HBO was the big winner at the 69th annual Emmy Awards on Sunday night, taking home 10 total awards, but Hulu made big gains this year thanks to multiple wins for “The Handmaid’s Tale” — and became the first streaming service to take home a best series Emmy.
HBO swept the limited series categories with “Big Little Lies,” with the Reese Witherspoon-Nicole Kidman drama winning in five of six categories for which it was nominated. The premium cable network also picked up multiple wins for both “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” and “Veep.”
The other big winner of the night was Hulu, which made itself a serious awards contender this year for the first time with “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and then made good on that promise on Sunday.
“Handmaid” won five awards for Hulu during the broadcast, enough to put the streamer ahead of its competitor Netflix, which won four. Combined with last weekend’s Creative Arts awards, Hulu’s Margaret Atwood adaptation won eight Emmys this year, the same number as “Big Little Lies.”
The only series to win more trophies this year was the election-fueled “Saturday Night Live,” which won nine across both ceremonies. On Sunday, the NBC sketch comedy series won four awards — including acting trophies for Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin.
Combined with one win each for “The Voice” and “This Is Us,” “SNL’s” take was enough to put NBC in second place on Sunday night, with six total awards. In total, the network won 15 trophies — the highest of any broadcast network, but third overall behind HBO (29 total) and Netflix (20 total).
Last year, FX made HBO sweat when it tied the pay cabler in total awards, but FX had a down year this time around, winning just two trophies on Sunday and six overall. The cable network had primarily been nominated in the limited series categories, but was largely shut out by HBO’s “Big Little Lies” and “The Night Of.”