HBO has reclaimed its title as the ruler of the Emmy throne, having received 137 nominations across 23 programs and specials. This is despite an upset last year that, for the first time this century, gave rival Netflix these bragging rights.
The cable channel – which, like CNN, is a subsidiary of AT&T – racked up a total of 137 Emmy nominations, the most of any network this year and in Emmys history. HBO broke its previous record from 2015 when it earned 126 Emmy nominations, according to the network.
This is due, in no small part, to the final season of “Game of Thrones.” Although the behemoth drama didn’t end its run with the most stellar reviews, it did manage to earn 27 Emmy nominations including ones for best drama, best actor in a drama, best actress in a drama and a slew of technical categories.
It’s also been a gold-tinged final season for HBO’s “Veep.” Emmy voters showed up to the polls to give the slick political satire nine nominations, including one for star Julia Louis-Dreyfus. This isn’t a total surprise, given the fondness for the “Seinfeld” alum among the voting members of the TV Academy, which chooses the nominees and winners.
In 2017, she became the first actor or actress to win an Emmy six times in a row and breaking a record she previously shared with “Murphy Brown’s” Candice Bergen. Louis-Dreyfus currently has eight acting Emmys, an honor she only shares with one other performer: “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Phyllis” star Cloris Leachman. This means she could finish out her “Veep” tenure with another victory.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s plan to infiltrate all aspects of television with a bombardment of shows in most every genre was a success. The streaming giant earned 117 Emmy nominations this year, including 16 nods for “When They See Us.”
The miniseries, which is directed and co-written by Oscar nominee and activist Ava DuVernay, is a dramatic re-telling of the injustices inflicted upon the five teens implicated in the 1989 Central Park jogger case. The four-episode series became a cultural talking point when it premiered on May 31, resulting in the increased public scrutiny of the role former New York City prosecutor Linda Fairstein played in the arrests and charges (Felicity Huffman portrays her on screen).
The battle of premium cable channel versus premium streaming service has been brewing for some time.
HBO has famously spent dividends on advertising and marketing since its early days in the prestige programming space. That strategy had paid off until last year, when Netflix came away with 112 nominations over HBO’s 108 after a strong campaign season. This included decorating blocks of billboards and expanding its branded FYSEE events in Los Angeles, which featured various panels and talk-backs with talent as well as transforming a studio space into a maze of dioramas themed around an array of shows that were expertly curated to please visitors’ Instagram accounts.
HBO and Netflix came out in a draw at last year’s award ceremonies, though. Each took home a total of 23 trophies between the Primetime Emmys and the Creative Arts Emmys, which honors talent who work behind the scenes and others.
The 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards will air September 22 on Fox.