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Netflix chief hails night of success for streamers at the Emmys

·2-min read

Netflix’s TV chief has hailed an “historic” moment for streamers following a dominant showing at the biggest night in US TV.

The Crown brought Netflix its first-ever outstanding drama series prize at the Primetime Emmys Awards.

The company also took home another of the ceremony’s most prestigious awards – outstanding limited series for The Queen’s Gambit – while Apple TV+ show Ted Lasso won the top comedy accolade.

2021 Primetime Emmy Awards – Arrivals
Anya Taylor-Joy starred in The Queen’s Gambit, which won a major award at the Emmys (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

In total, Netflix won 44 Emmys this year, equalling a record set by CBS in 1974.

Bela Bajaria, the company’s head of global TV, was delighted with the haul.

She said: “Last night was an historic night in many ways and tying the record of CBS’s of 44 wins from 1974, I believe right, when there was three networks. It was historic.

“The Crown sweeping all seven drama series categories was historic. It was an historic night for streaming, to win drama, comedy and the limited award.”

Bajaria said she was specifically elated with The Crown’s success, after its stars Olivia Colman, Josh O’Connor, Gillian Anderson and Tobias Menzies all won acting awards.

Netflix stepped up its original programming in 2013, with prestige shows including House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black.

It now spends billions of dollars on its own content.

Peter Friedlander, Netflix’s head of US and Canada scripted series, recalled a time when the streaming giant was not even sure it was eligible for the Emmys.

“I was here eight years ago when we started having drama shows with House Of Cards and we had no idea if we were going to be eligible even,” he said. “So to be where we are as of last night eight years later felt like such a sea change and it’s so thrilling.”

While the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards were historic for streamers, there was criticism of TV Academy voters for not recognising any actors of colour, despite a record number of diverse nominees.

Britain The Crown Primetime Emmy Screening
Olivia Colman added to Netflix’s Emmys haul (Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Bajaria said Netflix will continue championing diversity and she was disappointed not to see shows such as Bridgerton and Never Have I Ever among the winners.

She said: “We did put a lot of support behind diverse shows like Bridgeton. We also put a lot of support behind Never Have I Ever, which as you know is very near and dear to me and I wish that we would have seen that recognised.”

Bajaria added: “We’re going to continue to always develop behind the camera, in front of the camera, more diverse stories and we’re going to support them through award shows and campaigns like we did this year.”

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