The actor was honoured at the fourth annual Television Critics’ Awards, which saw Breaking Bad take home the coveted best drama honour.
He credited television with “raising the bar for character-driven drama”.
Fargo, inspired by the 1996 film, and prison comedy drama Orange Is the New Black dominated with three awards each.
FX’s Fargo – which is airing on Channel 4 in the UK – won the award for best mini-series, beating BBC dramas Dancing on the Edge, The Hollow Crown and Luther, as well as Bonnie and Clyde and American Horror Story: Coven.
Fargo’s Billy Bob Thornton, who plays the enigmatic Lorne Malvo, was named best actor in a mini series or movie – beating British contender and co-star Martin Freeman. Their co-star Allison Tolman won the best supporting actress in the same category.
Orange Is the New Black won best comedy series, with additional awards for Kate Mulgrew, in the best supporting actress in a comedy category, and Uzo Aduba for best guest performer in a comedy.
Mulgrew shared her award with actress Allison Janney, who was honoured for her supporting role in comedy Mom. Janney – arguably best known for her long-running role in The West Wing – won a second award for best guest performer in a drama, with her turn in Masters of Sex.
Tatiana Maslany Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany won from a shortlist including Masters of Sex’s Lizzy Caplan and Vera Farmiga, of Bates Motel
Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany beat high-profile competition including Robin Wright in House of Cards and Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife, to score the lead drama actress win for the second consecutive year.