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Dame Maggie Smith wins Best Supporting Actress

Dame Maggie Smith has won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Downtown Abbey.

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Congratulations to Dame Maggie Smith for winning the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama #Emmy award. #downton http://t.co/KkijmhWf

Modern Family swoop up early Emmys

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Congratulations to Outstanding Directing for a Comedy winner Steven Levitan of @modernfam!

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Congratulations to Outstanding Supporting Actor for a Comedy winner ERIC STONESTREET!

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Congratulations to Outstanding Supporting Actress for a Comedy winner @itsjuliebowen! She also won this award in 2011.

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Downton Abbey competes for Emmys success

Downton
Downton Abbey has been nominated for 16 Emmy Awards Credit: ITV

British period drama Downton Abbey is being tipped for success in the Emmy television awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

Industry pundits say the hit ITV1 show, about the lives of aristocrats and their servants, has a good chance of snatching the award for best drama, the Emmys' most prestigious prize.

Six members of the show's large cast have acting nominations, with Maggie Smith seen as a front-runner in the supporting actress category for her acid-tongued dowager countess Violet Crawley.

Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith has been nominated for best supporting actress Credit: ITV1

Among Downton Abbey's main rivals for best drama is 1960s-era advertising show Mad Men, which is aiming for a fifth straight win in the category.

Other British actors are also expected to do well, with Benedict Cumberbatch tipped to take home the miniseries actor Emmy for his modern twist on fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock.

The Emmy Awards start at 0100 BST and will be hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

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Downton Abbey among this year's Emmy nominees

Writer-producer Julian Fellowes (L) from "Downton Abbey", alongside cast members.
Writer-producer Julian Fellowes (L) from "Downton Abbey", alongside cast members, Elizabeth McGovern and Hugh Bonneville. Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

British television series Downton Abbey is one of six dramas up for an Emmy Award this year. It will be competing with Homeland, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire for the best drama series title.

The Emmys will be broadcast live from Los Angeles on September 23.

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