Emmys Become a Digital Domain

Streaming video services continued to put their stamp on the television industry with a record number of Emmy Award nominations.

Traditional cable and video streaming powerhouses Netflix, HBO and FX dominated the nominations announced last Thursday (July 12), but Netflix stole the show, garnering an industry-high 112 nominations — ending HBO’s 17-year streak at the top of the Emmy heap.

“We are particularly enthused to see the breadth of our programming celebrated with nominations spread across 40 new and returning titles which showcase our varied and expansive slate – comedies, dramas, movies, limited series, documentary, variety, animation and reality,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement.

Streaming services Hulu and Amazon Prime Video each drew a record number of Emmy nominations, more than broadcaster Fox or premium cable service Showtime.

HBO’s Game of Thrones reigned again as the most-nominated show, with 22 nods after a year of ineligibility. The fantasy series will once again look to slay a familiar list of previously nominated competitors in the drama series category to regain the Emmy it won in 2016.

HBO in a statement said it is “grateful” for its eighth straight year with more than 100 nominations.

Unlike last year, freshman shows did not receive much love from Emmy voters. There were a few exceptions, including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon), Barry (HBO) and GLOW (Netflix), all of which will look to secure the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy to be vacated by current three-time winner Veep, which is ineligible for this year’s coveted statuette.

Also, Sandra Oh, star of BBC America’s freshman series Killing Eve, was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, the first performer of Asian descent to be recognized in the category.

Diversity again was top of mind, with more people of color being recognized for their work on screen and behind the scenes than at any time in Emmy history.

Among the notable acknowledgements were singer/songwriter John Legend, nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor In a Limited Series or Movie for his portrayal of Jesus Christ in Fox’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert; and 93-year-old Cicely Tyson, who notched her third Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series nod for her recurring role in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sept. 17 on NBC.

R. Thomas Umstead

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.