The 2012 Emmy Awards have come and gone, crowning a new batch of winning shows and stars with this year’s top prizes. Television critic Rob Salem revealed his most memorable moments and disappointments from TV’s biggest night of the year.

1. "Homeland" wins big

Showtime’s terrorism thriller, “Homeland,” emerged as the big winner of the evening, earning this year’s prize for Best Dramatic series, as well as top acting honours for stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

Looking back, these victories came as no great surprise according to Salem.

“These wins may have surprised a lot of Canadians. The show is on a premium channel so many people haven’t seen it. But no one was really surprised by these wins -- except ‘Mad Men,’” Salem said on Monday on CTV’s Canada AM.

Describing “Homeland” as the “juggernaut” of this year’s award show, Salem said the cable hit prevented long-time favourite "Mad Men" from winning its fifth straight best drama Emmy.

“‘Mad Men’ had 17 nominations and didn’t win one,” said Salem.

“Even in the supporting categories it got shut out,” he added.

2. Cable-made shows strengthen hold on Hollywood

Despite “Mad Men’s” losses at the 2012 Emmys, Salem said the growing strength of cable-made shows in today’s industry emerged as one of the award show’s most important highlights

“For the first time ever all the dramatic nominees were from cable,” said Salem.

Cable’s growing presence in Hollywood could signal tough times ahead for traditional networks, Salem added.

“Network television cannot compete with cable,” said Salem.

Unlike traditional, hour-long network shows, cable-produced projects can take a topic of interest and explore it freely over the course of 13 or 16 hours, he explained.

Cable-made shows are also unfettered by advertising and are now able to attract top Hollywood talent, he added.

3. Jimmy Kimmel nails it as Emmy host

Jimmy Kimmel also earned top marks for turning in a strong performance as host of the 64th annual Emmy Awards ceremony, televised from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

“Jimmy did great a great job because he turned it into the ‘Jimmy Kimmel Show,’” said Salem.

Kimmel’s humorous attempts to evict his parents were a highlight of the evening.

Kimmel summoned security to remove his mother and father from the premises.

“It’s okay if you Taser them if you need to,” Kimmel told security.

4. A disbelieving Jon Cryer wins Best Actor

The night did hold one remarkable surprise according to Salem. That moment came when Jon Cryer won the Best Actor award in a comedy series for “Two and a Half Men.”

In previous years, Cryer had taken home the Best Supporting prize playing second fiddle opposite Charlie Sheen. Once Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher last season, however, the 47-year-old Cryer was able to move up in the nomination categories.

“I’m amazed that Cryer won,” said Salem.

“When Sheen went ballistic, Cryer suddenly became eligible for the award,” he said.

Cryer also seemed taken aback by his unexpected win for Best Actor.

In his acceptance speech Cryer encouraged the audience not to “panic.”

“Something has clearly has gone terribly wrong. I’m stunned,” Cryer said after the win was announced.

5. No win for "Sherlock" star Cumberbatch

Despite “Homeland’s” well-earned Emmy wins, Salem was disappointed that voters did not award a win to “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch.

The 36-year-old British actor was nominated for Lead Actor in a miniseries or movie for his performance in “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.”

Cumberbatch, along with contenders Bill Paxton (“Hatfields & McCoys”), Clive Own (“Hemingway & Gellhorn”), IdrissaIdris”Elba (“Luther”) and Woody Harrelson (“Game Change”), lost this year’s race to Kevin Costner for his performance as  “Devil” Anse Hatfield in the “Hatfields & McCoys.”

“Cumberbatch did a great job on ‘Sherlock.’ It’s too bad he didn’t win,” said Salem.