'Suspect' ending fit for a queen

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"The Sopranos" wasn't the only TV program to get a fond farewell from the Emmy voters.

"Prime Suspect," the 16-year-old franchise from PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre," collected three Emmys for its seventh and last installment, "The Final Act."

Fresh off her Oscar victory for "The Queen," "Suspect" star Helen Mirren added an Emmy for lead actress in a miniseries or movie. Despite stiff competition in the miniseries field from another multiple winner, AMC's "Broken Trail," "Suspect" also took home two more for writing and directing.

"You took our piece of work to your hearts, and you made it what it became, which was a piece of iconic television," Mirren said in accepting the award.

"Final Act," a co-production of ITV and WGBH, featured Mirren continuing in the role of Jane Tennison, a London Metropolitan Police detective struggling with the demands of life and work.

In an interview backstage, Mirren noted that the long haul of "Suspect" has allowed her to invest the role with her own personal issues. "It was an incredible opportunity to be honest about who I was," she said. "I can't believe that, it's incredible. I was quite lucky to be a part of it."

The Emmys have been kind to "Suspect," which won outstanding miniseries in 1993, 1994 and 1997. Mirren also won in 1996 for lead actress for "Suspect" and collected two other wins over the years in the same category, for "The Passion of Ayn Rand" (1999) and "Elizabeth I" (2006).

Philip Martin, who won the directing honor for "Suspect," paid tribute to PBS, the channel that gave the franchise American exposure. "They've been incredible supporters of the show from the beginning," he said.

Frank Deasy won the writing award for "Suspect."
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