Viola Davis became the first black actress to win a drama lead Emmy on a disappointing night for British TV talent.
Fantasy drama Game of Thrones and Washington political comedy Veep won the top prizes on Sunday night as Downton Abbey walked away empty-handed at the 67th Emmy Awards.
Davis won the award for her role in How To Get Away With Murder, while Mad Men star Jon Hamm snared his first Emmy for his lead role as Don Draper in AMC's 1960s advertising drama.
Accepting her award, Davis said: "The only thing that separates women of colour from anyone is opportunity. You cannot win Emmys for roles that are not there."
She was congratulated on Twitter by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.
Hamm, previously nominated seven times, said: "It's incredible and impossible for me personally to be standing here so I want to thank the people I owe an incredible debt, families who have chosen for some reason to take me in and be nice to me."
Downton Abbey was nominated for three awards, including outstanding drama series, which went to Game of Thrones at the ceremony at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.
British writers Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche were awarded outstanding writing for a comedy series for their script for the election night episode of the political comedy, Veep. It was also named outstanding comedy series in the penultimate award of the night.
Here are some of the major winners from the Emmy Awards:
BEST DRAMA SERIES - Game of Thrones
BEST COMEDY SERIES - Veep
ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES - Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES - Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder)
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES - Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES - Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black)
ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES - Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES - Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES - Tony Hale (Veep)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES - Allison Janney (Mom)