When the dust settled on the Emmy nominations announcement Tuesday morning, Sony Pictures Television Studios found themselves with nominations in three top series categories, an expected 10th Outstanding Reality/Structured Reality Series nomination for ABC veteran Shark Tank, and surprise nominations for Netflix’s Cobra Kai as Outstanding Comedy Series and Amazon’s The Boys as Outstanding Drama Series. (Sony scored an additional drama series nom for Left Bank’s The Crown.)
This is believed to be the first time Sony TV has scored noms in the top drama, comedy and reality series fields. It also marks the studio’s first comedy series nom in 24 years, since Mad About You‘s fourth and final nomination in the category in 1997.
Cobra Kai was nominated for its third season, whose fate was in serious limbo just over a year ago. It had been ordered by the series’ original platform, YouTube, which was in the process of phasing out high-end scripted programming and switching from an SVOD to an AVOD streaming model. With the prospect of the series coming to a quick end on YouTube after three seasons, Sony TV initiated complex negotiations to get Cobra Kai released for a shot at a longer run. The efforts paid off, and the studio was able to move the series to Netflix.
In summer 2020, the mission was to save Cobra Kai. A year later, the show is flourishing at its new home with strong viewership, a Season 4 renewal and now, four Emmy nominations, including comedy series.
“Cobra Kai’s journey from YouTube to Netflix to Emmy nomination is reflective of the themes of the underdog prevailing and overcoming adversity that are inherent in Cobra Kai,” said Jeff Frost, President of Sony Pictures Television Studios. “And deep down, while it’s such an honor, we are not at all surprised at the recognition the members of the Academy have bestowed on this brilliant series.”
Thanking Netflix for “for believing in this series,” Frost spoke of the origins of the Karate Kid sequel, created by Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald and Hayden Schlossberg.
“When (SPT head of comedy) Glenn Adilman and the comedy team first heard the pitch from Josh, Jon and Hayden, they knew they were onto something special that was very unique and distinct from the many Karate Kid series pitches they had heard before,” Frost said. “And Josh, Jon, Hayden, Ralph, Billy and the entire cast created a world and stories that captivated audiences, old and new.”
Comic-based The Boys, which received a total of five nominations, is maintaining Sony TV’s presence in the Outstanding Drama Series field while the studio’s mainstay in the category, Better Call Saul, is taking this Emmy cycle off due to Covid-related scheduling delays. It will return to fray next year with its final season.