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Secret behind Jim Parsons' and Julie Bowen's Emmy victories

Jim parsons

Most Emmy pundits bet that Steve Carell would finally win best comedy actor for his last season on "The Office" just like Sarah Jessica Parker finally won her overdue, elusive Emmy for her final year on "Sex and the City." In the race for best supporting comedy actress, most bets were on Emmy host Jane Lynch winning for "Glee."

But victories were scored by Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") and Julie Bowen ("Modern Family") instead. How did they do it?

Both stars benefited from a quirk of Emmy voting: They were nominated against costars. Because winners are chosen by a small jury of voters evaluating single episodes, they get to be seen more than once. Parsons also gave judges a performance on costar Johnny Galecki's episode submission. Bowen gave judges an extra performance on Sofia Vergara's episode.

That's why it was no surprise that Ty Burrell won best supporting comedy actor, as widely expected. He was nominated against three "Modern Family" costars: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O'Neill and Eric Stonestreet.

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Jim Parsons in "The Big Bang Theory." Credit: CBS

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