The spy drama 24 was named best drama series in the Emmy Awards, which were presented in Los Angeles, Sunday evening. The American adaptation of the British series "The Office" was named best comedy series.
An espionage thriller, 24 has competed in the top drama category for five consecutive years. This was its first win of the highest honor in American television.
Keifer Sutherland, who plays a government agent in the series, received the Emmy for best actor in a drama.
The Office, a mock documentary about office politics, was named best comedy series. It is based on a hit show from British television.
The award for best comedy actor went to the Lebanese-American star of Monk, a detective series.
"And the Emmy goes to Tony Shalhoub, Monk," the announcer said.
It was Shalhoub's third acting Emmy for the series, in which he plays a neurotic former police officer-turned private investigator.
British performer Helen Mirren earned the Emmy for best actress in a miniseries or movie for her starring role in the period drama Elizabeth I. Her co-star, Jeremy Irons, was named best supporting actor.
Mirren thanked the writers who are creating many substantial roles for women.
"And, I know that there are many, many more brilliant performances by women of all ages and all races waiting to be revealed by some great writing," she said.
Stars in three canceled shows received acting awards. Alan Alda earned an Emmy for his supporting role in the political drama The West Wing. Megan Mullally was honored her supporting role in the comedy Will and Grace, and Blythe Danner won the Emmy for best supporting actress for the drama series Huff.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which presents the Emmys, paid tribute this year to longtime host Dick Clark, who is recovering from the stroke he suffered in 2004.
The 76-year-old performer got his start in Philadelphia in the 1950's, emceeing an afternoon dance show called Bandstand. It then became hit national show called "American Bandstand" and Clark gave many aspiring musicians with their big break.
Since 1972, he has hosted a New Year's Eve show from New York's Times Square, missing the show in 2004, but returning last New Year's Eve, after his illness. He says he has worked in nearly every part of the entertainment business, including comedy, drama, game and talk shows and reality television.
"I now realize that I have accomplished my childhood dream - to be in show business. Everybody should be so lucky," Clark said.
Comic and late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien hosted this year's Emmy presentation, but failed to win an award himself. O'Brien lost the Emmy for variety, music or comedy series to political comic Jon Stewart, who hosts The Daily Show With Jon Stewart on the cable network Comedy Central.