On this week’s episode of Face Time With Feinberg, a video series for The Hollywood Reporter on which I spout off about an awards-related topic, I talk about the rapid rise of the streamers at the Emmys.
Everyone knows about Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, which have been on the march over the last several years, with Netflix consistently battling HBO for the most nominations of any platform, and series wins going to Hulu for The Handmaid’s Tale in 2017 and to Amazon for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in 2018 and Fleabag in 2019. They each return to serious contention this year — Netflix garnered an astounding 129 nominations, and its drama The Crown is likely to bring the service its first series win; meanwhile, Hulu nabbed 25 and Amazon 19.
But what, to me, has not been discussed enough is the remarkable rapid rise of three other streamers, none of which even existed two years ago — let’s call them Streamers 2.0, shall we?
Apple TV+ launched on Nov. 1, 2019, and this year garnered 34 nominations across nine different shows, including Ted Lasso, which is the most-nominated rookie comedy series ever and the favorite to win the best comedy series award, among other honors.
Disney+ entered the fray less than two weeks after Apple TV+, on Nov. 12, 2019, and this year has 71 nominations across nine different shows, including best drama series nominees The Boys and The Mandalorian, the latter of which is nominated in the category for the second year in a row and is tied with The Crown for the most nominations of any show; and a best limited or anthology series nom for WandaVision; not to mention a haul of noms for the filmed version of Hamilton.
And then there’s HBO Max, which dropped on May 27, 2020, barely a year ago, and, like Apple TV+, comes into this year’s Emmys with 34 nominations across nine different shows, including best comedy series nominees The Flight Attendant and Hacks. (So much for confusion between HBO, HBO Go and HBO Max being an insurmountable problem!)
There’s no doubt that the pandemic expedited the ascension of these platforms — people were stuck at home and looking for new things to watch, and these services each had a number of quality offerings — but considering that no streamer had received an Emmy nomination until eight years ago, when Netflix broke through with Arrested Development, Hemlock Grove and House of Cards, it’s still pretty remarkable that there are now six streamers at the center of the Emmy conversation.