Regina King plays Angela Abar aka Sister Night on HBO's "Watchmen".
On the way to the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night, the biggest competition seems to be between HBO and Netflix.
The two networks have the most nominations this year and have fought for the most wins in recent years. HBO remains the reigning champion in this regard.
However, the dogfight between HBO and Netflix is part of a much larger trend in TV awards shows: subscription-based services are creating more Emmy Award-nominated and award-winning content.
In 2020, a disproportionately large number of nominees will not need cable or satellite television. Of the nearly 600 nominations for the Creative Arts Emmys and the Primetime Emmys, 385 are held by 12 streaming or premium cable networks.
On the flip side, 25 traditional cable networks make up the 208 remaining nominations.
Netflix leads the package with a record 160 nominations. The streaming service nodded for its drama shows "Ozark", "The Crown", "Unbelievable" and "Unorthodox" as well as for its comedies "Dead to Me" and "The Kominsky Method" and its competition series "Done."
HBO, which held the previous record with 137 nominations last year, scored 107 nods this year, including 26 for its limited series Watchmen, which was the most TV show that year.
New and old streaming services were also nominated this year. Amazon Prime Video's "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" received an additional 20 nods this year, and Disney +, which launched in November, earned a total of 19 nominations, including one for Best Drama Series for "The Mandalorian." Apple TV +, also a first-time nominee, received 18 nominations and Quibi received 10.
Of course, there are must-see shows on the cable. NBC's "The Good Place", Pop TV's "Schitt & # 39; s Creek" and AMC's "Better Call Saul" secured nominations for this year's ceremony.
"Chidi sees the timepiece" Episode 312 – Pictured: (from left) Kristen Bell as Eleanor, William Jackson Harper as Chidi, D & # 39; Arcy Carden as Janet, Manny Jacinto as Jason, Jameela Jamil as Tehani
NBC | NBCUniversal | Getty Images
NBC received 47 nominations, ABC 36, FX 33 and CBS 23.
Emmy nominations and wins for cable TV shows have dwindled in recent years. While these networks have breakout programs and robust shows like NBC's Saturday Night Live, many of the programs that once earned nominations and wins either ended or didn't generate the same buzz as they used to.
Last year, premium services dominated prime time broadcasts and won 21 of the 27 awards presented.
Some analysts have attributed the decline in cable nominations and profits to strict broadcast standards that censor obscene, indecent, and mundane content. Premium services like HBO, Netflix, and Prime Video don't have to follow so many rules.
Cable television is committed to both audiences and advertisers. The majority of advertisers do not want their products or services to be presented alongside inappropriate language or explicit sex scenes.
Streaming services and premium cable networks just need to keep the audience happy. When subscribers like a show, they'll still pay a monthly fee to watch it.
Netflix, HBO, and Amazon are also known for giving their content creators more leeway in storytelling and spending more money on multi-year contracts.
Netflix in particular was keen to attract talent. For the past decade, contracts have been signed with Guillermo del Toro ("Shape of Water"), Ryan Murphy ("Glee"), Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy") and D.B. Weiss and David Benioff ("Game of Thrones").
Amazon also spent $ 150 million on a five-year contract with the showrunners of HBO's "Westworld".
New entrants to the market, Apple TV +, Disney +, and even Quibi, have only further proven that quality content can be found without a cable subscription.
Annie Murphy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O & # 39; Hara and Dan Levy star in "Schitt & # 39; s Creek".
That being said, both "Schitt & # 39; s Creek" and "The Good Place" are strong contenders in the comedy category this year and could upset "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", who has won a number of trophies over the years Has.
Last year, Prime Video was recognized in this category for Phoebe Waller-Bridge's "Fleabag". In particular, both "Schitt & # 39; s Creek" and "The Good Place" are shows that ended this year and will not be available for future Emmy Awards.
BBC's Jodie Comer "Killing Eve" won the award for best performance by a leading actress in a drama series. She is nominated again this year, but faces competition from Olivia Colman, who was on Netflix's "The Crown" as Queen Elizabeth.
However, HBO's "Watchmen" will be hard to beat in the limited series category.
The 72nd Emmy Awards will air at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Here is the full list of prime time Emmy nominees.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.