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Netflix scores record 160 Emmy nominations, and Disney Plus notches its first ever

Also: Apple TV Plus' big-budget originals earn the service's first nods, but none in the most coveted category: outstanding drama.

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Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read
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Netflix earned a record 160 Emmy nominations Tuesday. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Netflix spends billons of dollars every year making TV programming, more than any competitor -- and in the Emmy nominations Tuesday, it showed. Netflix earned a record 160 nominations, the most ever for a single network, beating out No. 2 HBO by more than four dozen. 

Disney Plus also made its mark. The service, only eight months old, earned its first nominations, including one in the coveted category for outstanding drama series. Disney Plus netted 19 total Emmy nominations, with 15 of them for The Mandalorian, the live-action Star Wars series, nominated for best drama, that was a breakout hit for the new service. No other streaming service has landed a nomination in that all-important best-drama category in its first year. 

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The Mandalorian, and its viral character known as Baby Yoda, were breakout hits for Disney Plus. 

Lucasfilm Ltd.

Meanwhile, Apple TV Plus, which launched just weeks before Disney Plus and also spent top-dollar on its originals, accumulated major acting nominations, but none of its original shows themselves were nominated for best series. The Morning Show, Apple's marquee drama, with a reported $200 million budget for 20 total episodes over two year, earned acting nominations for Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass. Apple TV Plus had 18 nominations total. 

The nominations mark symbolic victories in the so-called streaming wars, a seven-month window when media giants and tech titans released a raft of new streaming services to take on Netflix. These battles pitted rookies like Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus (and more recently HBO Max and NBCUniversal's Peacock) against heavyweights like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, spurring these huge corporations to pour billions of dollars into the hope of shaping the future of television. 

Among other streaming services, Amazon generated 30 nominations and Hulu got 26 this year.

HBO, which was perennially the leader of Emmy nominations before Netflix began to overtake it, garnered 107 nominations this year. It had the distinction of generating the most nominations for a single title: Its drama Watchmen earned 26. 

ABC will broadcast the Emmy award ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 20, from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

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