Netflix dethroned HBO, the longtime king of Emmy nominations, Thursday by hauling in 112 Emmy Awards nominations _ the most of any network.
HBO, which has been the industry leader for nearly two decades, came in second with 108 nominations. However, HBO's ambitious "Game of Thrones" scored the most nominations for any series in television with 22, including for the most coveted category of outstanding drama.
Netflix's win was further proof of its increasing dominance in television. It came from the sheer volume of shows that the popular streaming service runs, underscoring the strength of its strategy to offer something for everyone. Netflix pulled in nominations for such high-profile series as "The Crown," and "GLOW" as well as smaller-scale fare such as "Somebody Feed Phil" and the acclaimed documentary "Icarus."
"We congratulate our creative partners on their unprecedented success today," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. "We are particularly enthused to see the breadth of our programming celebrated with nominations spread across 40 new and returning titles which showcase our varied and expansive slate."
The closely watched nomination count also revealed how Emmy nominations have become big business. Netflix spent lavishly to promote its shows, recognizing that such acclaim can be intoxicating for talent, who are leaving traditional TV studios to work with Netflix. During the past year, Netflix has lured such big-name producers as Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy"), Ryan Murphy ("Glee" and "American Horror Story") and, just this week, fan favorite Jason Bateman. On Thursday, Bateman drew an acting nomination for "Ozark."
The streaming service this spring even scored a producing deal with former President Obama and his wife, Michelle.
This year's Emmy nominations come amid a summer of great transition in the television industry. Telecommunications giant AT&T in June took over Time Warner, HBO's longtime parent, and the new management signaled that it wants HBO to increase its output amid a more competitive landscape. Meanwhile, Walt Disney Co. has been battling Comcast Corp., owner of NBCUniversal, over huge chunks of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox empire, including Fox's prolific television studio, which produces such shows as NBC's "This Is Us," ABC's "Modern Family" and "The Simpsons."
Even though HBO came in second in total nominations, it performed strongly in top categories and its drama "Westworld" came in just behind "Game of Thrones," with 21 nominations, including for outstanding drama. Three HBO comedies drew nominations in the outstanding comedy category, including the freshman "Barry," which drew 13 nominations, the quirky Larry David show, "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and "Silicon Valley."
HBO's true test will come on Sept. 17 when the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
"HBO is very pleased with its 108 nominations, especially the wide range over so many categories," the network said in a statement. "We're grateful to all our nominees for making this the eighth year we've had 100 nominations or more. We look forward to Sept 17th."
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