By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" led comedy winners at the Critics Choice television awards on Monday, while AMC series "Breaking Bad" and HBO's fantasy epic "Game of Thrones" won top prizes for drama, edging out "Mad Men" and "Homeland".
HBO film "Behind the Candelabra" won best mini-series or movie, and Michael Douglas's turn as the camp and complex Liberace won the best actor in a mini-series or movie prize.
"The Big Bang Theory", about a group of nerdy scientists, was an early winner on the night, with co-stars Kaley Cuoco and Simon Helberg also winning best comedy supporting actor awards.
Cuoco's win was tied with Eden Sher of ABC family comedy "The Middle".
"The Big Bang Theory", in its sixth season beat "Louis", "New Girl", "Veep", "The Middle" and "Parks and Recreation".
"Game of Thrones", a medieval fantasy war epic, and "Breaking Bad", about a chemistry teacher-turned-drug king, tied for the Best Drama Series prize.
"Breaking Bad" lead star Bryan Cranston won Best Actor in a Drama Series for the second year running, thanking the critics, saying "if you were not a conduit, we would not be anywhere".
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, star of HBO's political comedy "Veep", won best comedy series actress, while Louis C.K. of FX's "Louie" picked up best comedy series actor for the second year running.
"I've spent my entire career making sure to ignore what critics say and what critics write. Tonight that strategy has changed," Louis-Dreyfuss quipped as she accepted her award.
Last year's big drama winner, "Homeland", lost in all three of its categories. "Mad Men" also failed to win the one category it was nominated in, best drama actress for Elisabeth Moss.
One of the big surprises of the night came from little-known Tatiana Maslany from BBC America drama "Orphan Black", in which she plays a woman with several identities. She won best drama actress, beating last year's "Homeland" winner Claire Danes.
Winners of the third annual Critics Choice Television Awards were chosen by members of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, and handed out at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills, hosted by "Parks and Recreation" actress Retta.
Moss, best known for her role as Peggy Olson in "Mad Men," won best actress in a mini-series or movie for her role as a New Zealand detective in Sundance Channel's "Top of The Lake".
The award was her first accolade for acting, she said in her acceptance speech.
FX's psychological horror mini-series "American Horror Story: Asylum", with six nominations, came away with two wins for its stars Sarah Paulson and Zachary Quinto.
Hollywood comedian Bob Newhart was recognized with the Critics Choice Television Icon award, with actor Henry Winkler, best known as The Fonz in "Happy Days", paying homage to Newhart's long-running career in television.
(Editing by Louise Ireland)