A British detective hounded out the competition to scoop a handful of prestigious US Emmy awards.

Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman took home best lead and supporting actor awards for their parts as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson respectively in the hit BBC series Sherlock, with the show’s writer Steven Moffat picking up the outstanding mini-series writer award.

Other British successes at the ceremony included Colin Bucksey taking best director for the mini-series Fargo, in which Martin starred in the lead role, but there was no such luck for a host of other stars a the event at the Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles.

ITV drama Downton Abbey rated high in the nominations list, but neither Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary Crawley, nor her co-stars Dame Maggie Smith, Joanne Froggatt or Jim Carter managed to take the top prize.

Ricky Gervais’s Derek missed out to Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons in the lead actor in a comedy series, while Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister in the HBO hit series, lost out to Anna Gunn, or Skylar White, in Breaking Bad.

In fact it was a bad night for most of those up against the popular crime series, which also took honours for best drama and best lead and supporting actors in Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, fighting off Hollywood heavyweights including Kevin Spacey, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.