But the picture was much different – and a whole lot more fun – after the show.
The official HBO Emmy After Party, held at the Pacific Design Center Sunday night, played host to many happy nominees, including lead actress in a drama series winner Claire Danes.
The expectant Homeland star commandeered a small table late in the evening with her husband Hugh Dancy and some friends. Danes snuggled closely next to her man while her Emmy was planted prominently at the center of the table and she snapped plenty of group photos with her iPhone.
Fellow winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus spent the evening surrounded by her TV costars, including Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky, in the Veep section of the party, always clutching her Emmy and seeming genuinely elated.
Sofia Vergara was in a similar mood after her show, Modern Family, swept several awards. After midnight, Vergara was spotted shaking (her mended) tail feather on the dance floor, beaming ear to ear, before wandering through the party once more.
Elsewhere, an Emmy-toting, gregarious Tom Hanks (with his wife, Rita Wilson) entertained Ashlee Simpson and Vincent Piazza. And Julianne Moore was seated, surrounded by well-wishers, when a massive platter overflowing with various sweets was delivered to her table. She focused in on the cake pops.
Emmy Couple Alert?Seth MacFarlane was seen squiring Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke through the party early on, hitting the buffet together and sharing a table while they ate. Throughout the party, MacFarlane frequently draped his arm across Clarke's shoulder or wrapped it around her waist – and she didn't seem to mind.
Exes Jerry Ferrara and Jamie-Lynn Sigler also shared a table at the party and appeared to be each other's dates for the evening.
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"I was really fascinated by the seat fillers, and the concept of a seat filler – I'm obsessed," she joked. "I want to talk to them all, I want to know their stories."
As for the story behind her nude appearance in the show intro, "I pitched the nakedness," she admitted. "Did anyone who has possibly seen my show think I would be resistant to that? That is from another planet."