Damian Lewis, Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin star in <i>Homeland</i>.

Damian Lewis, Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin star in Homeland.

Psychological thriller Homeland has won the top prize at the Critics Choice Television awards, edging out the much-admired Mad Men, while Community was voted best comedy.

Homeland, which airs on Channel Ten in Australia, was declared best TV drama series and its star Claire Danes won the best dramatic actress award for her performance as a bipolar CIA agent on the hunt for a home-grown terrorist.

Breaking Bad brought home the best actor and supporting actor trophies for Bryan Cranston's chemistry teacher-turned drug king, and Giancarlo Esposito for his turn as the evil head of a New Mexico methamphetamine ring.

Flame-haired Christina Hendricks was the only winner for the multiple Emmy-winning advertising drama Mad Men, taking the supporting actress award for her role as curvaceous office manager Joan Holloway.

The little-seen but critically admired show Community won for best comedy, while Modern Family stars Julie Bowen and her screen husband Ty Burrell were honored in the supporting acting categories.

Louis C.K was voted best comedy actor for his show Louie, while Zooey Deschanel's ditzy New Girl and Parks and Recreation mockumentary star Amy Poehler shared the award for best comedy actress.

Britain's updated Sherlock Holmes detective show Sherlock won the best miniseries and its quirky star Benedict Cumberbatch was awarded best miniseries actor.

Julianne Moore took the prize for best TV movie actress for her portrayal of Sarah Palin in HBO's Game Change, which charted the backstage story of Palin's 2008 Republican US vice-presidential run.

A reality series victory for singing contest The Voice helped struggling US network NBC to lead the tally of winners with five awards. ABC and AMC shows picked up three awards each, Fox had two and CBS - the most-watched TV network in the US - went home empty-handed.

The Critics Choice Television awards were chosen by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association and handed out a gala dinner in Los Angeles. The winners were announced a month before nominations for the primetime Emmy Awards, the highest honors in the television industry.

REUTERS