The Emmy revolution will not be televised: Streaming shows poised to dominate top categories like never before

It wasn’t long ago that the changing television landscape led to cable TV crowding out the broadcast networks at the Emmys. But the streaming revolution has come even faster, with online distributors expected to push cable shows off the map.

In the race for Best Comedy Series, seven of the eight shows we’re predicting to be nominated based on the combined predictions of Gold Derby users are from streamers: front-runner “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+), “The Flight Attendant” and “Hacks” (HBO Max), “The Kominsky Method” and “Master of None” (Netflix), “PEN15” (Hulu), and “Girls5eva” (Peacock). The only televised nominee we’re currently betting on is from one of the broadcast networks, ABC’s “Black-ish.” If we’re right, that would be an all-time high for streaming shows, and it would make this the first year since 2011 without a cable series nominated.

Meanwhile, we’re predicting five of the eight Best Drama Series slots to go to streaming programs: front-runner “The Crown” and “Bridgerton” (Netflix), “The Mandalorian” (Disney+), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu), and “The Boys” (Amazon Prime Video). Two other predicted nominees are expected from cable: “Lovecraft Country” (HBO) and “Pose” (FX). The sole broadcast contender we’re anticipating to make the cut is “This is Us” (NBC). That would tie last year’s all-time high for streaming programs, and it would also tie for the lowest number of cable shows nominated in the last 13 years (there were also two cable entries in 2017).

And in Best Limited Series we’re betting on three out of five streaming nominees: front-runner “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix), “The Underground Railroad” (Amazon), and “WandaVision” (Disney+). The two cable contenders currently in our forecasts are HBO’s “I May Destroy You” and “Mare of Easttown.” This would tie last year’s record number of streaming shows in the lineup.

Of course, this shift to streaming corresponds to networks themselves going online. A couple of the services we think will make a splash this year are spun off from existing TV channels: HBO Max from HBO and Peacock from NBC. Also, since Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, shows from FX and National Geographic find their way to Disney-owned Hulu even if they’re not technically Hulu shows, on top of the expanding list of original shows on Disney+ (check your pay stub regularly to see if Disney owns the place you work yet).

The COVID-19 pandemic also exacerbated the rapid shift to streaming, as many viewers around the country and the world found themselves home-bound and in search of on-demand content. Do you agree with our odds that we’ll see this shift reflected in the Emmy nominations, which will be announced on July 13?

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