Another Emmy Win for ‘Modern Family’ Puts Show on Verge of History

But the show was one of the few bright spots for actors of color at this year's awards.

By Jamilah King Sep 23, 2013

The run-up to this year’s Emmy Awards show in Los Angeles was all about disruption. The old guard of network TV sitcoms was finished, and in its place had risen new shows with new distribution models that could permanently transform the television industry. David Finchner, director of the Netflix political drama "House of Cards," walked away with the prize for best director, marking the first victory in a major category for an online distributor. And AMC’s hit drama "Breaking Bad" picked up its first win in the drama category.

But some things at this year’s Emmy Awards remained the same, and in at least one case, that was a good thing.

For the fourth consecutive year, ABC’s "Modern Family" won the award for best comedy series. Since its debut in 2009, the show has earned a total of 45 Emmy nominations. In terms of consecutive wins, the show now sits behind only "Frasier," which won the award for best comedy series five years in a row from 1994 to 1998.

The show is structured as a mockumentary that follows three generations of a prominent Southern Californian family. It’s been heralded for its groundbreaking approach to controversial social issues including interracial dating and gay marriage.

Still, the show was one of the only bright spots for actors of color at this year’s awards. Despite all the chatter about "Scandal" possibly making a big splash at this year’s Emmys, actors of color didn’t win any major awards at this year’s awards. Kerry Washington was nominated for best actress in a drama, but was beaten by actress Claire Daines in "Homeland." ( Although "Scandal" actor Dan Bucatinsky win the award for Guest Actor in a Drama.)

The lack of racial diversity at this year’s awards is neither new nor surprising. According to the Screen Actors Guild, only 28 percent of roles on TV go to actors of color, and few of those roles would qualify as a lead of supporting actor. 

Here’s a partial list of this year’s nominees and winners. For a full one, visit the Los Angeles Times.

WINNER: "Breaking Bad" (AMC)
"Downton Abbey" (PBS)
"Game of Thrones" (HBO)
"Homeland" (Showtime)
"House of Cards" (Netflix)
"Mad Men" (AMC)

Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey")
Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad")
WINNER: Jeff Daniels ("The Newsroom")
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")
Damian Lewis ("Homeland")
Kevin Spacey ("House of Cards")

WINNER: Claire Danes ("Homeland")
Vera Farmiga ("Bates Motel")
Michelle Dockery ("Downton Abbey")
Robin Wright ("House of Cards")
Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men") 
Connie Britton ("Nashville")
Kerry Washington ("Scandal")

George Mastras ("Breaking Bad")
Thomas Schnauz ("Breaking Bad")
Julian Fellowes ("Downton Abbey")
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss ("Game of Thrones")
WINNER: Henry Bromell ("Homeland")

Tim Van Patten ("Boardwalk Empire")
Michelle MacLaren ("Breaking Bad")
Jeremy Webb ("Downton Abbey")
Lesli Linka Glatter ("Homeland")
WINNER: David Fincher ("House of Cards")