Emmys: Netflix Sets All-Time Record and Tops HBO; 'Watchmen' Leads All Programs

This is only the second time in the past 21 years that premium cable network has not led the pack.
Getty
Netflix's Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos

In the battle for supremacy between HBO and Netflix, the streaming giant came out on top following Tuesday's nominations for the 72nd Emmy Awards.

For the second time ever, Netflix was the most nominated platform, easily besting HBO with 160 total nominations vs. 107 for the premium cable network. The streamer blew past last year's haul (118), while the WarnerMedia-owned cabler dropped from last year's leading 137 nominees as Emmy juggernaut Game of Thrones wrapped its run.  

Netflix's 160 total nominees were also enough to make Emmy history, with the Reed Hastings- and Ted Sarandos-led streamer snapping HBO's 2019 mark of the most nominations in a single year.

In a sign of its diverse array of nominees, Netflix was nominated in 10 of the 11 major categories that were unveiled during the TV Academy's live-stream announcement Tuesday, collecting 16 mentions. HBO had 13 nominations across nine of the 11 major categories.

However, HBO still has bragging rights when it comes to the most nominated program. The Casey Bloys-led outlet again had the most nominated show of the year in Damon Lindelof's timely take on Watchmen, which is competing in the limited series category and garnered 26 nods. 

Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel finished second among the programs with 20, while Netflix's Ozark was tied for third with HBO's Succession. Disney+ had a strong Emmy showing in its first year out, with Star Wars series The Mandalorian tied for fourth place alongside Saturday Night Live and Pop's Schitt's Creek.

Heading into the nominations, HBO had led the pack in 19 of the previous 20 years, with Netflix edging the premium cable network in 2018 (112 vs. 108). That same year, the two powerhouses ended the race in a tie, taking home 23 statuettes apiece. Last year, HBO — thanks in large part to Game of Thrones and limited series Chernobyl — led Netflix both in total nominations (137 vs. 117) and overall wins (34 vs. 27). The final season of the fantasy drama led all programs with 12 wins, followed by Chernobyl with 10.

With both programs no longer eligible, this year's Emmys nominations field was considered a more wide open race. The tally this year also was impacted by the TV Academy's rule change that increased the number of nominees in a handful of categories based on the volume of programs competing for awards including best drama and comedy series.

Here's a look at the nominees by outlet and by program. 

Nominations by program (five or more):
Watchmen 26
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 20
Ozark 18
Succession 18
The Mandalorian 15
Saturday Night Live 15
Schitt's Creek 15
The Crown 13
Hollywood 12
Westworld 11
The Handmaid's Tale 10
Mrs. America 10
RuPaul's Drag Race 10
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver 9
The Oscars 9
Insecure 8
Killing Eve 8
The Morning Show 8
Stranger Things 8
Unorthodox 8
What We Do In the Shadows 8
Better Call Saul 7
Queer Eye 7
Cheer 6
Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones 6
Euphoria 6
The Good Place 6
Tiger King 6
The Voice 6
Apollo 11 5
Beastie Boys Story 5
Big Little Lies 5
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah 5
Little Fires Everywhere 5
McMillion$ 5
The Politician 5
Pose 5
Star Trek: Picard 5
This Is Us 5
Will & Grace 5
 
Nominations by platform (10 or more)
Netflix 160 (118 last year)
HBO 107 (137 last year)
NBC 47 (58 last year)
ABC 36 (26 last year)
FX Networks 33 (32 last year)
Amazon 31 (47 last year)
Hulu 26 (20 last year)
CBS 23 (43 last year)
Disney+ 19 (n/a)
Apple 18 (n/a)
Pop TV 16 (4 last year)
Fox 15 (18 last year)
VH1 13 (14 last year)
BBC America 10 (9 last year)
Comedy Central 10 (8 last year)
Quibi 10 (n/a)
 
Jimmy Kimmel is set to produce and host the 2020 Emmys, airing Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. PT on ABC.