It’s become a bit cliché to marvel at how the entertainment industry has morphed so quickly to a digital on-demand world. And yet, as awards shows adjust to the habits and tastes of the viewing public, it’s clear that the future of content is streaming — and therefore, so goes the awards industrial complex.
Need proof? The recent nominations announced by the Golden Globe Awards and SAG Awards were so dominated by streaming services that it’s hard to remember a time when nominees came from the old-school linear world.
Led by Netflix’s leading 20 noms, streamers took home 34 altogether, followed by cable with 20. At SAG, the ratio was similar: 28 for streaming (including Netflix’s 17) and cable with 16. Netflix’s royal saga “The Crown” is still an awards magnet in Season 4, nabbing six Golden Globe nominations and five SAG Award nods this year.
And then… remember the broadcast networks? The awards shows sure don’t, if this year’s Golden Globes and SAG Awards nominations are any indication. Broadcasters landed just one Globes nod (NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” star Jane Levy, for musical or comedy actress) and one SAG mention (NBC’s “This Is Us” star Sterling K. Brown, for male drama actor). The decline of broadcast in awards has been well-documented, but basic cable didn’t fare much better — other than “Schitt’s Creek”-fueled Pop TV, but that’s an outlier that will never happen again for that channel, which is now out of the originals game. TV awards have now become almost the strict domain of the streamers, with Netflix far and away the leader.
The breadth of how the streamers are dominating TV awards is stunning. Between the two major awards nominations, Netflix is ruling with drama (“The Crown,” “Ozark,” “Bridgerton”), comedy (“Emily in Paris,” “Dead to Me”) and limited series (“The Queen’s Gambit,” “Unorthodox”). Hulu, often forgotten in the conversation about the streaming landscape, remains an awards hot spot as well — even without its signature “The Handmaid’s Tale” in contention this year. Third only to Netflix and HBO (seven) at the Globes, Hulu scored six nods thanks to “The Great,” “Normal People” and “Ramy” star Ramy Youssef.
Amazon Prime Video also remained a contender with three Globes nods, even though its most-awarded series, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” was also on hiatus. But the real proof that streaming has established a beachhead on the awards landscape comes from the impressive showing by newcomers. Apple TV Plus’ “Ted Lasso” is a critical darling that now could push “Schitt’s Creek” aside as the new comedy frontrunner. And HBO Max has a true breakthrough on its hands with “The Flight Attendant” and star/executive producer Kaley Cuoco. Disney Plus did well at the Emmys with “The Mandalorian,” and it continues to make waves.
Next up, while the world is new for Peacock, the upstart streamer just landed its first major nom, from the Writers Guild Awards, for “The Amber Ruffin Show” in the comedy/variety sketch category.
But if this all still feels a bit unsettling for TV industry folks, imagine how they’re feeling over in the movie world: Two streamers, Netflix and Amazon Studios, are the two most-nominated entities as motion picture distributors at the Globes and SAG. Call it a red carpet revolution.