What to Expect for Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu at the 2017 Emmys

September 15, 2017, 8:01 PM UTC

The biggest names in streaming television will face off at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday.

Netflix leads among the all-digital players with 91 total Emmy nominations (for popular shows like The Crown and Stranger Things). But streaming rivals Amazon and Hulu are also strong competitors in some important Emmy categories.

Of course, HBO—which bridges both traditional TV as a premium cable channel, and streaming with its HBO Now standalone streaming service—is still likely to be an award show juggernaut that will march into Sunday’s event with 110 total nominations (for shows like Westworld and Veep). And that’s despite the fact that the premium channel’s previous big winner, Game of Thrones, wasn’t even eligible for this year’s awards.

The rivalry among Hollywood’s rising streaming studios continues to heat up, and it should be one of the top storylines this weekend. Here’s what each of those companies’ prospects are on Emmy Sunday.


Netflix’s huge spending ($6 billion on original TV and movies this year alone) has certainly had an effect on the awards race, as its total Emmy nominations jumped 69% from last year’s 54 nods. Freshman sci-fi drama Stranger Things definitely helped pad the total by picking up 18 nominations, while historical drama The Crown earned another 13 of its own. Both of those shows are contenders for the Best Drama Series crown, while Master of None and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will compete for Best Comedy Series, giving Netflix solid chances in two of Sunday night’s biggest categories.

(Netflix actually already won 16 awards at last week’s 2017 Creative Emmys, where the Television Academy hands out awards in technical categories, including Stranger Things picking up wins for its main title design and theme music.)

The Crown won the Golden Globe for Best Drama earlier this year, but awards prediction website GoldDerby.com’s Emmy forecast (based on votes from TV critics and other “experts”) predicts that Stranger Things will walk away with Best Drama honors. A major win for either show would be a huge first for Netflix at the Emmys, where the streaming service will look to continue proving that it can compete with the biggest traditional studios.

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The Emmy nomination announcements in July were not as exciting for Amazon as they were for the e-commerce giant’s streaming rivals. Two years after Amazon topped Netflix’s win total at the 2015 Emmys, Amazon saw its total nominations stay flat at 16 from last year to 2017. While previous winners from Amazon like comedies Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle received some nominations this year, as did the popular sci-fi drama Man in the High Castle, the company’s series were shut out of the Best Drama and Best Comedy categories. Amazon was likely hoping for more after committing a reported $4.5 billion toward its own original programming. The Hollywood Reporter noted this week that Amazon Studios may be taking a hard look at some of its past TV decisions after spending millions on expensive shows like Z: The Beginning of Everything (a drama about Zelda Fitzgerald) and Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes, both of which fell flat with critics.

Amazon may still notch a notable win on Sunday—Transparent‘s Jeffrey Tambor has won for Lead Actor in a Comedy before and could repeat that feat—but, Sunday is more likely to be a low-key night for Amazon, especially compared to its big wins at the Academy Awards in February.


Is anyone as excited for the Emmys as Hulu? A year after earnings its first two Emmy nominations ever, Hulu—which is jointly owned by four major TV networks—was gunning hard for awards in 2017 with the debut of the dystopian feminist drama The Handmaid’s Tale. That show picked up 13 nominations (out of 18 overall for Hulu), including for Best Drama and a Best Actress nomination for star Elisabeth Moss. In fact, GoldDerby is picking Moss to win that award (she’s been nominated seven times before, but never won, for Mad Men and Top of the Lake), while the site gives the series itself the second-best odds in the Best Drama category, behind Stranger Things. Without a doubt, either of those awards would be a game-changing win for Hulu, as the service looks to join Netflix and Amazon as a powerhouse creator of original programming.