After dramatically closing the gap with long-time Emmy nomination leader HBO last year, Netflix came up on top for the first time, just five and a half years after officially entering the original scripted series space with the launch of House Of Cards.
Even with its first big Emmy contender not in the running after HOC‘s final season was delayed (and almost derailed) by inappropriate behavior allegations against original star Kevin Spacey, Netflix still led the network pack this year with a total of 112 nominations, up from 91 last year and 54 in 2016. It ended HBO’s 17-year streak as No.1.
Paced by Game Of Thrones — back in Emmy contention with 22 nominations, most of any program — HBO was close second with 108 nominations, just off from last year’s 111.
Netflix’s Emmy ascent punctuates the streaming upstart’s enormous push. It has been outspending all rivals on original programming — Netflix’s annual budget growing every year to $8 billion in 2018 — and on Emmy campaign with an elaborate FYC space the last two years.
“We congratulate our creative partners on their unprecedented success today, garnering Netflix a leading 112 nominations,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “We are particularly enthused to see the breadth of our programming celebrated with nominations spread across 40 new and returning titles which showcase our varied and expansive slate – comedies, dramas, movies, limited series, documentary, variety, animation and reality.”
HBO and Netflix completely dominated the best comedy and drama field, with HBO claiming five of the 12 nominees — Game of Thrones, Westworld, Barry, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Silicon Valley –– and Netflix four — Stranger Things, The Crown, GLOW and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
“HBO is very pleased with its 108 nominations, especially the wide range over so many categories,” the network said in a statement. “We’re grateful to all our nominees for making this the eighth year we’ve had 100 nominations or more. We look forward to Sept 17th.”
While HBO edged Netflix in the series categories, the longform field proved to be a deciding factor as HBO did not have a heavyweight contender this year of the size of last year’s big winner Big Little Lies, while Netflix made big inroads in the space with Godless.
Additionally, Netflix also made gains in the reality space with the Queer Eye revival, which landed multiple noms, including best Structured Reality TV series 14 years after winning a Best Reality Show Emmy.
While far behind leader Netflix, the other two established SVOD players, Hulu, who claimed the first best series win for a streamer last year with Handmaid’s Tale, and Amazon/Prime Video, continue to gain ground. Hulu nabbed 27 noms, up from 18 in 2017, including 20 for Handmaid’s Tale. Prime Video took home 22, up from 16, including 14 for the Golden Globe-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and despite the hit its Emmy darling Transparent took over the sexual harassment allegations against star, Emmy winner Jeffrey Tambor, who was not submitted this year. It was a new high mark for both Hulu and Amazon/Prime Video. For the first time, they both edged a major broadcast network in Emmy nominations, Fox (16), whose hot new drama series 9-1-1 was snubbed.
“We are extremely proud that the Television Academy honored so many of our talented actors, creators and craftspeople across a number of Amazon series,” said Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke. “This includes a record breaking number – 14 – for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel making it the studio’s most nominated series ever. It’s truly a Marvelous day!”
Added Hulu CEO Randy Freer, “At Hulu, we feel lucky to be in business with many of the most brilliant creative minds in the industry. On behalf of our creative partners, we thank the Academy for their recognition. We’re ecstatic that both the creative excellence and cultural relevancy of our programs are being celebrated.”
With Saturday Night Live continuing its Emmy resurgence (it was No. 2 behind GOT in most nominations, 21), NBC was again third behind titans Netflix and HBO with 78 noms, up from 64 last year, with major nominations for This Is Us and The Good Place.
While CBS also increased its Emmy nomination tally from 2017, ABC and Fox were down year-to-year while the CW was shut out. And with Modern Family being shut out from the comedy series and acting categories for the first time, the broadcast networks slipped to 2 entrants in the top series categories — This Is Us for best drama and ABC’s Black-ish for best comedy — tying an all-time low.
There was no broadcast presence in three series acting categories — lead and supporting actress in a drama and supporting actor in a drama.
And while the high-profile broadcast revivals of Will & Grace on NBC and Roseanne on ABC were largely passed over, with one supporting nomination for each (Megan Mullally and Laurie Metfcalf, respectively), an SVOD player, Netflix, also scored in the revival department with its best series nom for Queer Eye. (However, the network’s One Day at a Time reboot was once again shut out.)