LOS ANGELES — When Netflix snapped HBO's 17-year streak as Emmy nominations leader, more than bragging rights switched hands. It represented the breathtaking change in how audiences get and watch TV and the threat to traditional TV networks from streaming services.
Especially one like Netflix, whose multibillion-dollar investment in programming allowed it to rocket Thursday to 112 nominations just five years after launching its first original series, "House of Cards." That's double the total of nods it earned in 2016 and just ahead of HBO's 108 nods (down two from 2017).
Another streamed series, Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale," earned 20 nominations and a chance to defend its title as best drama series at the 70th Primetime Emmy ceremony airing Sept. 17 on NBC.
HBO still boasts the year's most-nominated series, "Game of Thrones" (22 nods) and "Westworld" (20), while Netflix fielded "The Crown" (13 nods) and "Stranger Things (12).
"Killing Eve" star Sandra Oh made as the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for lead acting honors in a drama series. Oh had earned five supporting bids for "Grey's Anatomy."
The TV industry has made recent strides toward inclusion, with Glover and Sterling K. Brown of "This Is Us" winning top acting awards last year and both nominated again. Only one nominations category is all-white, and in three categories minority actors account for more than half the nominees.
Among the notable first-time nominees: Issa Rae for "Insecure," Darren Criss, Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz for "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," Tiffany Haddish for "Saturday Night Live," Letitia Wright for "Black Museum (Black Mirror)" and John Legend for "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert."
HBO's fantasy dragons-and-swords saga is a two-time best drama winner that sat out the last year's awards because of its production schedule. Although it's up for top series honors, it drew only three supporting actor bids for cast members Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage.
"The Handmaid's Tale," the dystopian sci-fi series based on Margaret Atwood's novel, drew 20 bids, including one for last year's best actress winner, Elisabeth Moss, and supporting bids for Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd, Yvonne Strahovski and Joseph Fiennes.