HBO/HBO Max was on a roll tonight, winning 12 categories more than all other networks and streamers combined. Factoring in the Creative Arts, HBO/HBO Max led the field with 37 Emmys vs. 26 for its main rival Netflix, which had a more modest haul of three trophies tonight.
The drama race was competitive, with Netflix’s global phenom Squid Game picking up two key wins, for star Lee Jung-jae and director Hwang Dong-hyuk.
“As a fan, I’m excited. I thought it was a great show,” HBO and HBO Max’s Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys told Deadline about the game-changing Korean drama at the HBO/HBO Max Emmy afterparty.
Still, it was competition, and Bloys was rooting for HBO’s Succession. The corporate/family drama and Mike White’s social satire White Lotus combined for eight of HBO/HBO Max’s 12 wins. Next year, the two shows, overseen by head of drama Francesca Orsi, will go head to head in the drama series categories. Competing as a limited series this year, The White Lotus‘ upcoming Italy-set second season, which debuts in October, will be reclassified as a drama series because it features newly minted Emmy winner Jennifer Coolidge’s character from the Hawaii-set Season 1.
“I’ve seen the first four [episodes], it’s fantastic,” Bloys said. “Mike White puts together a great cast, I’m very excited for everyone to see the work and this cast.”
There already has been chatter about a third season, with Season 1’s Connie Britton telling Deadline in July that her and White’s “intention” is to being her character back for Season 3.
“Who knows what Mike is thinking but whatever he was thinking, I’m sure I’ll be very, very excited by it,” Bloys said.
Staying with the theme of Season 1, White was making the rounds at the HBO party with a Lei around his neck.
Succession’s upcoming fourth season will debut in the spring, Bloys confirmed to Deadline. Like creator Jesse Armstrong, Bloys was tightlipped about what is in store for next season. “More delicious drama. That’s all I can give you,” he said.
Barry, which was shut out this year, also will be back in Emmy contention next year.
“That’s a show — of course I think everybody should have been recognized — I think Bill [Hader] directed phenomenal episodes and Henry [Winkler] is a national treasure. We’ll be back next year, next season, and hopefully [the show will fare well].”
Having HBO/HBO Max’s top shows eligible again next season is key as, without Succession, Barry and Euphoria (and no limited series frontrunner) the company finished second to Netflix in 2021 with 19 Emmys to Netflix’s 44.
Euphoria again will skip a year, its third season is expected to start filming in March for Emmys 2024 consideration. And, despite some speculation, Season 3 won’t be the last, with Bloys and his team looking to keep the series going, evolving it as its characters get older.
New HBO/HBO Max series Bloys expects to join the Emmy race next year include House Of the Dragon, whose predecessor Game Of Thrones was an Emmy juggernaut, The Last Of Us, David E. Kelley’s Love and Death starring Elizabeth Olsen, and Steven Soderbergh’s Full Circle, toplined by Zazie Beetz and Claire Danes.
One show that you can set by your Emmy clock by is HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which keeps winning for Variety Talk Series. Bloys is not taking the show’s success for granted and hopes to keep it on beyond its current deal, which is up next year.
“i think the reason Last Week Tonight continues to resonate is that John, Liz [Stanton] and Tim [Carvell] produce not only a funny show but one that is highly informative and intellectually rigorous,” he said. “We’re lucky to showcase their work on HBO and look forward to many seasons to come.”
It is not clear yet whether HBO Max’s Hacks, which has been an MVP, releasing new seasons during the pandemic both in 2020 and 2021, and winning two Emmys in a row for star Jean Smart, will make the Emmys 2023 eligibility window; this year it barely squeaked in at the very end of it in May.
Bloys recently consolidated the HBO and HBO Max comedy departments under HBO’s head of comedy Amy Gravitt. Should we expect changes in Max comedy going forward?
“They will continue to just do the best shows,” Bloys said. “The Max comedy team has put together a great stable of comedies, so I don’t see that changing. And it’s really about putting what I think is the best comedy team in the business together.”
The dominating Emmy performance over the past week comes after a tough period at HBO/HBO Max that saw post-Discovery merger layoffs. Bloys recognized those who made the wins possible.
“The results really represent years of work of the creators, the people who work on the shows, the executives at HBO. It’s very exciting and really gratifying,” he said.
HBO/HBO Max and its executives got a lot of shoutouts from the stage tonight by the winners. And then there was White who failed to mention his employer when accepting both the writing Emmys for The White Lotus. He rectified that with an apology during his Outstanding Anthology Series victory speech. And Bloys confirmed there are no hard feelings.
“Of course not. Mike could not have been a greater partner,” Bloys said. “I’m going go downstairs and give him a hug.”