HBO is flying high again this year as the network with the most Emmy nominations. But the rest of the networks — or streaming giants, if you prefer — have seen a shake-up. As you can see from this graph, NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox have started to wane, while Netflix and FX are surging ahead.
So what can we learn from all this? Here are a few lessons.
HBO has been on top for a while, and that's not changing anytime soon.
Rumors of HBO's decline appear to have been exaggerated. Sure, "Vinyl" was underwhelming and "Game of Thrones" has an expiration date, but the network is still far ahead of the competition when it comes to nominations. This year, it's up for 94 awards. That's down from an astounding 126 in 2015, but still a healthy margin above FX's 56. Also keep in mind that next year this time, acclaimed hits, like "The Night Of," and highly anticipated shows, like "Westworld" and "The Divorce," could be up for contention.
Netflix is starting to look like an unstoppable juggernaut.
In 2012, Netflix had zero Emmy nominations. This year, the company has 54, a healthy jump from 2015's 34. More than a dozen of the nominations went to "House of Cards," but Netflix was also rewarded for its increasingly wide swath of programming, picking up nods for "Master of None," "Making a Murderer," "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "A Very Murray Christmas Special" and the documentary "What Happened, Miss Simone?"
FX is on the rise.
Like Netflix, FX has made great strides in a short time. In 2011, the network was up for 6 awards, and now it's up for 56, second only to HBO. This year could be a bit of a fluke. A large chunk of the nominations are for "The People v. O.J. Simpson," which has run its course. Then again, another well-chosen edition of the "American Crime Story" series could be as popular.
Other glimmers of hopes for the future: If the critical love for the new series "Atlanta" and "Better Things" are any indication, those shows could certainly get some attention from Emmy voters next year.
The three most-nominated networks have something in common.
Is it a coincidence that the networks most famous for giving showrunners a long leash and a plenty of creative freedom are doing so well? Hmmm. Something to think about …
HBO and Netflix have something else in common.
Both are known for their extremely eclectic programming. Just look at the categories in which HBO and Netflix are up for awards. They range from comedy series to television movie and documentary to informational series. If HBO's success with this throw-everything-at-the-wall method is any indication, Netflix could soon surpass FX, which isn't nearly as experimental.
The broadcast networks are losing ground.
This is the first year a broadcast network hasn't been one of the three most-nominated outlets. For the second year in a row, NBC got 41 nominations — a far cry from its heyday in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The networks did get some nominations in the comedy categories, for series like "Modern Family" and "Black-ish," and the big four at least still have the market cornered when it comes to reality series and reality competitions. For now, anyway.
Amazon is one to watch.
In only its second year of eligibility, Amazon has 16 nominations. (Amazon founder Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.) On one hand, almost all of them are for "Transparent." On the other, the next season starts Sept. 23, and a few other high-profile projects are headed our way, including Woody Allen's first series, "Crisis in Six Scenes," and the 1960s-era period drama "Good Girls Revolt."