Political drama The West Wing was the surprise winner of the Best Television Drama prize at last night (21SEP03)'s 55th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS, the American television industry's top honours.

It beat mob comedy/drama The Sopranos to win the top gong - although the heavily-favoured New Jersey-set show had already won top prizes for Best Actor in a Drama for James Gandolfini, who plays Tony Soprano, and Best Actress in a Drama for Edie Falco, who plays his wife CARMELA.

Speaking backstage, Gandolfini said, "My work has been acknowledged already, it's time for everybody else's work to be acknowledged," and called his win "bittersweet".

Everybody Loves Raymond took home the Best Comedy award - its first - and also earned Emmys for Best Supporting Actor Brad Garrett and Best Supporting Actress Doris Roberts.

Winner of Best Comedy Actress, Debra Messing, who plays Grace in WILL + GRACE, was especially delighted with her success, as she was the only one of her three co-stars never to have won an Emmy.

Backstage, four-time nominee Messing told reporters, "I can't imagine it being more sweet, I really can't. This is otherworldly, I've never allowed myself to dream this far."

From the networks, HBO was the main winner, taking home eight awards to CBS's seven.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Drama Series: THE WEST WING

Comedy Series: EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

Miniseries: STEVEN SPIELBERG PRESENTS TAKEN.

Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Made-for-TV Movie: DOOR TO DOOR

Variety, Music or Comedy Special: CHER - THE FAREWELL TOUR

Reality-Competition Programme: THE AMAZING RACE

Actor, Drama Series: JAMES GANDOLFINI, THE SOPRANOS

Actor, Comedy Series: Tony Shalhoub, MONK

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: WILLIAM H. MACY, DOOR TO DOOR

Actress, Drama Series: EDIE FALCO, THE SOPRANOS

Actress, Comedy Series: DEBRA MESSING, WILL + GRACE

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Maggie Smith, MY HOUSE IN UMBRIA

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Joe Pantoliano, THE SOPRANOS

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: BRAD GARRETT, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Ben Gazzara, HYSTERICAL BLINDNESS

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Tyne Daly, Judging Amy

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: DORIS ROBERTS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Gena Rowlands, HYSTERICAL BLINDNESS

Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Programme: Wayne Brady, WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY

Directing for a Drama Series: THE WEST WING: 25

Directing for a Comedy Series: CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: KRAZEE-EYEZ KILLA

Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: DOOR TO DOOR

Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program: THE 56TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS

Writing for a Drama Series: THE SOPRANOS: WHITECAPS

Writing for a Comedy Series: EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND: BAGGAGE

Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: DOOR TO DOOR

Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Programme: THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART

Bob Hope Humanitarian Award: Bill Cosby.

22/09/2003 10:36