Homeland triumphs at Emmy's

Homeland,Obama’s favourite show trumped Mad Men, winning the top drama prize at the Emmy’s.

The cast of Homeland pose at the 2012 Emmy Awards. Picture: AFP

LOS ANGELES - Homeland toppled Mad Men to win the top drama prize on Sunday as the Primetime Emmy awards favoured politics and 21st century tensions over shows set in bygone eras.

Modern Family, ABC's show about the chaotic lives of three related couples and their children, won best comedy series for a third year and supporting actor Emmys for Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen, as well as a directing award.

"I am praying that everyone doesn't get sick of us," joked executive producer Steve Levitan.

Backstage, Stonestreet joked, "We know that eventually it will not be this way and you will hate us all."

Homeland, a post 9/11 psychological thriller about a returning Iraq war hero turned by al Qaeda, won best drama after one season on cable channel Showtime.

It also took home trophies for best writing and best acting for its two leads, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, for a total of six including technical awards.

Homeland, said to be one of President Barack Obama's favourite TV programs, brought to an end the reign of AMC's stylish 1960s advertising show Mad Men, which left Sunday's Emmy ceremony empty-handed.

It was the biggest shutout in Emmy history for Mad Men, which had gone into Sunday's awards as joint top nominee with 17 nominations.

Homeland also beat popular Downtown Abbey, about aristocrats and their servants in an English country house, and HBO's medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones, in what was the first year that all the nominated best drama series came from cable television.