Political shows lose favor at Emmy Awards

Politically-themed shows suffered big losses at the Emmy Awards on Sunday night.

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Several shows with ties to Washington -- such as "Homeland," "House of Cards," "Veep" and "Scandal" -- were nominated for top prizes in television's biggest night but found themselves going home empty handed.

President Obama's favorite show, "Homeland," lost in the Best Drama Series category to AMC's "Breaking Bad." Netflix's "House of Cards," about a House majority whip who exacts revenge on those who betrayed him, also lost in that category. 

And, in one of the most shocking moments of the night, Jeff Daniels beat out two favorites from those programs to take home the statue for Best Actor in a Drama Series for his role as anchor Will McAvoy on HBO's "Newsroom."

Daniels won over Kevin Spacey as House Majority Whip Francis Underwood in Netflix's "House of Cards" and Damian Lewis as POW-turned-congressman Nicolas Brody on Showtime's "Homeland."

Both Spacey and Lewis are favorites in Washington: Lewis was invited to a White House state dinner and Spacey filmed a gag video for this year's White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

Spacey brought his devious character to life for the Emmys in a similar bit to his correspondents' dinner performance. In the show's opening monologue, host Neil Patrick Harris found himself besieged on stage by former hosts Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Jane Lynch.

The camera flashed to Spacey in the audience, where he said in his character's distinctive, Southern tone: "It's all going according to my plan. I was promised the hosting job this year and they turned me down. They said they wanted someone more likable."

But, in one of the few bright moments of the night for politics, Claire Danes took the Best Actress in a Drama Series award for her role as CIA agent Carrie Mathison in "Homeland."

That category had several nominees from politically-themed shows. Danes -- another regular guest at the correspondents' dinner -- defeated Kerry Washington, who plays a former White House communications director turned fixer in ABC's "Scandal," and Robin Wright, who plays the wife of Spacey's politician in Netflix's "House of Cards." Washington is also a prominent supporter of Obama.

HBO's "Veep" took home two big awards but lost Best Comedy Series to ABC's "Modern Family."

Tony Hale, who plays the vice president's personal aide, won Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Hale's character, Gary Walsh, is the overly attentive body man to Julia Louis-Dreyfus's vice president and it was a role he reenacted during the Emmy broadcast.

When Louis-Dreyfus won Best Actress in a Comedy for playing Vice President Selina Meyer, Hale appeared on stage behind her during her acceptance speech, holding her bag. Much like his character does on "Veep," he gave her prompts, such as to thank her family and to say "I love them so much." Anna Chlumsky, who plays the chief of staff on the show, also got in on the gag: typing away on her smartphone while Louis-Dreyfus talked.

One person who may be disappointed with Louis-Dreyfus's win is Vice President Biden and his staff. Shortly before the award was announced, Biden's office declared its allegiance for Amy Poehler, tweeting out its support for the "Parks and Rec" star. Poehler's character, Leslie Knope, has a crush on Biden and the vice president made a guest appearance on the NBC program.


And in a loss that shouldn't have any 2016 implications read into it, Sigourney Weaver missed out on an award for her role as a Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonClinton defends April Ryan, Rep. Maxine Waters in speech Lobbying world Trump puts foreign investors first by supporting the Republican tax plan MORE type character in USA's "Political Animals," a miniseries about a former first lady turned secretary of state who's contemplating a run for president.

But Ellen Burstyn won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries for her role in "Political Animals," where she played the mother of Weaver's character.

"The Colbert Report" picked up a pair of matching statues, winning Best Variety Show and Best Writing for a Variety Show. The program beat out Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show," which was a repeat winner in the category. Host Stephen Colbert thanked his "friend and brother" Stewart in his acceptance speech.