

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For the last two years, the Emmys have had a hard time finding their footing. With shows like The Tonys garnering critical acclaim and a new awards shows littering the television landscape, the Emmys have taken an unexpected backseat to more popular entertainment. It has tried revive its name with fresh hosts like Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler but the formula still seems to be missing that special dash of pizazz. This year the 66th Annual Emmy Awards returned with Seth Myers at the helm, hoping to redeem itself from last year's somber ceremony. Find out what worked and what didn't in this year's Emmys recap.

Hit: Time Slot. This was the first time since 1976 that the Emmys were held on a Monday night. Monday is typically the most dreaded night of the week for weekend warriors and workers alike. However, the Academy was looking to sidestep the explosively entertaining MTV Video Music Awards, which aired last night and Sunday Night Football, which begins on September 4th on NBC. While the network successfully eliminated it's competition, it failed to provide the lively entertainment necessary to sustain viewers. So in part, the strategy worked.

Miss: Lack of Precedent. The thing that makes award shows exciting are the surprises. Despite several opportunities for history making precedence, the same winners that graced the Emmy stage the previous year, walked away with a golden statuette again this year. Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) all won their respective categories for a consecutive year, leaving little to buzz about on twitter. It seems that despite so many opportunities for history to be made, Emmy voters played it safe and stuck with the perennial favorites. Matthew McConaughey (True Detective, The Dallas Buyers Club) would have been the fifth name added to the list of actors to win and Emmy and an Oscar in the same year and Kerry Washington (Scandal) would have been the first African American to win an Outstanding Actress award. Instead Cranston and Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife) took home the top prizes in their respective categories and viewers were left with predictable Emmy ballots and needless office pools. However, to be fair, Marguiles is a new choice since Claire Danes (Homeland) has been ruling the best actress category for the last three years. So the voters did change their minds, they just didn't make history.

Miss: Dry Comedy. There were a few moments of laugh-out-loud comedy but mostly the night was ruled by dry humor. Julia Louis-Dreyfus elicited belly laughs when Cranston applied a whopper of a kiss on her lips while accepting the Outstanding Lead Actress award for Veep and McConaughey and Woody Harrelson had some comedic banter that meshed well together. However, even moments that were supposed to be funny, fell flat. "Weird" Al Yankovich did a musical introduction to the Outstanding Drama Category and while it was mildly funny, it was not the clever, biting humor that we've come to expect. Add that to Seth Meyer's trademark dry wit and you've got room full of stale jokes told to a half-hearted audience. This is not to condemn Myers as his brand of comedy works well on Weekend Update Saturday Night Live sketch and on his late night show. It just blended in too well this time with the mood of the night rather than pulling viewers up out of the doldrums of Monday night monotony. To his credit, Meyers maintained his smile even when his jokes returned to him void.

Hit: In Memorium. This was the part that the Emmys got absolutely right. Last year, the show was branded as "the saddest Emmys of all time" by Modern Family producer, Steve Levitan thanks to several expanded In Memorium segments that killed the mood and brought any laughter down to a hush. This year, the producers went back to the standard In Memorium segment and paid tribute to the stars we lost to the soundtrack of Sara Bareilles perfect rendition of "Smile". At the end comedian Billy Crystal gave a moving tribute to his former Comic Relief partner, Robin Williams. Crystal kept his composure as he heralded his larger than life friend as "the greatest friend you could ever imagine". On a night full of maligned notes and dinged keys, we're glad this note was perfectly in tune.

Scroll down for a complete list of winners.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

Allison Janney, The Americans

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series

Joe Morton, Scandal

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series

Moira Walley-Beckett, Breaking Bad

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series

Cary Joji Fukunaga, True Detective

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

Allison Janney, Mom

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Ty Burell, Modern Family

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series

Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series

Louis C.K., Louie

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series

Gail Mancuso, Modern Family

Outstanding Comedy Series

Modern Family

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries or Movie

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries or Movie

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries or Movie

Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries or Movie

Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow

Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special

Stephen Moffat, Sherlock: His Last Vow

Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special

Colin Bucksey, Fargo - Buridan's Ass

Outstanding Miniseries

Fargo

Outstanding Television Movie

The Normal Heart

Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series

Sarah Silverman, Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles

Outstanding Directing For A Variety Series

Glenn Weiss, 67th Annual Tony Awards

Outstanding Variety Series

The Colbert Report

Outstanding Reality Competition Program

The Amazing Race

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