The 2013 Emmys was full of upsets, making it one of the most unpredictable awards ceremonies in recent memory. Sure, there were the expected wins — Modern Family for Best Comedy, Breaking Bad for Best Drama — but there were a number of winners in the acting categories that awards-show prognosticators (including me) got dead wrong.
What were the most surprising wins of the evening? I turned to GoldDerby.com, a website that tracks the odds for showbiz awards shows, in order to determine just how unexpected some of last night's upsets really were:
6. Best Actor in a Comedy:
The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons (14 to 5) over Louie's Louie C.K. (5 to 6)
Three-time nominee Louie C.K., who earned a whopping nine nominations this year, was heavily favored to earn his first Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy. But this year, history repeated itself when C.K. was beaten once again by The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons, who received his third acting Emmy for the role.
5. Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy:
Veep's Tony Hale (9 to 1) over Modern Family's Ty Burrell (2 to 3)
For the past three years, Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy has been Modern Family's category to lose, with wins for stars Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell. But instead of the expected repeat for Burrell (or a first win for his costar, Ed O'Neill), the Emmy went to Veep's Tony Hale, ending a streak that most assumed Modern Family would continue for the fourth consecutive time.
4. Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie:
The Big C: Hereafter's Laura Linney (33 to 1) over American Horror Story: Asylum's Jessica Lange (8 to 11)
Laura Linney is an Emmy favorite, with previous wins for Wild Iris, Frasier, and John Adams, but Showtime's The Big C never fully connected with either audiences or the Academy. Fortunately, The Big C's abbreviated final season qualified as a miniseries — a distinction that proved fruitful, netting the Showtime series its first (and last) Emmy over favored contenders in American Horror Story: Asylum and Top of the Lake.
3. Best Actor in a Drama:
The Newsroom's Jeff Daniels (33 to 1) over Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston (11 to 10)
The Emmys aired opposite Breaking Bad's penultimate episode, so the show's legions of fans probably missed one of the most shocking upsets of the evening: Bryan Cranston's loss of the Best Actor trophy to The Newsroom's Jeff Daniels. Daniels wasn't even favored as a dark horse in the category; behind Cranston, the odds were far better for Homeland's Damian Lewis (2 to 1) or House of Cards' Kevin Spacey (6 to 1).
2. Best Supporting Actor in a Drama:
Boardwalk Empire's Bobby Cannavale (50 to 1) over Homeland's Mandy Patinkin (7 to 5)
It was obvious from his speech that even Bobby Cannavale was surprised that Bobby Cannavale won. Prognosticators almost universally assumed that Best Supporting Actor in a Drama was a three-horse race, with Mandy Patinkin slightly edging out Breaking Bad's Jonathan Banks and Aaron Paul.
1. Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy:
Nurse Jackie's Merritt Wever (100 to 1) over Modern Family's Julie Bowen (5 to 4)
In what was undoubtedly the biggest surprise of the evening, perennial bridesmaid Merritt Wever took the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy trophy over two-time Modern Family winner Julie Bowen and her costar, Sofia Vergara. The odds against Merritt Wever's win put her behind 30 Rock's Jane Krakowski, The Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik, and Veep's Anna Chlumsky. Now that's a ballot breaker.