Quarterly Business Magazine

‘Game of Thrones’ Sets Emmy Record, Vaulting HBO Past Netflix

Posted :
Monday, July 15, 2019

“Game of Thrones” earned the most nominations of any program in the history of the Emmy Awards on Tuesday, vaulting HBO past Netflix Inc. in the race for the top prizes at the TV industry’s biggest ceremony.

“Thrones” received 32 nominations, including best drama series, eclipsing a mark set by “NYPD Blue” 25 years ago. It will compete for best drama with six other programs, including “Killing Eve,” “This Is Us” and “Better Call Saul.”

“Thrones,” which just wrapped up its final season in May, has won three of the last four Emmy prizes for best drama and was seen as a shoo-in this year. But some critics and viewers soured on the final six episodes, which may open the door for competition from rival shows.

For now, the fantasy drama is positioned for a victory lap. The show earned nominations for best actor and best actress in a drama series, categories in which the effects-heavy show hasn’t fared as well in the past.

The record year for “Game of Thrones” helped HBO edge Netflix for the most nominations in total. HBO earned 137 nominations -- a record for a single network -- 29 more than it did a year ago. Netflix earned 117 nominations, the second-most of any network.

The 71st Emmy Awards will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sept. 22. While the program never draws as large an audience as the Oscars or Grammys, they’re a source of prestige for both networks and streaming platforms. HBO had earned the most nominations of any network for 18 years in a row, supplanting broadcasters as the bar for quality. Fellow cable networks like Showtime, FX and AMC have all competed for top prizes.

Costly Campaign

Netflix snapped that streak last year, earning the most nominations for the first time. But it didn’t come cheaply. No company has spent more in pursuit of awards than the streaming service, which shelled out millions on campaigns and pop-up spaces. Awards validate Netflix shows in the eyes of talent and potential viewers, and they can lure new customers who want to check out buzzworthy programs.

Netflix received nominations in almost every key category, including 16 nominations for the miniseries “When They See Us,” 13 nominations for the comedy “Russian Doll” and nine nominations for the drama “Ozark.”

Amazon.com Inc., Netflix’s streaming rival, earned the fourth-most nominations of any network with 47 -- thanks to the comedies “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Fleabag” -- while NBC earned the third-most, lifted by “Saturday Night Live” and “This Is Us.”

HBO is the favorite to capture best drama and best comedy, according to experts at the Gold Derby, thanks to regular winners “Game of Thrones” and “Veep.” The network captured best drama last year for “Game of Thrones” and best comedy 2015 to 2107 for “Veep.” The latter, a satire of U.S. politics, wasn’t eligible last year. This time around, it will have to compete with the 2018 winner, Amazon’s “Mrs. Maisel.”

By Lucas Shaw

(Bloomberg)

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