2016 Emmys: Netflix and Amazon receive record nominations as online video steals spotlight
James R | On 15, Jul 2016
Netflix and Amazon have both received a record number of Emmy nominations, in a year where online video has never been more acclaimed.
At a glance, the awards seem the same old set-up, with Game of Thrones again leading the pack with 23 nods – the highest total for any show. Indeed, HBO dominates the pack, with 94 nods in total, higher than any other network once again. (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Fargo were the next most-nominated, with 22 and 18 nods respectively.)
Scratch the surface, though, and 2016 is a year that has seen online video steal the spotlight. Netflix and Amazon are leading the charge, with each streaming service receiving a record number of nominations: 54 for Netflix and 16 for Amazon.
Amazon and Netflix have long been present on the awards stage, so it is no surprise to see them competing in the top categories. For Outstanding Drama, House of Cards is going head to head with Downtown Abbey, Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot, Better Call Saul, The Americans and Homeland. For Outstanding Comedy, Transparent is taking on Modern Family, Veep, Silicon Valley, black-ish, Master of None and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
However, both have become the exclusive UK homes of other networks’ series, such as AMC’s Better Call Saul and Mr. Robot, which means that for British viwers, Netflix and Amazon are even bigger contenders in the awards race.
FX’s star-studded limited series “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” and its anthology series “Fargo” were the second- and third-most nominated shows. FX finished behind HBO in nominations with 56.
The streaming services Netflix and Amazon continue to make significant inroads, with each scoring its highest Emmy nomination totals (54 for Netflix and 16 for Amazon).
While Amazon’s increasingly impressive slate of originals has earned it nominations for The Man in the High Castle and Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent remains the jewel in its crown, with 10 nominations.
Netflix’s array of nods is even more diverse, with everything from Bloodline and Chef’s Table to Daredevil, Jessica Jones and stand-up specials Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping and John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid getting nominations. Even Bill Murray’s A very Murray Christmas is in competition.
The VOD giant’s documentary arm, meanwhile, continues to enjoy huge clout, with What Happened, Miss Simone? and Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom both receiving nods. Making a Murderer, its highest profile non-fiction project so far, earned six nominations, including Outstanding Documentary Series.
Acting talent from the two rivals are also out in force, with Grace and Frankie’s Lily Tomlin and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Ellie Kemper competing for comedy acting gongs, opposite Veep’s Julie Louis-Dreyfus Inside Amy Schumer’s Amy Schumer, and black-ish’s Tracee Ellis Ross.
Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor and Master of None’s Aziz Ansari are up against black-ish’s Anthony Anderson, The Last Man on Earth’s Will Forte, Shameless’ William H. Macy and Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch for best male comedy performance.
In the drama category, Bloodline’s Kyle Chandler and Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk are up against House of Cards’ Kevin Spacey, Ray Donovan’s Liev Schreiber, The Americans’ Matthew Rhys and Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek. House of Cards’ Robin Wright is also duking it out with The Americans’ Keri Russell, Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, Homeland’s Claire Danes and How to Get Away with Murder’s Viola Davis, last year’s winner.
Netflix and Amazon, though, are just the tip of the iceberg, as the Emmys fully open their doors to online-only videos, including short-form titles. For Outstanding Short Form Variety Series, YouTube’s Epic Rap Battles of History and Honest Trailers are both nominated, alongside AOL’s Making A Scene With James Franco and Park Bench With Steve Buscemi. YouTube’s Her Story is up for Outstanding Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series alongside Fear The Walking Dead’s web series, Flight 462.
Videos from Arts.gov, Crackle and FunnyorDie.com are all on the nominee list, as well as Hulu’s 11.22.63, starring James Franco. Vimeo is also in contention, with original musical comedy Garfunkel and Oates: Trying To Be Special up for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. Most exciting and deserved of all, meanwhile, is Louis CK’s independent series, Horace and Pete, which has also received attention with a nod for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama and Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy.
The awards will be handed out on 18th September. Whoever takes home the prizes, online video is the real winner.
For a full list of nominees, visit www.emmys.com