'Game of Thrones' takes top Emmy drama honor on night of upsets

Lisa Richwine, Reuters

Posted at Sep 23 2019 11:59 AM | Updated as of Sep 23 2019 12:37 PM

HBO leads with 34 new honors to tout in streaming wars

The cast of ‘Game of Thrones’ stands on stage at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California. Mike Blake, Reuters

LOS ANGELES -- (UPDATE) Longtime Emmy darling HBO scored more wins than any other network at Sunday's Emmy awards, taking home 34 trophies, including best drama series for the final season of its global hit "Game of Thrones."

The accolades give HBO new bragging rights in the increasingly competitive battle for viewers of streaming video.

HBO is available on pay TV and online. Parent company AT&T Inc. plans to unveil an expanded streaming service called HBO Max next spring to compete with Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video, new offerings from Walt Disney Co. and Apple Inc., and others.

"Game of Thrones" scored 12 awards overall, while HBO's limited series "Chernobyl" won 10.

Amazon landed the Emmy for best comedy series and five other awards for its quirky British comedy "Fleabag," one of the company's 15 wins. "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," an Amazon comedy about a 1950s housewife-turned-comedian, received eight Emmys.

Netflix, the company that pioneered streaming video, finished in second place overall with 27 awards. They included best television movie for interactive film "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch," which let viewers choose plot turns throughout.

Executive producer Charlie Brooker, while accepting the award on stage, thanked Netflix's creative and technical team "who pulled off a magic trick."

HBO had dominated the Emmys for years with hits such as "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City." It ran up a 16-year streak as the most-honored network until 2018, when Netflix and HBO tied with 23 awards each.

HBO's Emmy dominance this year is welcome news for AT&T, a telecommunications and media conglomerate that is under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management Corp to improve its business. AT&T in 2018 bought Time Warner, owner of HBO, CNN and Warner Bros.

Among traditional networks, the National Geographic cable channel secured eight wins, most of them for documentary "Free Solo," and Comcast Corp.'s NBC won seven.

Following is a list of winners in key categories:

BEST DRAMA SERIES: "Game of Thrones" (HBO)
BEST COMEDY SERIES: "Fleabag" (Amazon Studios)
BEST COMEDY ACTOR: Bill Hader, "Barry"
BEST COMEDY ACTRESS: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, "Fleabag"
BEST DRAMA ACTOR: Billy Porter, "Pose"
BEST DRAMA ACTRESS: Jodie Comer, "Killing Eve"
BEST ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES: Michelle Williams, "Fosse/Verdon"
BEST ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES: Jharrel Jerome, "When They See Us"
BEST VARIETY TALK SERIES: "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" (HBO)