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HBO conquers TV's Emmy Awards, Apple nabs first trophy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - AT&T Inc’s HBO network triumphed at Sunday’s Emmy Awards with 30 wins, including best drama “Succession” and limited series “Watchmen,” while Apple Inc took home its first award for the iPhone maker’s dive into streaming television.

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

Winning the highest honors 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 Co, 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 honored 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 following 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” honors also were a victory for Netflix. The series has streamed 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.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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