On an Emmy night dominated by HBO and Schitt’s Creek, streaming services were largely marginalized, taking three supporting actor prizes and a fourth for best limited-series directing.
HBO, riding Succession and Watchmen in particular, dominated the network rankings of networks, capturing 30 wins out of its 107 total nominations. It took 11 prizes on the Primetime Emmys telecast tonight.
Pop TV, the small, ViacomCBS-owned network that championed the Canadian Schitt’s Creek in the U.S., scored seven Primetime Emmys and 10 in all. Schitt’s was decorated in historic fashion in its sixth and final season, sweeping in all seven categories, including Outstanding Comedy Series.
See the full list of wins by network below and here.
The results stood in contrast with the decidedly stream-y tableau in some recent years, when shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Handmaid’s Tale managed stunning wins in marquee categories. Netflix over the summer set a record with 160 total nominations, counting the Creative Arts categories, but made good on only 21 of those in the end.
Eugene Levy, in accepting the Schitt’s Creek series Emmy, made a point of thanking Netlfix for providing “the spark that seemed to, you know, start everything.” Many Academy voters, to say nothing of general viewers, came to embrace the show in its final season by catching up with it on Netflix. The show also streamed on bundled TV service Hulu + Live TV.
Levy’s acknowledgement, along with an appearance by David Spade as Joe Exotic, the now imprisoned star of pandemic unscripted smash Tiger King, gave Netflix a little bonus screen time. ABC last fall implemented a ban of advertising by Netflix, so it wasn’t able to ante up for any real estate during the show’s commercial breaks.
While the industry’s streaming shift hasn’t yet fully registered with Emmy voters, the race by traditional companies and tech players to enter the market is a defining storyline for the industry. Since last year’s Emmy show, five billion-dollar streaming services have made their debuts.
Disney+, the most successful thus far of the new crop of streamers — which also includes Apple TV+, HBO Max, Quibi and Peacock — came away empty-handed despite a drama series nod for The Mandalorian. The show had some momentum coming into Sunday after eight Creative Arts Emmys wins in recent days, but it was considered a major underdog compared with the heavily favored Succession.
Apple TV+, which launched last November 1, captured its first Emmy, for Billy Crudup’s supporting turn in The Morning Show. It was the first major acting win at the Primetime Emmys by a streaming service in its first year, though it’s impossible to make apples-to-apples comparisons between Apple’s launch slate and the much smaller batches of shows put out by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon at the dawn of streaming nearly a decade ago. Jennifer Aniston, seen as a favorite by some prognosticators and a SAG Award winner for her Morning Show performance, did not end up with an Emmy for her return to series work.
Quibi, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile-focused, short-form service that launched in April, joined Apple in the first-time winners circle last week with two Creative Arts victories.
Netflix managed the only multiple wins by a streamer tonight, with Julia Garner winning for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Ozark, and Maria Schrader capturing Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series for her work on Unorthodox. Uzo Aduba, who played Shirley Chisholm in Mrs. America, won for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series. Mrs. America began as an FX show but migrated to Hulu after Disney bought most of 21st Century Fox (including FX) and took full control of Hulu.
Ads for Apple and Peacock, and Amazon Prime Video ran during the Emmy broadcast, as did multiple plugs for Disney+ and Hulu (an expected move, given ABC was carrying the show).
WarnerMedia’s HBO Max ran just one commercial, but it indirectly benefited from a quasi-reunion of Friends during the show itself when Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow all appeared in a brief bit. The streaming service, which now has exclusive U.S. streaming rights to Friends, planned a cast reunion special as its lead original title for its launch in May, but the production was waylaid by COVID-19.
Here are the rankings of networks by total wins, including tonight’s awards:
HBO – 30
Netflix – 21
Pop TV – 10
Disney+ – 8
NBC – 8
VH1 – 6
ABC – 5
National Geographic – 5
Adult Swim – 4
Prime Video – 4
CNN – 3
FOX – 3
CBS – 2
FX Networks – 2
Quibi – 2
A&E – 1
AMC – 1
Apple TV – 1
Apple TV+ – 1
BBC America – 1
Discovery Channel – 1
EPIX – 1
ESPN – 1
History – 1
Hulu – 1
MagicLabsMedia.com – 1
Oculus – 1
Showtime – 1
USA Network – 1
YouTube – 1