July 12, 2018
By Steve Gorman and Jill Serjeant
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – HBO’s <T.N> medieval fantasy series “Game of Thrones” led nominations on Thursday for television’s Emmy awards but booming streaming service Netflix <NFLX.O> knocked HBO off its 17-year pedestal as the network with the most nods.
“Games of Thrones” got 22 nods, including for the top prize of best drama series, followed by NBC <CMSCA.O> sketch show “Saturday Night Live” and HBO’s sci-fi series “Westworld” with 21 nominations each, and Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” with 20.
Just five years after the launch of its first original series, “House of Cards,” Netflix ended HBO’s 17-year streak as the most Emmy-nominated network.
Netflix gathered 112 nods for shows that ranged from “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” to female wrestling comedy “GLOW” and new Western drama “Godless.”
HBO had 108 nominations and NBC shows earned 78 nods.
Netflix campaigned heavily for the Emmys, the highest honors in television, and says it has budgeted $8 billion for programming in 2018. <nL2N1T61QO>
The Emmy awards will be handed out at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Sept. 17 hosted by “Saturday Night Live” cast members Michael Che and Colin Jost.
“Game of Thrones” will compete for best drama with last year’s Emmy champion, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”, which also won nods for actresses Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel, Samira Wiley, Ann Dowd and Yvonne Strahovski.
Other best drama contenders include “Stranger Things,” “The Crown,” NBC’s family drama “This Is Us,” Cold War spy series “The Americans” on FX <FOXA.O> and “Westworld.”
“Game of Thrones” was out of the running in 2017 because the show aired later than usual.
In the comedy categories, hip-hop themed FX show “Atlanta” is up against Amazon’s <AMZN.O> “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” ABC’s <DIS.N> “black-ish,” female wrestling show “GLOW,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, quirky comedy “Barry”, tech comedy “Silicon Valley” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Perennial Emmy favorite comedy “Veep” is out of this year’s race because of a production delay caused by the cancer treatment of star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has won best comedy actress six years in a row.
FX’s true crime dramatization “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” led the limited category with 18 nominations, including a best actor nod for Darren Criss who plays the killer of the Italian fashion designer.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Steve Gorman, Editing by Franklin Paul)