LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – AT&T’s HBO network dominated Sunday’s (Sept 20) Emmy Awards with 30 wins, including best drama Succession and limited series Watchmen, while Apple took home its first award for the iPhone maker’s dive into streaming television.
Online video pioneer Netflix, which headed into the ceremony with a record 160 nominations, earned 21 honours.
The Pop cable network, owned by ViacomCBS, took the top comedy prize for offbeat series Schitt’s Creek, which swept comedy categories to collect nine awards overall.
Winning the highest honours in television bestows a mark of prestige that networks can tout in their marketing to attract audiences in a crowded entertainment landscape. AT&T, Walt Disney, Apple and others have launched streaming video services to compete with Netflix.
HBO had dominated the Emmys for years with hits such as The Sopranos, Sex And The City and Game Of Thrones. Before Sunday, it was the most honoured network for 17 of the past 18 years. The exception was in 2018, when Netflix and HBO tied in Emmy wins.
This year, HBO’s alternative-reality drama Watchmen was the most honoured programme overall with 11 awards, while the network’s media dynasty drama Succession scored seven honours.
The accolades were especially gratifying following questions about what HBO would do once mega-hit Game Of Thrones ended in 2019, HBO programming president Casey Bloys said in an interview.
“This was a really nice way to answer that question,” he said.
Mr Bloys also said the network succeeded by staying aware of growing competition “but not distracted by it.”
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Netflix’s awards included best supporting drama actress for Julia Garner in Ozark. Apple secured its first Emmy for Billy Crudup’s supporting role in The Morning Show as a manipulative executive at a news network rocked by a sexual harassment scandal. The show runs on Apple TV+, the company’s subscription TV offering.
Star Wars series The Mandalorian, a show on the Disney+ streaming service about a bounty hunter who protects Baby Yoda, won eight awards.
The Pop network landed the best comedy award for the sixth and final season of Schitt’s Creek, a series about a once-wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel in an out-of-the-way town. The show was filmed in Toronto and aired on the CBC network in Canada.
“Thanks to CBC and Pop for broadcasting this without hesitation,” creator and star Daniel Levy said as he accepted his award.
The wins for Schitt’s Creek also were a victory for Netflix. The series has streamed on Netflix since 2017, helping to boost the audience. Actor Eugene Levy thanked Netflix for “the spark that seemed to start everything” for the show.
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