On a night that rewarded guest actors, choreographers, musicians and editors of the year's leading TV shows, "Game of Thrones" on HBO won six awards, including costumes, make-up and special visual effects.
Sketch show "Saturday Night Live" took home four — including a best guest actor trophy for comedian Jimmy Fallon as host — tying for second place with the Charles Dickens drama "Great Expectations" on PBS and Discovery Channel's nature documentary "Frozen Planet."
Bates, 64, was a popular winner for her guest actress turn as Charlie Sheen's killed-off bad boy Charlie Harper in CBS comedy "Two and a Half Men."
The Oscar-winning Bates, who this week revealed she had recently undergone a double mastectomy, played the ghost of Sheen/Harper complete with cigar and trademark bowling shirt.
In a night of surprises, 1960s advertising show and four times best drama series Emmy winner "Mad Men" was shut out of the creative arts portion of the biggest honors in the TV industry.
"Mad Men" will still hope to capture the top prize next week at the Primetime Emmys, which honors the best dramas, comedies, writers and actors and take place on Sept. 23 at a televised ceremony in Los Angeles, hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel.
On Saturday, the Nickelodeon animated show about a group of commando penguins, "The Penguins of Madagascar," beat popular Fox comedies "The Simpsons," "American Dad," and "Bob's Burgers."
There were surprises, too, when the NBC backstage musical drama "Smash" took the award for best choreography over the three entries for perennial winners "So You Think You Can Dance."
On his second try, Jeremy Davies won for his guest drama role in the FX modern Western "Justified", while Martha Plimpton was named best guest actress in a drama for her turn as a devious lawyer in CBS legal show "The Good Wife."
"Hatfields and McCoys," the History channel miniseries about a legendary 19th century family feud starring Kevin Costner, won three Emmys on Saturday for sound, editing and make-up. The drama drew a huge 17 million average audience when it aired in May, leading to 16 Primetime Emmy nominations including nods for Costner and co-star Bill Paxton.
Reality show "Undercover Boss," in which senior executives leave their company boardrooms to work alongside ordinary employees, won the best reality program Emmy.
HBO finished Saturday night as the channel with the most Emmys — 17 — followed by CBS with 13 and 11 for PBS.
A complete list of winners can be seen at website Emmys.com.
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