Analysis: Emmys honor ‘The Crown’ and ‘Ted Lasso’ early, as Netflix and streaming look to make history

Photos: Emmy winners 2021 Photos: Emmy winners 2021 Photos: Emmy winners 2021 Photos: Emmy winners 2021 Photos: Emmy winners 2021 Photos: Emmy winners 2021 Photos: Emmy winners 2021 Photos: Emmy winners 2021 Photos: Emmy winners 2021 (CNN)Netflix has a chance to make history at this year’s Emmys, nabbing early prizes for "The Crown" while some comedy honors went to the star player on another streaming service, Apple TV+’s "Ted Lasso," giving the TV industry’s main award a decidedly British flavor.

Netflix began its Sunday assault on the Emmy record books by sweeping the opening flurry of drama categories, with supporting Emmys for Gillian Anderson and Tobias Menzies as Margaret Thatcher and Prince Philip, respectively, as well as writing and directing prizes for its acclaimed fact-based drama "The Crown."

Apple’s comedy series claimed supporting prizes for Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein, having already received a trio of wins in technical categories at the Creative Arts Emmys, which were handed out a week ago. HBO’s limited series "Mare of Easttown" also swept the supporting awards in its category — which included nominees from "Hamilton" — for Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters.

Even before Sunday night’s 73rd annual ceremony, this is shaping up to be a banner year for streaming in general, and Netflix in particular. Despite the crush of new competitors, the service amassed 34 awards at the Creative Arts honors — devoted primarily to technical categories, like editing and production design — exceeding the combined total of second and third-place finishers Disney+ and HBO/HBO Max with 13 and 10, respectively.

The record for Emmys by a network in a single year was set in another era: CBS shows took home 44 awards in 1974, before the age of cable and streaming.

Hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, the show opened with a rap performance celebrating television involving much of the in-person crowd, a departure from last year’s virtual ceremony. "We all vaxxed," the host said, adding, "I did not have a reaction like Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend. "

Last year, combining all ceremonies HBO topped all outlets with 30 awards, compared to 21 for Netflix, whose previous high was 27 Emmys in 2019. No rival had surpassed HBO in total wins in 20 years, including a tie with Netflix in 2018.

Netflix began its aggressive push into original programming in 2013 with the series "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black," but it has never won the coveted best drama or comedy series prizes. Other streaming services have, with wins for Hulu’s "The Handmaid’s Tale" and Amazon’s "Fleabag" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."

Neither of last year’s winners were in contention. HBO’s "Succession" didn’t air during the eligibility window (it returns in October), and "Schitt’s Creek" was recognized for its final season. Like CNN, HBO is a unit of WarnerMedia.

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