Emmys: The Winners React

Julia Louis Dreyfus Emmys - H 2013

The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards took place Sunday at L.A. Live's Nokia Theatre, with HBO's Behind the Candelabra topping the evening with three wins.

AMC's Breaking Bad took home the top drama prize, while ABC's Modern Family joined The Dick Van Dyke Show, Cheers and All in the Family as the only comedies to win four series statues.

In the drama acting categories, Jeff Daniels won his first-ever Emmy for his first-ever nomination, for lead actor in a drama for The Newsroom, while Homeland's Claire Danes repeated. Boardwalk Empire's Bobby Cannavale and Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn took home home the supporting prizes.

Over on the comedy side, Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus came out victorious in the lead category, while co-star Tony Hale received his first Emmy win for his supporting role. The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons won the lead actor in a comedy Emmy, and Nurse Jackie's Merritt Wever snagged her first Emmy. Among the other winners: Michael Douglas for Behind the Candelabra, and The Voice, which beat The Amazing Race in the reality-competition program category.

Neil Patrick Harris, star of How I Met Your Mother, returned as host of the annual awards show honoring TV's biggest names. Elton John made his Emmy debut in an homage to Liberace, while Carrie Underwood performed a rendition of The Beatles' "Yesterday." The telecast also features a special In Memoriam segment, with tributes to James Gandolfini, Glee's Cory Monteith, Gary David Goldberg, Jean Stapleton and Jonathan Winters.

PHOTOS: 2013 Emmy Nominees

Here are what the winners had to say backstage after their wins:

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, drama series: "This is the answer to a wish and a prayer of mine. I have been blessed in the past, and this show has been nominated in the past, but what I wanted is what we finally got. This is the culmination of everything, and for this to happen at this time, it couldn't be better. What a way to go out. These writers deserve a lion's share of the success of this show. We are the mouthpieces for them, and that's what makes me so proud of tonight."

Steve Levitan, Modern Family, comedy series: With this year's Emmy win for comedy series, the ABC effort reached a landmark, matching The Dick Van Dyke Show, Cheers and All in the Family with four statues. Only Frasier has more Emmy comedy series wins with five. "Obviously we are beyond humbled to even be mentioned alongside those shows," co-creator Levitan said. "For me personally, I grew up watching The Dick Van Dyke Show on WGN in Chicago. Reruns were on every day and it's the reason I wanted to become a comedy writer, because I wanted to go and sit in that room with Bud and Sally and do this for a living. It is quite amazing. Cheers is one of my all-time favorite shows. To even be mentioned alongside those shows. It's mind-blowing and extremely humbling for all of us."

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, lead actor in a drama series: "I've been neutral about this whole thing," he admitted. "I've been nominated a bunch of times -- Google it -- enough to kind of not lean toward it, not to hope too much. You're glad to be invited to the party. There are six of us nominated, there easily could've been 10 other guys who could've been where we are." For the full story, go here.

Claire Danes, Homeland, lead actress in a drama series: "This show is so challenging in all of the right ways. It's a good gig, and I hope it lasts a while. It's so compelling to me personally and creatively. We have a 9-month-old who is still on East Coast time, which means our curfew tonight is going to be earlier than it was before, but I will hit up some parties."

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory, lead actor in a comedy series: "I think that is the key in most mediums, but with TV, writing is the lynchpin of what works and what doesn't -- the quality of the writing and the commitment of the writers to keep the show fresh for seven years," the Big Bang Theory star said backstage. "It's been nothing but a pleasure. It's never been a harrowing challenge. The whole cast is here, which is phenomenal. That's the joy of having the show nominated, because it changes the size of the celebration. And afterparties are an afterthought to me. I prefer to read in bed, because I'm 100."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, lead actress in a comedy series: The Veep star snagged her latest Emmy for her portrayal of Selina Meyer on the HBO comedy, telling reporters that the victory "means a ton," noting that she's "lost many more times than I've won ... so it's delicious to win." When asked where she'll put her Emmy statuette, Louis-Dreyfus quipped: "I'm going to sleep with it."

STORY: Emmy Winners and Nominees 2013: The Complete List

Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra, lead actor in a mini/movie: The Beyond the Candelabra star, who won best actor in a movie or miniseries for playing Liberace in the HBO biopic, gave an innuendo-filled speech where he at first jokingly thanked fellow star Matt Damon for his part in the "two-hander." "You're only as good as your other hand," he quipped. Backstage, he explained that "two-hander" is an acting term that's "all about two people together, and you're only as good as the other partner. We relied on each other through this whole experience, and I wouldn't be up onstage without Matt and his performance and his commitment." For the full story, go here.

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, supporting actress in a drama series: "It just feels tremendous. It's been the most remarkable ride to be on this show. I couldn't be more thrilled. I'm overwhelmed. I'm glad there are people out there who enjoy Skyler. What the Skyler haters do, they do. It doesn't really have anything to do with me. I've had the best time with [everybody]. It's another chance to get together with them and celebrate." For the full story, go here.

Mark Burnett, The Voice, reality-competition program: NBC's singing competition series toppled The Amazing Race to win its first Emmy in the category in two tries. Prolific reality TV producer Mark Burnett addressed The Voice's kinder approach, compared to the snarkier American Idol and The X Factor. "People said that these kind of shows never work without humiliation," Burnett -- who said The Voice is like "producing an awards show two or three times a week with massive pyros and massive, massive effects" -- said. "That's not true. America loves kindness and freshness and brilliant music, and so we never felt comparisons ourselves. We're back tomorrow night and we want to be No. 1 again!" He also noted that people often come up to him congratulating him for Amazing Race, a show that is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, variety series and writing for a variety series: "No one is a bigger fan of Jon Stewart than I am. … Winning best show is a lot of fun, but second to none in my mind is the belief that Jon deserved all those wins." For the full story, go here.

Tina Fey, 30 Rock, writing for a comedy series: "It was a labor of love, and thankfully our friends at NBC never tried to change the tone of the show," the 30 Rock creator said. "It's so lovely that anybody remembered us. We went off the air in January. There will be a reunion. It will be an Imax movie, one minute long and play in the American Museum of Natural History."

Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire, supporting actor in a drama series: Cannavale was asked about the "sadistic" nature of his Boardwalk Empire character, gangster Gyp Rosetti. He said that the HBO show's creator-showrunner, Terence Winter, initially told him to think of Gyp as just a regular guy. "He said, 'You know, that guy from the neighborhood who took offense from everything,' " Cannavale said. "He made it seem like he was a real guy that we all know. … And so I understood what he meant when I read it." He added, "His violent nature serves him well in business. At the end of the day, it's a show set in a certain world, a specific world, and that made sense to me."

Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie, supporting actress in a comedy series: The actress, who won her first Emmy for her turn as Zoey in Showtime's Nurse Jackie after also being nominated last year, failed to have a speech prepared and was still noticeably flustered backstage. "I wanted to thank a lot of people," Wever said. "I wanted to thank everybody at Showtime. I wanted to thank Edie Falco." Even Wever was shocked to win, admitting: "It was unexpected. I have therapy next week, so …" For the full story, go here.

Tony Hale, Veep, supporting actor in a comedy series: "It's nuts. I've completely left my body. It's so surreal. I'm so thankful to be working, and to have this is completely mind-blowing. My wife has an Emmy for makeup, so I'm just catching up to her."

James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum, supporting actor in a mini/movie: "Working with [executive producer] Ryan [Murphy] was only tangentially, because I never actually saw him -- but his taste and his talent and his genius inform what we did. It was a bloody good show to work on. We don't work in a vacuum. Without all of those people, you don't get to stand up here."

Derek Hough, Dancing With the Stars, choreography: Dancing With the Stars' pro Derek Hough, winner for best choreography, said he loves being able to work with dancing novices and that his strategy is to tailor each dance to whoever is his partner in a particular season. "I love to take my partners and help them achieve things they never thought they could," he said. He also revealed that he really only began watching TV a couple months ago and is now hooked on shows including Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad and admitted that he's been somewhat starstruck seeing some of those shows' stars at the Emmys ceremony.

Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live, directing for a variety series: Saturday Night Live's Don Roy King, who won best directing for a variety series, admitted that he is a bit apprehensive about working with so many new castmembers in the upcoming season. The show lost Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis after last season, with five new faces joining over the summer hiatus: Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, John Milhiser, Brooks Wheelan and Noel Wells. "Losing castmembers for me is not only saying goodbye to friends, but saying goodbye to a whole repertory of characters and sketches I've already figured out," says King, who's been with SNL for seven years. "I don't look forward to starting from scratch with new people and new ideas, but somehow Lorne [Michaels, executive producer] manages to find people worth putting on television, and I can't wait." He also was asked what viewers can expect from upcoming host Miley Cyrus in the way of twerking or any other headline-making stunts. King said he doesn't yet know, citing the show's shooting schedule (Cyrus doesn't host until the Oct. 5 episode), but he said that the previous time she hosted, she was "willing to do anything. … She was charming and sweet."

Gail Mancuso, Modern Family, directing for a comedy series: Mancuso, who won best director for a comedy series for Modern Family, said she learned a lot from TV as a child. "My parents let me watch as much TV as possible, and I drew from a lot of programs," she said backstage, adding that she also learned a lot about comedy from her family. "My father was a really funny guy, and my brothers were really funny. This seemed to be a natural progression."

Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock, writing for a comedy series: "I'm probably going to get drunk with my parents, who are here. It's going to be a nice finale to an awesome experience."