September 18, 2018 / 4:17 AM / 8 months ago

Netflix ties longtime Emmy darling HBO in total wins

LOS ANGELES, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Streaming service Netflix Inc and premium cable channel HBO battled to a tie at Monday's Emmy awards ceremony, with each taking home 23 of the television industry's top honors, though HBO scored the prestigious best drama prize.

The result underscored the rise of Netflix in Hollywood, which matched HBO's total just five years after starting a big push into original programming. Before Monday, HBO had won the most Emmys of any single network for 16 straight years.

This year, HBO's fantasy series "Game of Thrones" won the best drama honor for a third time and was the most-honored show with nine awards in total.

Best comedy went to "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Amazon Prime Video. It marked the first time a streaming service had won in the category. The show collected eight trophies overall.

The wins give networks and streaming services bragging rights to use in marketing to try to make their shows stand out in a crowded TV landscape where hundreds of scripted shows, reality series and other programming fight for viewers.

For Amazon, Hollywood awards also draw people to online shopping, according to Jeff Bezos, chief executive of the online retailer. "When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes," Bezos said at an industry conference in 2016.

The Emmy battle between HBO and Netflix has raged since 2013 when Netflix launched "House of Cards," a political thriller that established it as a home for top-quality TV programming. HBO, now owned by AT&T Inc, had long dominated that space with acclaimed series such as "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City."

Netflix's trophies on Monday included five for historical drama "The Crown," including best drama actress Claire Foy, four for "Black Mirror," and three for limited series "Godless."

"Thank you to Netflix for your support of artists," Jeff Daniels, a supporting actor winner for "Godless," said as he accepted his award.

HBO's "Westworld" landed four awards and "Barry" won three.

John Oliver, winner of best variety talk series for his weekly HBO show "Last Week Tonight," applauded the network for its backing. "They have been incredible, whether we wanted to do a story about trade policy or about Russell Crowe's jock strap."

Behind HBO and Netflix, Comcast Corp's NBC finished with 16 Emmys for shows including "Saturday Night Live" and "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert," followed by 21st Century Fox's FX with 12. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine Editing by Leslie Adler)

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