(CNN) -

"Breaking Bad" is in blue heaven.

The AMC series -- about a chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord who rides a powerful methamphetamine called "Blue" to wealth and pain -- concluded its triumphant run last year as one of the most-lauded TV series of all time: the story of "Mr. Chips turning into Scarface," as creator Vince Gilligan liked to describe it. On Monday, the show received one more set of honors: a slew of nods at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, including the Emmy for outstanding drama series.

The show won six Emmys total, second only to "Sherlock: His Last Vow's" seven among all programs.

There was some tough competition this year, notably from "True Detective," the moody HBO detective series starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

Bryan Cranston won the lead actor Emmy for his performance as meth king Walter White, beating out the Oscar-winning McConaughey, who was the subject of laudatory and humorous remarks all night long.

"Even I thought about voting for Matthew," joked Cranston, and then turned serious.

"My own family nicknamed me Sneaky Pete," he said, noting he didn't expect he'd find his niche. And then he found acting.

He dedicated the Emmy to "all the Sneaky Petes of the world. ... Take a chance, take a risk. It's really worth it."

Cranston pulled off a rare double, winning a Tony and an Emmy in the same year. (He won the Tony in June for "All the Way.") Bob Fosse won three honors -- an Emmy, Tony and Oscar -- in 1973.

Aaron Paul got his third win for playing Jesse Pinkman, White's sometimes undependable right hand.

"I've learned so much, on screen and off," he said to Cranston, sitting in the audience.

And Anna Gunn won for outstanding supporting actress for her performance as White's wife. She also won last year.

Show writer Moira Walley-Beckett also won.

"Detective" wasn't completely shut out. It won four technical awards at the Creative Arts Emmys on August 16 and another one on the telecast, the latter for director Cary Joji Fukunaga.

Repeat performances

"Breaking Bad's" win wasn't its first; it also won best drama last year. And many of Emmy's other winners may have seemed equally familiar.

"Modern Family" won outstanding comedy series for the fifth straight year, despite stiff competition. In addition, the show's Ty Burrell won outstanding supporting actor and Gail Mancuso won for directing.

Backstage, Mancuso hoped her Emmy gave young girls a sign that there were jobs for them besides acting.

"Seeing a woman winning an Emmy is a wonderful image to project to young girls who think they can do something besides in front of the camera," she said.

Julianna Margulies won outstanding lead actress in a drama for her performance in "The Good Wife." She won in 2010 and has been nominated each year since.

Jim Parsons won the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a comedy. It's his fourth win in the category, all for his performance in "The Big Bang Theory."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep") earned an Emmy for lead actress in a comedy, her second straight. In congratulations, Cranston -- a former "Seinfeld' co-star -- gave her a passionate kiss. (It was OK -- they checked with their spouses beforehand.)

"He went for it. He goes for it in everything he does," she said later.

And "The Amazing Race" won for reality competition, a return to the winner's circle after losing to "The Voice" last year. It's now won 10 of the 12 Emmys given out in the category.

Sneaky 'Sherlock'