HBO reclaimed its Emmys lead, while Amazon conquered comedy at the 2019 Emmy Awards, held at LA's Microsoft Theater on Sunday.
The night belonged to HBO. The premium-TV network, which entered the awards ceremony with the most nominations, led in Emmy wins after tying with streaming rival Netflix last year.
HBO took home nine of the awards during the telecast that aired on Fox, for the final season of "Game of Thrones," limited series "Chernobyl," media drama "Succession," and talk show "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver." It also won 25 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, for a total of 34.
The Emmys sweep proved that HBO is still the top home for award-winning TV, even as competitors like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and soon Apple and Disney, come for its premium-TV crown.
Netflix won just four awards in the telecast, a weak showing as streaming competition intensifies.
Last year, Netflix tied HBO in Emmy wins, with 23 awards apiece.
The streaming giant came up short in 2019. Netflix won just four awards in Sunday's telecast — for "Ozark," "When They See Us," and the interactive "Black Mirror" movie, "Bandersnatch" — as well as 23 in the creative arts presentations. Overall, it still took home more Emmys than in 2018.
Netflix campaigns hard for Emmy awards to show that its originals can compete on the same stage as those from legacy networks like HBO. Accolades, be it Emmys or Oscars recognition, have become a key part of how Netflix secures top talent, such as "When They See Us" creator Ava DuVernay, or TV hitmakers Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.
The company bought its way into the awards race with an estimated $15 billion content budget for 2019, more than other networks that don't carry live sports. Netflix came into the night with the second most nominations: 118 to HBO's 137. But Netflix originals like "Russian Doll" and the final season of "House of Cards" were passed up in the awards ceremony, and others like "When They See Us" didn't receive widespread recognition.
It was overshadowed in the telecast, just as it prepares to face off against forthcoming services from media and tech giants like Disney, Apple, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal. WarnerMedia is using the HBO brand as a launch pad for its service, called HBO Max, which will debut next April.
Amazon Prime Video was the comedy breakout, thanks to "Fleabag."
Streaming rival Amazon Prime Video, meanwhile, cleaned up in the comedy categories. Amazon took home seven awards on Sunday, as well as eight Creative Arts Emmys in earlier presentations. "Fleabag" won four awards in the telecast; "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" nabbed three; and the limited series "A Very English Scandal" won one.
Overall, it was a big night for streaming. Hulu won one award in the telecast for "The Act." And the commercial breaks were blanketed with ads for streaming services, including Prime Video and Disney Plus, which launched pre-orders for during the show, as well as Apple TV Plus series like "The Morning Show" and "For All Mankind." Netflix also aired trailers for upcoming releases like "The Crown," "The Politician," and "El Camino," the movie sequel to "Breaking Bad."