Netflix spent its way to the Emmy nominations crown, finally dethroning HBO

Make way for the new queen.
Make way for the new queen.
Image: Netflix
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

After earning the most Emmy nominations of any network for 17 years in a row, HBO has finally been supplanted by Netflix for the Emmys crown. The streaming service earned a total of 112 nominations this year, narrowly beating HBO’s total of 108.

It was only a matter of time. Last year, HBO beat Netflix 111 to 91 (NBC was a distant third with 61 nominations). Netflix’s nomination total has grown exponentially over the last few years as the company invests billions into original content. On a per-show basis, HBO is still much more awards friendly, but the sheer tonnage of Netflix’s programming output has supplanted HBO’s smaller, more curated content—at least as far as total nominations are concerned.

Perhaps that’s one reason why new WarnerMedia boss John Stankey recently told a room full of HBO employees, including CEO Richard Plepler, that it needed to get “bigger and broader.” He didn’t mention Netflix by name, but it was clear that he wanted the prestigious premium cable channel to up its game in order to fight the deep-pocketed streamer. Netflix will spend around $8 billion on content this year, while HBO is believed to only spend around $2 billion.

A silver lining for HBO is that its crown jewel, Game of Thrones—which was not eligible for the awards last year due to its release schedule—returned this year and earned a whopping 22 nominations, more than any other individual show (and nine more than Netflix’s most-nominated show, The Crown). Another HBO show, Westworld, got 21 nominations, tying Saturday Night Live for the show with the second most.

Assuming AT&T ramps up HBO’s content budget and the channel continues churning out quality shows, expect its battle with Netflix over Emmy supremacy to last for many years to come. Netflix has still yet to win a best series award; Hulu became the first streaming service to do so last year when The Handmaid’s Tale won best drama.

You can see the full list of nominations here. The Emmys will be broadcast on Monday, Sept. 17 on NBC. Michael Che and Colin Jost, comedians and anchors of Saturday Night Live‘s ”Weekend Update”segment, will host. SNL producer Lorne Michaels will executive produce the ceremony for the first time since 1988.