Stream­ing rules Em­mys as Net­flix snaps 17-year HBO streak

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

LOSANGELES » When Net­flix snapped HBO’s 17-year streak as Emmy nom­i­na­tions leader, more than brag­ging rights switched hands. It rep­re­sented the breath­tak­ing change in how au­di­ences get and watch TV and the threat to tra­di­tional TV net­works from stream­ing ser­vices.

Es­pe­cially one like Net­flix, whose multi­bil­lion­dol­lar in­vest­ment in pro­gram­ming al­lowed it to rocket Thurs­day to 112 nom­i­na­tions just five years af­ter launch­ing its first orig­i­nal se­ries, “House of Cards.” That’s dou­ble the to­tal of nods it earned in 2016 and just ahead of HBO’s 108 nods (down two from 2017).

An­other streamed se­ries, Hulu’s “The Hand­maid’s Tale,” earned 20 nom­i­na­tions and a chance to de­fend its ti­tle as best drama se­ries at the 70th Prime­time Emmy cer­e­mony air­ing Sept. 17 on NBC.

HBO still boasts the year’s most-nom­i­nated se­ries, “Game of Thrones” (22 nods) and “West­world” (20), while Net­flix fielded “The Crown” (13 nods) and “Stranger Things (12).

“The more dis­tri­bu­tion plat­forms, the more con­tent’s get­ting cre­ated, the more peo­ple are go­ing to be work­ing. ... It’s good news for us in the in­dus­try,” said Maury McIn­tyre, TV academy pres­i­dent. It’s also good news for view­ers, he said, who will “al­ways be able to find some­thing they’re go­ing to like.”

“It all about niche broad­cast­ing now. You can make a show and find an au­di­ence. It may not be a core au­di­ence, but it can be a hard-core au­di­ence,” he said.

Ted Saran­dos, Net­flix’s chief con­tent of­fi­cer, saluted “our cre­ative part­ners on their un­prece­dented suc­cess to­day” in a state­ment not­ing that the nom­i­na­tions were gained across a wide va­ri­ety of cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing scripted, doc­u­men­tary and com­edy specials.

Net­flix’s deep-pock­ets ap­proach has lured a num­ber of TV’s big­gest cre­ative stars, in­clud­ing Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Mur­phy, away from tra­di­tional out­lets.

Broad­cast net­works are tak­ing the hard­est blow, with their ratings as well as awards di­min­ish­ing as view­ers search out the more dis­tinc­tive — and edgy — pro­gram­ming on un­reg­u­lated ca­ble and stream­ing out­lets. Po­lice pro­ce­du­rals and the cur­rent net­work rage for sit­com re­vivals cer­tainly failed to im­press Emmy vot­ers.

The short-lived re­vival of “Roseanne,” can­celed be­cause of star Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet, drew only one ma­jor nom­i­na­tion, a sup­port­ing ac­tress nod for Lau­rie Met­calf. An­other re­vival, “Will & Grace,” got Emmy love for nom­i­nees Me­gan Mul­lally and Molly Shan­non but the main stars and se­ries it­self were snubbed.

In the drama and come­dies se­ries cat­e­gories, NBC drama “This Is Us” and ABC sit­com “black­ish” are the sole net­work con­tenders. NBC topped the broad­cast tally with 78 nom­i­na­tions, fueled by 21 bids for “Satur­day Night Live,” still on a satiric tear against the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

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