Cable kings HBO, FX upstage online competitors at TV's Emmys

Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:28am EDT
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It was a repeat for HBO at television's Emmy awards on Sunday as the premium cable network's "Game of Thrones" and "Veep" won the night's top trophies, thwarting competition from deep-pocketed streaming services for the industry's highest honors.

Perennial Emmy favorite HBO won 22 honors overall, the biggest haul for any single network. For the second year in a row, Emmy voters chose political satire "Veep" as best comedy and dragon-filled fantasy epic "Game of Thrones" as best drama.

"Game of Thrones" writer D.B. Weiss thanked Time Warner-owned HBO on stage for "the support and resources to keep this giant lizard flying."

Basic-cable channel FX, owned by 21st Century Fox, shared the spotlight with 18 awards. The network's true-crime mini-series "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" scored nine trophies, second to the 12 for "Game of Thrones."

Emmy recognition can help bring in bigger audiences, and more advertising dollars, at networks like FX that run commercials. For pay cable or streaming services, the awards glow can help attract new customers.

The competition escalated in recent years as newcomers like Netflix Inc and Inc poured money into programming, setting off a battle for top talent and the most buzz-worthy shows.

Netflix says it will spend $5 billion on programming this year, more than double the roughly $2 billion spent by HBO. FX's programming budget is one-sixth the size of Netflix's, FX President John Landgraf told the Television Critics Association in August.

Louie Anderson, winner for best supporting actor for comedy "Baskets," credited FX with worrying less than others about initial ratings.   Continued...

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses backstage with her awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series for her role in HBO's  "Veep" at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California U.S., September 18, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Blake