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Hulu Just Obliterated Their Own Personal Best Emmys Showing

HBO and Netflix led the overall nomination count, but Hulu leveled up in a big way.
  • Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
    Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

    Tuesday's nominations for the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards was, as it's been for many years now, an arms race between HBO and Netflix for dominance in the TV landscape. The combination of HBO and HBO Max led all networks/streaming platforms with 140 total nominations, with Netflix lagging significantly behind in a down year with 105 total nominations. That's one story. The other story is happening in the next tier of platforms, with Hulu scoring 58 total nominations, a number that utterly obliterated its own personal best Emmy nomination haul of 28 in 2018.

    That number on its own is huge for Hulu, both for bragging rights as well as a snapshot of the year they've had. But let's start with the bragging rights. As the first two major streamers to enter the game, there's always been a bit of an unspoken rivalry between Netflix and Hulu, at least in the public's perception. Netflix is the big dog in the yard, with dozens upon dozens of TV shows produced and/or acquired each year. Hulu has been the smaller, more focused streamer that, even with plenty of missteps, managed to beat Netflix to the awards podiums at both the Oscars (where Hulu's Nomadland won Best Picture while Netflix has still yet to taste that particular victory) and the Emmys (The Handmaid's Tale took the Outstanding Drama trophy years before The Crown finally won). And while Netflix still dominated in Tuesday's total numbers, the growth trends are solidly on Hulu's side. Hulu more than doubled their previous nomination total, while Netflix has slid from 160 total nominations in 2020 to just 105 this year. There's also the fact that Hulu's 58 nominations came from just nine separate programs, while Netflix needed 35 shows to only double up Hulu's count.

    But even leaving Netflix out of it, this was a fantastic year for Hulu, and the Emmy nominations reflected that. That 28-nomination haul in 2018 was almost entirely due to The Handmaid's Tale, which scored 20 nominations on its own that year. This year, Hulu's 58 nominations were much more spread out. Outstanding Comedy Series nominee Only Murders in the Building scored 17 total nominations, while The Great added four mour, including acting nods for Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult. Meanwhile, Hulu dominated the Outstanding Limited Series category — as expected — with nominations for Dopesick, The Dropout, and Pam & Tommy, the latter being a surprisingly robust Emmy performer overall with 10 nominations.

    And if intra-conglomerate bragging rights are your thing, it should also be noted that Hulu's 58 total nominations bested fellow Walt Disney Company streaming platform Disney+, which only managed 34 nominations. Chalk up one more murder in the building.

    Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, Hulu, Dopesick, The Dropout, The Great, Only Murders In The Building , Pam & Tommy