Documentary Emmy Awards Dominated By PBS, But Netflix Edging Up

The winners of the Documentary categories of the 42nd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards are in, with PBS once again topping the contenders with 10 wins, while Netflix nabbed four trophies.

The PBS documentary Belly of the Beast, which exposed eugenics and reproductive injustice in California prisons, won Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary honors. Showtime’s Kingdom of Silence, a look at journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s life, work, and murder, topped the Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary honors, while Netflix’s Athlete A, a study of the US Gymnastics scandal involving disgraced doctor Larry Nassar, came in as the Outstanding Investigative Documentary winner.

The awards were announced by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). The News & Documentary Emmy Awards are presented as two ceremonies. Categories honoring Television News Programming were presented Tuesday. Both ceremonies were livestreamed.

“Tonight, we celebrate these documentary professionals who in the unprecedented year of 2020 delivered the insightful, clear, factual and timely filmmaking necessary to make sense of the tumultuous times that we live in,” said Adam Sharp, president & CEO, NATAS.

“In a year where we received more than 1,200 documentary entries, in an era where, thanks to the advent of streaming television, more people can now see this amazing work on demand across our nation, tonight we celebrate these brave filmmakers for opening their lens and our eyes to the world around us and helping us to better understand the events that affect our everyday lives in remarkable ways,” said Terry O’Reilly, Chairman, NATAS.

Documentary filmmakers June Cross, CJ Hunt, and Sonja Sohn hosted the ceremony.

Here are the lists of wins by program and by network/platform, followed by the full list of Night 2 winners.

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