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HBO dominated the 2019 Emmy nominations, thanks to Game of Thrones

HBO dominated the 2019 Emmy nominations, thanks to Game of Thrones


Streaming services are still steadily growing at awards shows

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After Netflix beat out HBO last year for total Emmy nominations, HBO returned to its usual dominant position in 2019, earning a whopping 137 total Emmy nominations, thanks to Game of Thronesfinal season.

The network secured a total of 32 nominations for Game of Thrones, breaking the previous record held by NYPD Blue (26 nominations in 1994). HBO’s other 105 nominations this year came from series like Barry (17 nominations) and Chernobyl (19 nominations). HBO also earned nearly three times as many nominations as the four traditional networks (ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS) combined.

There’s no denying that Game of Thrones is a rare cultural juggernaut. More than 45 million people tuned in for the show’s final episodes, according to HBO. It’s logical that the Emmy voting body would honor the series, which shaped television culture more than almost any other series over the last decade. And that comes in spite of how negatively Game of Thrones’ final season was received by both fans and critics. Mad Men and Breaking Bad were both significant and influential, but Game of Thrones turned appointment TV into a worldwide obsession all the way through its series finale. That’s incredibly rare.

But Game of Thrones’ time has come to an end, and this year’s Emmy nominations are a good chance to look at what comes next. HBO’s total nomination count (137 nominations) was followed by Netflix (117), NBC (58), and Amazon Prime Video (47). Here’s a breakdown of nominations major networks received in 2018 and 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

HBO: 137 in 2019, 108 in 2018 (+29)

Netflix: 117 in 2019, 112 in 2018 (+5)

NBC: 58 in 2019, 78 in 2018 (-20)

Amazon Prime Video: 47 in 2019, 22 in 2018 (+25)

CBS: 43 in 2019, 35 in 2018 (+8)

FX Networks: 32 in 2019, 50 in 2018 (-18)

ABC: 26 in 2019, 31 in 2018 (-5)

Hulu: 20 in 2019, 27 in 2018 (-7)

Fox: 18 in 2019, 16 in 2018 (+2)

Showtime: 18 in 2019, 21 in 2018 (-3)

CNN: 17 in 2019, 10 in 2018 (+7)

VH1: 14 in 2019, 12 in 2018 (+2)

National Geographic: 13 in 2019, 17 in 2018 (-4)

AMC: 11 in 2019, 1 in 2018 (+10)

The narrative over the past few years has been that streaming is outpacing traditional TV networks, both premium and cable, at awards shows. That might not be true just yet, but streaming is definitely seeing a steady increase in overall nominations. The three big streaming companies — Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video — amassed 184 Emmy nominations this year, a 14 percent increase over last year’s 161 total nominations.

And the four traditional networks saw an 8 percent decrease between 2018 (159 total) and this year (145). This doesn’t account for cable networks like FX (which saw a major decrease), AMC (major increase) and HBO. While all data should be taken with a grain of salt, there’s no denying that as more networks transition to streaming, and companies like Netflix and Disney spend large amounts of money on original content, the more award shows will be dominated by streamers.

It’s been a while since a single show has dominated a year like Game of Thrones did in 2019. HBO is beginning to plot a way to fill that massive hole in its slate, while many other companies are planning to launch new streaming services with a nearly never-ending assortment of original series. Amazon is working on a Lord of the Rings series; Disney has its upcoming Marvel shows, like Loki, and Star WarsThe Mandalorian. WarnerMedia is working on projects like a Dune series, and flooding even more money into HBO on the streaming end.

The three big streaming companies — Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video — amassed 184 Emmy nominations this year, a 14 percent increase over last year’s 161 total nominations.

At the same time, many of the series that have been regular Emmy nominees over the past decade are nearing the end of their lives. This is Us and Better Call Saul — two major shows that can compete with HBO, Amazon, and Netflix — only have so much time left. The pool of workhorse Emmy shows will get smaller as more traditional networks focus on streaming (FX content on Hulu, for example, and HBO content on HBO Max) and Netflix pours money into developing bigger original series.

Game of Thrones’ end opens the door for the return of competitive, diverse award seasons beginning next year. The cultural juggernaut is gone. There will undeniably be another big series that grabs attention — as Emily VanDerWerff pointed out at Vox, “there’s always another huge TV show.” The question is whether that next series will come from a traditional network like NBC, a prestigious cable division like AMC or from a streamer like Netflix or even Disney+.

The full list of nominees can be read below:

Outstanding Drama

Better Call Saul


Game of Thrones

Killing Eve




This Is Us

Lead Actor in a Drama

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Kit Harington, Game of Thrones

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Billy Porter, Pose

Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Lead Actress in a Drama 

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones

Jodie Comer, Killing Eve

Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder

Laura Linney, Ozark

Mandy Moore, This Is Us

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve

Robin Wright, House of Cards

Supporting Actress in a Drama

Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones

Julia Garner, Ozark

Lena Headey, Game of Thrones

Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve

Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones

Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones

Supporting Actor in a Drama

Alfie Allen, Game of Thrones

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul

Michael Kelly, House of Cards

Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

Guest Actress in a Drama

Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black

Cherry Jones*, The Handmaid’s Tale

Jessica Lange, AHS: Apocalypse

Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us

Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away With Murder

Carice van Houten, Game of Thrones

Guest Actor in a Drama

Michael Angarana, This Is Us

Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us

Michael McKean, Better Call Saul

Kumail Nanjiani, The Twilight Zone

Glynn Turman, How to Get Away With Murder

Bradley Whitford*, The Handmaid’s Tale

Outstanding Comedy



The Good Place

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Russian Doll

Schitt’s Creek


Lead Actress in a Comedy

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll

Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

Lead Actor in a Comedy

Anthony Anderson, black-ish

Don Cheadle, Black Monday

Ted Danson, The Good Place

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

Bill Hader, Barry

Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Sian Clifford, Fleabag

Olivia Colman, Fleabag

Betty Gilpin, GLOW

Sarah Goldberg, Barry

Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Supporting Actor in a Comedy 

Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method

Anthony Carrigan, Barry

Tony Hale, Veep

Stephen Root, Barry

Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Henry Winkler, Barry

Guest Actress in a Comedy

Jane Lynch, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Sandra Oh, Saturday Night Live

Maya Rudolph, The Good Place

Kristin Scott Thomas, Fleabag

Fiona Shaw, Fleabag

Emma Thompson, Saturday Night Live

Guest Actor in a Comedy

Matt Damon, Saturday Night Live

Robert de Niro, Saturday Night Live

Luke Kirby, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Peter MacNicol, Veep

John Mulaney, Saturday Night Live

Adam Sandler, Saturday Night Live

Rufus Sewell, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Limited Series


Escape at Dannemora


Sharp Objects

When They See Us

Made for TV Movie

Bandersnatch: Black Mirror


Deadwood: The Movie

King Lear

My Dinner With Hervé

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie 

Amy Adams, Sharp Objects

Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora

Aunjanue Ellis, When They See Us

Joey King, The Act

Niecy Nash, When They See Us

Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Mahershala Ali, True Detective

Benecio del Toro, Escape at Dannemora

Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal

Jared Harris, Chernobyl

Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us

Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Patricia Arquette, The Act

Marsha Stephanie Blake, When They See Us

Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects

Vera Farmiga, When They See Us

Margaret Qualley, Fosse/Verdon

Emily Watson, Chernobyl

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie 

Asante Blackk, When They See Us

Paul Dano, Escape at Dannemora

John Leguizamo, When They See Us

Stellan Skarsgard, Chernobyl

Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal

Michael K Williams, When They See Us

Reality Show Host

James Corden, The World’s Best

Ellen DeGeneres, Ellen’s Game Of Games

Marie Kondo, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo

Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, Making It

RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race

Reality Show Competition

The Amazing Race

American Ninja Warrior

Nailed It!

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Top Chef

The Voice

Variety Sketch Series

At Home With Amy Sedaris

Documentary Now!

Drunk History

I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman

Saturday Night Live

Who Is America?

Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

The Late Late Show With James Corden

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert