His BBC series Sherlock also won the best movie or mini-series award at the event in Los Angeles, but co-star Lara Pulver missed out.
She was beaten in the best actress in a movie or mini-series category by Julianne Moore in HBO's Game Change.
Cat Deeley was another British winner, being named joint winner in the best reality show host category.
Deeley, who presents So You Think You Can Dance for the Fox network, shared the prize with Dancing With The Stars host Tom Bergeron.
Homeland won the prestigious award for best drama series, while its female star Claire Danes won best actress in a drama series.
The Showtime thriller's British star Damian Lewis lost out to Bryan Cranston, who was named best actor in a drama series for AMC's crime drama Breaking Bad.
Breaking bad notched up another win, with Giancarlo Esposito, who plays drug lord Gus Fring, named best supporting actor. Best supporting actress in a drama went to Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, who appears as Joan Holloway.
The Voice won best competitive reality series and other winners included Modern Family's Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, who won best supporting actor and actress in a comedy series.
Community, which follows a group of students at a community college, picked up best comedy.
NBC walked away with the most prizes, landing five in total.