truTV's 'Billy on the Street'

HBO Leads Emmy Noms, Of Course, But Give It Up for Netflix…and truTV!

‘Westworld’ depicts HBO’s ability to keep cranking out new awards-attracting shows

HBO does not have Game of Thrones in consideration for the 2017 Emmys, but the premium network nonetheless received 111 nominations, a full 17 more than it did last year. That’s 17 years running for HBO leading networks in Emmy nominations.

Call it rookie of the year—new drama Westworld got named 22 times, including being up for Best Drama. The 22 nods were the most of any show except for Saturday Night Live, also with 22, including three stars in the running for Supporting Actress in a Comedy.

Veep picked up 17 nominations, including Tony Hale and Matt Walsh on the short list for Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Big Little Lies got 16, with Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon both up for Lead Actress in a Limited Series. The Night Of got 13, with Bill Camp and Michael Kenneth Williams gunning for Supporting Actor in a Limited Series, and John Turturro and Riz Ahmed up for Lead Actor in a Limited Series.

HBO won both Best Drama (Game of Thrones) and Best Comedy (Veep) last year. Even with Game of Thrones out of contention, no one is surprised when HBO leads the Emmy nominations pack. Perhaps a bigger story is the performance of Netflix, which was runner up to HBO with 91 nominations, way, way up from the 54 it got last year.

Netflix has three series among the seven on the list for Best Drama, an extraordinary showing. Up for the elite prize are The Crown, House of Cards and Stranger Things. They’re up against AMC’s Better Call Saul, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale (that show picked up 13 nominations), Westworld and NBC’s This Is Us.

Netflix also has two shows up for Best Comedy, Master of None and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. ABC also has two, in Modern Family and Black-ish. The rest of the Best Comedy list is comprised of Veep and Silicon Valley from HBO, and Atlanta on FX.

NBC easily led the broadcast pack with 64 nominations, better than the 41 it got last year, thanks largely to This Is Us, which received 11. ABC has 34, one worse than 2016’s total; CBS has 29, off six from last year; and Fox’s 21 is down from last year’s 29.

NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt called it “an amazing year for broadcast television, including a return to the prestigious drama series category with This Is Us, not to mention a record-breaking number of nominations for SNL, which is the gift that keeps on giving 42 years in. Who said being middle aged isn't fantastic?!"

Besides three of the broadcast networks, other networks that saw their 2017 nominations total drop include AMC, which slid from 24 to 11; FX, which witnessed a slight drop from 56 to 54; Downton-free PBS, down from 26 to 11; and Showtime, which went from 22 to 15.

William H. Macy, star of Shameless, didn’t seem to mind the Showtime drop. "The day I read John Wells' pilot for Shameless, I knew I was in for a wild ride,” he said. “Here we are eight years later and I'm still playing Frank Gallagher, whom I love so much I'd give him my liver.”

While FX did not have The People v. O.J. Simpson this year—it won five Emmys last year—the cable net did have Feud: Bette and Joan, which tied Stranger Things with 18 nominations, good for third on the list. Fargo, meanwhile, had 16.

The Emmys happen Sept. 17 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The telecast runs on CBS, and Stephen Colbert hosts.

It’s not always about the networks that gather nominations by the bushelful. Let’s give it up for truTV, which picked up its first Emmy nomination for Billy on the Street, up for Best Variety Sketch Series.

“As someone who grew up, for better or worse, watching award shows religiously, I'd be lying to say this doesn't feel insane and wonderful,” said star Billy Eichner.