HBO’s drama series Watchmen was the most celebrated scripted series at the 72nd Emmy Awards this past September, winning 11 awards and pacing the cable network to an industry-high 30 statuettes — a feat achieved despite having nearly 60 less nominations than rival Netflix.
Yet exceeding expectations is nothing new for Bloys. Since taking over the position at the leading premium service in 2016, he’s always answered the call from viewers and critics as to whether the service can continually remain the industry’s leader in creative, innovative and entertaining scripted content. The question most recently was posed after Emmy record-holder Game of Thrones ended its eight-season run in 2019. Bloys’s post-Thrones answer was not only the development of Watchmen, but also the successful and Emmy Award-winning series such as Succession, Big Little Lies and Euphoria.
“As long as we continue to find talented artists with something to say, we hope we will do well with the Emmys,” Bloys said. “Total nominations and wins may fluctuate year to year, but we are not changing our strategy of betting on the storytellers.”
Now with HBO Max under his creative belt, Bloys has a wide canvas to develop original content for an ever-growing digital audience.
“We try to keep in mind that the goal for HBO Max is to broaden the audience for HBO,” Bloys said. “While HBO will continue to produce the kinds of shows you would expect, the shows for HBO Max will continue to push into new genres, like reality, DC [superhero franchises], tentpole dramas and young adult content.”
Indeed, the future success of the subscription-based HBO Max service relies on the fortunes of its anchor HBO. Given the successful runs of such acclaimed series as Lovecraft Country and I May Destroy You this year, as well as the 2021 returns of “Succession” and multiple Emmy Award-nominated comedy series Insecure — along with new limited series Mare of Easttown with Kate Winslet and The White Lotus from Mike White — Bloys is poised to keep HBO in its creative leadership position and to make even more noise during the 2021 Emmy season.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.