New comedies "Glee" and "Modern Family" walked off with a clutch of Emmy awards on Sunday as the television industry handed out its highest honors to a crop of fresh faces.
Ryan Murphy, creator of musical comedy "Glee," won his first Emmy for directing the Fox series about a struggling high school choir, while Jane Lynch took home the trophy for her best supporting actress role as the scheming cheerleader Sue Sylvester.
"'Glee' is about the importance of arts education so I would like to dedicate this to all my teachers who taught me to sing and finger-paint," Murphy said of his award.
Eric Stonestreet, who plays one of the gay fathers in "Modern Family," won the best supporting comedy actor award, while the ABC mockumentary also took the award for the best comedy writing.
Jim Parsons was another new face, ousting "30 Rock's" Alec Baldwin as best comedy actor for his performance as a geeky physicist in "The Big Bang Theory" on CBS.
And Edie Falco, former star of "The Sopranos," took home a fourth career Emmy for her role as a subversive nurse in the new Showtime dark comedy "Nurse Jackie."
"This is the most ridiculous thing," Falco said, "I'm not funny! I am beyond speechless."
"Glee" went into the Primetime Emmys with a leading 19 nominations after a first season that took popular culture by storm. It was the flavor of the night on Sunday's Emmy telecast. Host Jimmy Fallon opened the show with a skit that roped actresses Tina Fey, Betty White, reality TV star Kate Gosselin and "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm into an impromptu "Glee" style cover version of the Bruce Springsteen classic "Born to Run."
The early victories for "Glee" and "Modern Family" boosted tension for the coveted best comedy series Emmy, which will be handed out last on Sunday in a move that reflected the buzz surrounding the close race in that category.
DRAMA EMMYS STILL TO COME
Drama awards are to be handed out later in the three-hour live ceremony in Los Angeles. Stylish critical darling "Mad Men" has 17 nominations and is seen as having the edge in the best drama series contest for a third year.
Julianna Margulies is a drama actress front-runner for playing a stoic spouse in "The Good Wife" -- one of the most-watched new dramas on U.S. television.
Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad" is looking to make it three in row, but could be stopped by "Dexter" actor Michael C. Hall, or Jon Hamm of "Mad Men."
Sci-fi thriller "Lost," a worldwide hit, also has a shot at the best drama series Emmy after ending its six-year run in May.
In a bid to capitalize on younger fans expected to tune into the Emmys this year, broadcaster NBC for the first time invited fans to use Twitter to send in humorous messages for Fallon to use in the ceremony.
With the Emmy awards being shown live on both U.S. coasts this year for the first time since 1976, NBC also teamed up with Ustream for an interactive companion show that streamed online live from the Emmys backstage area.
Both initiatives embrace social media technologies that are often viewed as competition in an era of dwindling audiences for mainstream TV.