Emmys 2017: HBO needs to watch its back

A treacherous future.
A treacherous future.
Image: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
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For the past 17 years, HBO has received the most Emmy nominations of any television network. This year, the network needs to face the reality of the first real threat to its crown: Netflix.

At the 2017 Emmys, HBO leads the pack with 110 Emmy nominations, but Netflix is close behind with 93. In terms of the share of all Emmy nominations received, this is the closest a network has come to surpassing HBO since ABC in 2008. Netflix only started releasing original programming in 2013, but the network is already an Emmy juggernaut. An impressive 24 Netflix programs were nominated in 2017, with the most nominations for Stranger Things (19), The Crown (13) and Master of None (eight).

The trend suggest Netflix is on its way to overtaking HBO. Since 2013, the number of Emmy nominations for Netflix shows has shot up, while HBO’s nominations have plateaued. In 2015, HBO had almost four times as many nominations as Netflix, but today the networks are virtual equals.

The return of usually highly nominated Game of Thrones to the Emmys in 2018 (the show was not eligible this year), may be enough to stave off Netflix next year. But with with a $20 billion war chest to spend on future content, Netflix seems likely to end HBO’s near-two decade reign over the Emmys very soon.