'Welcome to Sweden,' Steven Van Zandt Take Top Prizes at Monte Carlo TV Festival

Greg Poehler Welcome to Sweden - H 2014

Greg Poehler Welcome to Sweden - H 2014

'How I Met Your Mother' and 'NCIS' were voted fan favorites.

Welcome to Sweden was given a warm welcome by the Monte Carlo Television Festival, taking home the prize for best international comedy series at the festival’s 55th edition.

Greg Poehler’s fish-out-of-water show won the festival’s Golden Nymph at the ceremony held Thursday night in Monaco.

"I wrote this show in my attic three years ago on a snowy Swedish morning, and I probably started and stopped ten different times because I honestly didn't know it was possible. I was 38 years old and had never done anything in this industry," said Poehler, who became visibly teary-eyed. "This show is about my life but also became my life," he said.

Steven Van Zandt was awarded the outstanding comedy actor prize for his performance as an outsized Jersey mobster hiding in Oslo in Norway’s Lilyhammer, which was named the best European comedy series for the second year in a row.

He called the award "awesome," and thanked Prince Albert, calling the royal "your awesome highness." Van Zandt then went on to dedicate his award to his former Sopranos co-star, the late James Gandolfini. "Every scene with him was like a year's worth of acting classes," he said.

Upon reciving the show award, he said television is benefitting from the legacy of David Chase. "You don't have to underestimate the intelligence of the audience anymore. You don't have to dumb things down. If our crazy show can find an audience, then anything is possible."

Spain’s Belen Rueda was the outstanding comedy actress winner for her role in the fashion magazine-set series B&B De Boca En Boca.

American shows were once again popular with the fans. How I Met Your Mother was voted tops in the comedy category. NCIS was voted best drama series by the audience, and the perennial festival favorite The Bold and the Beautiful was again awarded best soap opera.

British series also made their mark on the festival, performing strongly in the drama categories.

Marvellous swept the television film category. It won for best film and its stars Toby Jones and Gemma Jones were awarded the outstanding actor and actress prizes in the TV film category as well.

Best miniseries went to the intense British kidnap drama The Missing, with Frances O’Connor taking the outstanding actress prize the category. Outstanding actor in a miniseries went to Anthony Hayes for his performance as the lead detective in the original Australian version of Secrets & Lies.

The best international drama series prize went to Italy’s Gomorra, the crime series based on the film by Matteo Garro, which was awarded the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2008. Marco D’Amore was awarded the outstanding actor prize for his work on the show.

The U.K.’s Happy Valley won the best European drama series category, and star Sarah Lancashire was named outstanding actress for her performance as a police sergeant dealing with her daughter’s suicide.

In the news category, the best 24-hour news program went to Canada’s CBC for its coverage of the Ottawa shootings. Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts Limited was awarded the best TV news item for its police brutality against Occupy protesters story.

Best current affairs documentary went to Poland’s The Ghost People about the plight of albino people in Tanzania, and the best news documentary went to Spain’s Media 3.14 for the show Fast Track Injustice about the European extradition system.

Several special prizes were awarded. The International Red Cross committee prize went to Belgium’s Do Not Touch Me on the plight of girls facing genital mutilation, and the Monaco Red Cross prize went to Japan’s Storytelling of Hostages, which was also awarded the Signis Prize.

The Prince Rainier III prize was awarded to South Korean environmental documentary Island in the East Sea — Seagull’s Nest.

The Amade Prize went to ITV News’ The Desperate Struggle to Save Iraq’s Yazidis. The Urti Prize went to France Televisions’ documentary about life in Mongolia, Taiga.