Mob drama The Sopranos took top honours in the Screen Actors Guild awards' television categories with prizes for lead stars James Gandolfini and Edie Falco.
Gandolfini's award was light relief from his contract row
It was the second time in four years the pair had picked up the awards, having first won prizes in 2000.
But the show lost out on the main TV dramatic ensemble prize to Six Feet Under, a drama about a California family and their funeral home.
Gandolfini, currently embroiled in a contract battle with Sopranos producers HBO, encouraged struggling actors to keep working and keep auditioning from the stage.
But in a reference to his court row with HBO, he added: "Enjoy what you can now, because things get pretty weird once it works."
Gandolfini, who plays family head Tony Soprano, is seeking to be released from his HBO contract, but many Hollywood pundits see this as a ploy to get a salary increase.
Asked backstage about the row, he said: "I am sure everything will be fine."
Pressed further by a reporter about how much he wanted to be in the show's fifth series, he hesitated before replying: "You know."
Edie Falco, who plays his screen wife Carmela, said: "I don't want to be there without him."
Mini-series/ movie actor: William H Macy, Door To Door
Mini-series/ movie actress: Stockhard Channing, The Matthew Shepard Story (above)
Drama series actor: James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
Drama series actress: Edie Falco, The Sopranos
Comedy actor: Sean Hayes, Will and Grace
Comedy actress: Megan Mullally, Will and Grace
Drama ensemble: Six Feet Under
Comedy ensemble: Everybody Loves Raymond
Stockhard Channing, who plays First Lady Abby Bartlet in The West Wing, won best TV actress in a mini-series or movie for her part in The Matthew Shepard Story, based on a true story about the murder of a young gay man.
Asked about George Bush's policy on Iraq, and what conversation she would have with him, she replied: "No conversation. He is a president who doesn't listen to anybody."
The male equivalent went to William H Macy, who starred opposite Helen Mirren in Door To Door, about a man with cerebral palsy who dreams of becoming a salesman.
Will and Grace stars Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally won the comedy acting prizes, while Everybody Loves Raymond scooped the ensemble comedy award.