HBO and its streaming service HBO Max cleaned up at last night's Emmy awards, pulling in a dozen wins in the Primetime Emmys, compared with its next nearest rival, Netflix, which had just three. Overall, Netflix also fell behind in terms of the total number of awards it won, including the recently aired Creative Arts Emmys, in a reversal of its 2021's fortunes when it had come out on top.
Last year, Netflix pulled in the most Emmys ever for a single platform with 44 -- more than double that of HBO. This year, however, HBO surged ahead. In terms of the Creative Arts and Primetime Emmy awards combined, HBO and HBO Max grabbed 37 trophies, while Netflix earned 26.
HBO Max drama series “The White Lotus” grabbed the most overall wins with 10 Emmys. HBO Max’s “Euphoria” won six awards and “Succession” took four wins, including the high-profile win for "Best Outstanding Drama." Meanwhile, “Euphoria” star Zendaya is the first Black woman to win lead actress in the "Outstanding Drama" category and the youngest person to win twice in any Emmy category. HBO’s “Hacks,” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” also contributed to the total wins.
In terms of Primetime awards, Netflix only had three wins -- and these were attributed largely to its Korean series, "Squid Game," whose giant robot doll made a surprise appearance during the awards ceremony.
The popular series had a notable six wins across all Emmys, but only two during the Primetime awards show, despite its 14 nominations. Breaking diversity records, Lee Jung-jae, the main character, was also the first Asian actor to win lead actor in an "Outstanding Drama Series," and the fourth Asian actor to win an Emmy. “Squid Game” director Hwang Dong-hyuk became the first Asian director to win the drama category, and the first-ever director of a non-English-language series to win.
"Ozark" captured the other Primetime Emmy for Netflix, as Julia Garner won for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series."
Hulu and Apple TV+ brought in 10 and nine wins across the board, respectively. Disney+ also had nine and Amazon Prime Video won seven awards.
Apple TV+ had four Primetime Emmys, which was solely thanks to its series "Ted Lasso," the most Emmy Award-winning comedy for the second year in a row. According to Apple, the series joins only seven other comedy shows to win "Outstanding Comedy Series" in the first two years.
Though subjective, the Emmys serve as another example of Netflix's issues with content quality -- problems the streamer itself has admitted to in recent months. In April, Netflix's co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos acknowledged the streamer needed to improve on its core service, which he described as "making TV series and films and now games that people really love."
While "Squid Game" was certainly a phenomenon, and a worthy example of how international programming can find a home with foreign audiences -- something that plays to Netflix's strengths as a global service -- it's also a bit of a one-hit wonder for the streamer, which has fewer "prestige TV" shows pulling in an audience than in years past.
HBO's ability to pull ahead, given the circumstances, isn't that surprising, given the service is often a top winner during awards season, if not No. 1.
For a full breakdown, the wins by streamer are below.
2022 Emmy Wins by Streaming Service
HBO Max: 12 Primetime, 25 Creative Arts
Netflix: 3 Primetime, 23 Creative Arts
Hulu: 2 Primetime, 8 Creative Arts
Apple TV+: 4 Primetime, 5 Creative Arts
Disney+: 0 Primetime, 9 Creative Arts
Amazon Prime Video: 1 Primetime, 6 Creative Arts