The 46-year-old earned the accolade for 'Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series' for his role on Friday Night Lights, beating out fellow nominees including Jon Hamm, Steve Buscemi and Michael C Hall.
"Thank you to the Academy," Chandler said, before admitting that he had not prepared any written remarks because he did not believe he would actually win.
The show recently aired its series finale on NBC. A Friday Night Lights movie is currently in the works.
Chandler concluded his speech by thanking the city of Austin, where the series filmed for five years.
"Let me thank also the people of Austin, Texas… who brought the show to life while we were there."
In July, Chandler admitted that he is choosing his roles carefully following the end of Friday Night Lights.
More from the Primetime Emmys 2011:
> Primetime Emmys 2011: 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' wins for nine years in a row
> Primetime Emmys 2011: 'Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy' nominees take stage together
> Primetime Emmys 2011: Charlie Sheen: 'I wish Two and a Half Men the best'
> Primetime Emmys 2011: Jane Lynch confronts 'Glee' alter ego Sue Sylvester
> Primetime Emmys 2011: The major winners
Watch Kyle Chandler speaking backstage on the Primetime Emmys 'thank you cam' below: