Parks and Recreation's Rob Lowe and Modern Family's Sofia Vergara were paired together to present the accolade.
When Lowe began to read the nominees, the actresses broke tradition and came up on stage one by one as their names were called.
Once they were all on stage, the six actresses joined hands and received a standing ovation from the audience.
"Everyone is a winner," Lowe told the six women before naming Melissa McCarthy as the victor.
The Mike & Molly star appeared surprised by the win and had trouble thanking everyone she wanted to in the time allotted.
"Stop that clock!" the actress shouted.
She then began to tear up, leading the audience to applaud more profusely.
"I'm sorry, I'm a crier," McCarthy apologised.
More from the Primetime Emmy Awards 2011:
> 'Modern Family', 'Downton Abbey' dominate the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards
> Jane Lynch jokes 'I'm a lesbian because of Entourage'
> 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' wins Emmy for ninth year in a row
> Kyle Chandler wins Emmy for 'Friday Night Lights'
> Primetime Emmys 2011: The major winners
Watch Melissa McCarthy speaking to the Primetime Emmys 'thank you cam' after receving her award below: