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Amy Sherman Palladino
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Amy Sherman-Palladino and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” had a big night.
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR

Amazon and Hulu won best series Emmys before Netflix

By Adam Epstein

For all the money Netflix spends each year on content (reportedly more than $8 billion) and the vast number of original shows that money helps create (about 700 last time we checked), the most popular streaming service in the world still does not have a best series Emmy. Its two major streaming rivals, Amazon and Hulu, both do.

Amazon won the Emmy award for best comedy at the 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards tonight (Sept. 17) for its show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, about a housewife-turned-standup comic in 1950s New York City. The win, one of eight for the show, was not only Amazon’s first ever in one of the five best series categories (comedy, drama, limited, variety talk, and sketch), but it was also the first time a streaming service has ever taken home the best comedy award.

The big win for Amazon comes a year after Hulu won its first series Emmy with The Handmaid’s Tale, which won best drama in 2017 and made Hulu the first streamer ever to win one of the major series awards.

Netflix was nominated 112 times this year—more than any other network—and ultimately came away with 23 prizes, tying HBO for the most. (Yep, after all that, HBO and Netflix ended up tying!) But its nominations dominance has not yet been enough to break through in the biggest categories. Amazon won only eight awards total, though it bested Netflix in the one that mattered most.

With The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel headed into just its second season, it’s possible that the quippy period comedy could own the comedy series category for years to come. That’d be great news for Amazon, of course, and a tough break for Netflix as it keeps trying to put that top trophy on its mantle.

Netflix might have a better shot at best drama: Game of Thrones, this year’s winner, will end after next season, leaving an opening for a show like Netflix’s The Crown, or one of its other 699 shows, to give the streaming service the award it has long coveted. Until then, it’ll have to accept that—at least as far as the biggest award in TV goes—Amazon and Hulu own bragging rights.