Most of us over the age of 13 (HBO’s “The Sopranos” debuted in 1999) grew up in a television world where network programming reigned supreme. A lot of debate has been given to network-programming quality versus cable programming. And for the most part, during the first half of the aughts, the Emmys’ Drama Series category nominations were dominated by network shows, with the exception of the peppering of a “The Sopranos” here and a “Six Feet Under” there.
Last night’s Emmys showcased a Drama Series category completely devoid of any network nominations. And, here is how the rest of the cable vs. network saga breaks down.
9 total wins for the networks; 22 total wins for cable
NBC won zero(!) awards
Not one network show was even nominated for Best Drama this year
Out of the 9 network wins, “Modern Family” won 4 of the awards
4 out of the top 5 total award winners came from cable:
“Game of Thrones” 6
“Game Change” 5
“Hatfields & McCoys” 5
“Modern Family” 5
Wins for programs (as opposed to individuals starring in programs) were split: networks 2, cable 3
– “Homeland” (Drama Series)
– “Game Change” (Miniseries or Movie)
– “The Daily Show” (Variety Series)
– “The Amazing Race” (Competition Program)
– “Modern Family” (Comedy Series)
Wins for individuals were split networks 7, cable 18
Network with the most cumulative awards is ABC, 5
Cable network with the most awards is HBO, 6
Granted, Emmy awards are not a definitive judgment on the quality of a television show. But, they are significant indications of the shift in what people are watching, and what viewers and pundits consider to be quality television.
* Wins are considered the awards awarded during the primetime telecast