NEW YORK (AP) — British TV productions took three trophies Monday night at the 42nd International Emmy Awards, including best actor for Stephen Dillane and best drama for the thriller "Utopia."
The highlight of Monday night's awards gala at the Hilton New York came when "Mad Men" stars Christina Hendricks and John Slattery presented the honorary International Emmy Founders Award to the show's creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner, who's preparing the final episodes of the advertising agency saga to air in spring 2015.
Slattery praised his friend and boss for creating "one of the most internationally acclaimed and impactful shows in the history of the medium."
It "has been a privilege and lesson to behold seeing him put together this incredibly specific, emotionally complicated, intelligent and funny world of unpredictable characters in a historical context we all knew or thought we knew," said Slattery.
Weiner noted that despite initial doubts "Mad Men" has reached people throughout the world. "Nationalism drives people apart but entertainment brings us together," he said.
The Netherlands' Bianca Krijgsman won best actress at a ceremony that spread trophies among eight countries. British comedian Matt Lucas, creator of the comedy series "Little Britain," hosted the show.
Dillane won for his role in the Anglo-French crime drama "The Tunnel," in which he plays a veteran detective who teams up with a female French investigator to hunt down a serial killer who left the bodies of a French politician and British prostitute in the middle of the Channel Tunnel. Dillane was not present to accept the award because he was off filming "Game of Thrones" in which he stars as Stannis Baratheon.
British conspiracy thriller "Utopia," produced by Kudos Film & TV and Channel 4, won for best drama series. The series is about a group of comic-book fans who are pursued by a secretive murderous organization after they discover an unpublished manuscript for the sequel to a cult graphic novel rumored to predict global catastrophes. HBO has ordered an American adaptation to be directed by David Fincher ("Gone Girl").
"Utopia is a kind of dirty, nasty, dark, twisted, little bastard of a program that shouldn't really be put in front of any decent god-fearing people, and we're very, very proud of it," joked creator and executive producer Dennis Kelly.
The other British winner was "Educating Yorkshire," a glimpse into modern school life in a diverse community in northern Britain, in the non-scripted entertainment category.
Krijgsman, who launched her career in Dutch TV comedies, won for her dramatic role in "De Nieuwe Wereld" (The New World) as a disgruntled cleaner at an airport immigration center who forms an unexpected relationship with a West African asylum-seeker.
"I never expected this," said an ebullient Krijgsman, who dedicated the prize to all the extras in the TV movie. "They were real refugees and I hope they got a place to stay in Holland."
Telemundo's "El Senor de los Cielos" (The Lord of the Skies), loosely based on the life of a powerful Mexican drug lord who died after undergoing plastic surgery to change his appearance, won the Emmy in the newly created category for non-English language U.S. prime-time programs.
The telenovela award went to Brazil's "Precious Pearl," the story of a girl who may be the reincarnation of a Buddhist spiritual leader.
Germany's controversial "Unsere Mutter, Unsere Vater" (Generation War), about five friends from a Berlin neighborhood whose paths diverge during World War II, won in the TV movie/miniseries category.
Commissioning editor Heike Hempel said the show was meant to "replace the silence in every German family with the story of these five young persons in the Second World War who could be — like the original title — our mothers and our fathers."
Belgium's irreverent "What If? 2" took the Emmy in the comedy category for its sketches on such topics as "What if Jesus was a standup comedian?"
In documentaries, the Emmy went to Sweden's "Frihet bakom galler" (No Burqas Behind Bars), about inmates in an Afghan women's prison.
The Emmy for arts programming went to Canada's "The Exhibition," which describes the public opposition faced by an artist mounting an exhibition of paintings based on a police poster of missing women, 26 of whom were found murdered on the farm of Canada's worst serial killer.
News Corp. and 21st Century Fox chief Rupert Murdoch joined Brazilian telenovela stars Gloria Pires and Milton Goncalves to present the honorary International Emmy Directorate Award to Roberto Irineu Marinho, chairman and CEO of the Globo Group of Companies, Brazil's leading media and entertainment conglomerate.
Marinho noted that his father received the same honorary International Emmy in 1983, crediting him as "a fearless, determined and visionary man" who made his dream a reality 50 years ago by founding TV Globo.
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presents the awards.
Follow Charles J. Gans at www.twitter.com/chjgans