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Los Angeles — AT&T’s HBO network triumphed at Sunday’s Emmy Awards with 30 wins, including Best Drama Succession and Best Limited Series Watchmen, while Apple took home its first award for the iPhone maker’s dive into streaming television.

Netflix, which headed into the ceremony with a record 160 nominations, finished second with 21 honours. The Pop cable network, owned by ViacomCBS, took the top comedy prize for offbeat series Schitt’s Creek, which swept comedy categories to collect nine awards overall.

Winning the highest honours in television bestows a mark of prestige that networks can tout in their marketing to attract audiences in a crowded entertainment landscape. AT&T, Walt Disney, Apple and others have launched streaming video services to compete with online video pioneer Netflix.

HBO had long dominated the Emmys with hits such as The Sopranos, Sex and the City and Game of Thrones. Before Sunday, it was the most honoured network for 17 of the past 18 years. The exception was in 2018, when Netflix and HBO tied in Emmy wins.

This year, HBO’s alternative-reality drama Watchmen topped all shows with 11 awards, while the network’s media dynasty tale Succession earned seven.

The accolades were especially gratifying after questions about what HBO would do once megahit Game of Thrones ended in 2019, Casey Bloys, HBO programming president, said in an interview.

“This was a really nice way to answer that question,” he said.

Bloys also said the network succeeded by staying aware of growing competition “but not distracted by it”.

“We just continue to play our game and focus on shows we are proud of, and work with people we believe in,” he said.

Netflix’s awards included best supporting drama actress for Julia Garner in Ozark.

The Apple TV+ subscription streaming service secured its first Emmy for Billy Crudup's supporting role in The Morning Show as a manipulative executive at a news network rocked by a sexual harassment scandal.

Star Wars series The Mandalorian, a show on the Disney+ streaming service about a bounty hunter who protects Baby Yoda, won eight awards.

The Pop network scored best comedy for the sixth and final season of Schitt’s Creek, a series about a once-wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel in an out-of-the-way town. Filmed in Toronto, the show aired on the CBC network in Canada.

“Thanks to CBC and Pop for broadcasting this without hesitation,” creator and star Daniel Levy said as he accepted his award.

The Schitt’s Creek honours also were a victory for Netflix. The series has been streaming on Netflix since 2017, helping to boost the audience. Eugene Levy, who won best comedy actor, thanked Netflix for “the spark that seemed to start everything” for the show.

Reuters

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