LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Psychological thriller "Homeland" won the top prize at the Critics Choice Television awards on Monday, edging out the much-admired "Mad Men," while "Community" was voted best comedy.
Cable channel Showtime's "Homeland" was declared best TV drama series and its star Claire Danes won the best dramatic actress award for her performance as a bipolar CIA agent on the hunt for a home-grown terrorist.
AMC's "Breaking Bad" brought home the best actor and supporting actor trophies for Bryan Cranston's chemistry teacher-turned drug king, and Giancarlo Esposito for his turn as the evil head of a New Mexico methamphetamine ring.
Flame-haired Christina Hendricks was the only winner on Monday for the multiple Emmy-winning AMC advertising drama "Mad Men", taking the supporting actress award for her role as curvaceous office manager Joan Holloway.
The little-seen but critically admired NBC show "Community" won for best comedy, while "Modern Family" stars Julie Bowen and her screen husband Ty Burrell were honored in the supporting acting categories.
Louis C.K was voted best comedy actor for his FX show "Louie," while Zooey Deschanel's ditzy "New Girl" and "Parks and Recreation" mockumentary star Amy Poehler shared the award for best comedy actress.
Britain's updated Sherlock Holmes detective show "Sherlock" won the best miniseries and its quirky star Benedict Cumberbatch was awarded best miniseries actor.
Julianne Moore took the prize for best TV movie actress for her portrayal of Sarah Palin in HBO's "Game Change," which charted the backstage story of Palin's 2008 Republican U.S. vice-presidential run.
A reality series victory for singing contest "The Voice" helped struggling TV network NBC to lead the tally of winners on Monday with five awards. ABC and AMC shows picked up three awards each, Fox had two and CBS - the nation's most-watched TV network - went home empty-handed.
The Critics Choice Television awards were chosen by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association and handed out a gala dinner in Los Angeles.
The winners were announced a month before nominations for the primetime Emmy Awards, the highest honors in the television industry.
Reporting By Jill Serjeant