With the 2021 Emmys marking the second of the pandemic era, has Netflix finally seen the victory many expected them to net years ago? With the Primetime Emmy Awards having taken place Sunday 19th September, we turned to entertainment lawyer Los Angeles Brandon Blake for his take on the ceremony and its wins.
Netflix finally wins
When Netflix first started focusing on its original series offerings, many predicted it wouldn’t be long until a glittering Emmy or 5 was theirs. Yet, despite producing some undoubtedly high-quality content over the years, they never quite managed to win. Yet with The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit both in the running this year, it was inevitable that that dry streak would come to an end.
And come to an end it did, with The Crown proving to be the big winner of the night. With its 7 wins, and 2 more for The Queen’s Gambit, alongside 1 for Halston, Netflix finally has the runaway wins we once expected as default.
It’s been a victory remarkably slow in coming, as other, smaller streamers have won the most coveted categories over Netflix time and again. This is despite Netflix maintaining at least one nomination per year since its 2013 debut on the awards circuit and being seen by many as the streamer that inspired other streamers.
HBO and HBO Max jointly took home 9 further awards, across Mare of Eastown, Last Week Tonight, Hacks, and I May Destroy You..
Apple TV+ a close third
This long journey to Emmy success for Netflix must make it slightly galling to see the top streaming studios’ forgotten cousin, Apple TV+, net the other big victories of the night for its runaway success, Ted Lasso. While 4 awards may be small next to Netflix’s 10 and HBO/HBO Max’s 9, let’s face it- no one had heard of Apple TV+ until Ted Lasso rocketed it to prominence. To win this well, on the back of a comedy no less, so early in its streaming history must have more than one member of the Apple TV+ team smiling.
Notably, this was also a bumper year for Female directors, with a two-for-two win in drama and comedy for The Crown and Hacks (respectively). This double score is a first for the ceremony and only the fourth win for a woman in the drama direction category since the award ceremony’s inception. It’s the fifth overall in the comedic category.
ViacomCBS, meanwhile, would take home 2 awards, and Disney and NBC one each.
This year’s ceremony saw a relocation from its typical Microsoft Theater location, instead heading to the L.A Live’s Event Deck as a nod to the pandemic restrictions that remain in place. Through changed seating arrangements, we saw the 500 attendees able to remain in small groups, instead of the traditional theater setup. While Conan O’Brien didn’t manage a win in the category he was nominated in, he did manage to lighten the mood and keep the ceremony turning over pleasantly.
Overall, the 2021 Emmys saw an outstanding field, and we don’t envy the voters who had to choose between the many deserving titles. It’s nice to see Netflix finally gain its long-coveted recognition for its streaming content, and it will be interesting to see if Apple TV+ can carry forward its early momentum with other content offerings, or if its award history will live and die with Ted Lasso. As always, we will be here to keep you in the loop