It’s difficult to count the number of TV shows that aired in the U.S. this past year that were nominated for the primetime Emmys because there were simply so many categories both “above and below the line” that the only ones who seemed to be excluded were the productions’ gofers (aka, the underlings sent to fetch coffee or run errands).
Nonetheless, in an article for The Wall Street Journal, former Time magazine TV critic Richard Zoglin revealed that 216 shows received multiple nominations, and VideoAge calculated that there were some 600 overall nominations vying for 129 Emmys.
The nominated shows came from a total of 39 TV outlets, of which 10 were streaming services. Netflix topped the list with 160 nominations, followed by HBO with 107 nominations. Amazon’s Prime Video was a distant third with 30 nominations.
The most interesting thing about Zoglin’s article, however, was that, while viewers in the recent past could watch the nominated shows for free on OTA networks, today, watching all those shows could cost over $2,000 a year in subscription fees. That amount includes the extra subscription costs for cable TV channels such as ESPN, A+E, FX, and Comedy Central (which collectively received approximately 80 nominations) and broadband. Nevertheless, it is still a hefty sum to shell out for what not too long ago was mostly free.
This year, at the 72nd annual Emmy Awards virtual presentation, which was broadcast on the ABC TV network on Sunday, September 20, the OTA networks (including public TV station PBS) received only 127 nominations, and of those just 18 won Emmys. However, while most TV viewers were familiar with the OTAs’s nominated shows, many programs nominated from the streaming services were known only to a limited number of viewers. Altogether, the streamers won 41 Emmy statuettes, while HBO (which can be considered a linear-VoD hybrid) won 30. And it’s tough to figure out where to place the nine Emmys (out of 19 nominations) won by Canadian comedy series Schitt’s Creek since some reports list it under Netflix, and others under Pop TV, ViacomCBS’s pay-TV cable channel.
The series was first broadcast on the CBC, Canada’s public TV network, in 2015. Later that year, it also began airing on Pop TV in the U.S. This year, it finally landed on Netflix.