HBO Reigns Victorious at Virtual 2020 Emmy Awards


It’s a precarious time to be in entertainment but things are looking pretty good for HBO. Over the weekend, the 72nd Emmy Awards ceremony was held virtually due the ongoing pandemic. CNN reports that essential workers were highlighted as presenters at the awards ceremony. The virtual nature of the ceremony also allowed for intimate looks into the lives (and homes) of Emmy nominees. COVID-19 has affected the production of many television series. And unfortunately, viewership for this year’s Emmy Awards was low.  But the virtual attendees of the 2020 Emmys still found reason to celebrate.


This year, HBO no longer had its popular series Veep and Game of Thrones to thank for nominations. But HBO continued its tradition of dominating the Emmy Awards. Overall, HBO brought home 30 awards, the most of any network, thanks to programming like Watchmen and Succession.

While the Primetime Emmys reward excellence in acting, writing, and direction, the Creative Arts Emmys celebrate what goes on behind the scenes. HBO brought home 19 awards from the Creative Arts Emmys.

HBO’s Watchmen led the charge this year, raking in 11 awards total. This creative take on the super-hero genre won “Outstanding Limited Series.”  Regina King, who plays Sister Night in the show was recognized as an “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.” You can watch King’s acceptance speech here:

King’s colleague Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was also awarded “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.”

Additionally, Watchmen was recognized for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or Movie, Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes, Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie, and Outstanding Sound Mixing For a Limited Series or Movie.

Despite HBO’s success with Watchmen this awards season, series creator Damon Lindelof remains firmly decided that a second season will not be in the works. Too bad.


Succession also made HBO proud, bringing in 7 awards including “Outstanding Drama Series.” Jeremy Strong was awarded “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” for his portrayal of Kendall Roy.

Additionally, Succession received awards for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series.

Euphoria, HBO’s mature take on teenage angst, won 3 Emmy Awards with Zendaya taking home “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.” Notably, Zendaya is the youngest person to win an Emmy for lead actress at 24. Unlike Watchmen, fans of Euphoria can look forward to a second season of the series

IKnowThisMuchIsTrue_TitleMark Ruffalo was also awarded “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie” for his work in HBO’s I Know This Much Is True

The Emmys weren’t just impressed with HBO’s drama programming. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver won four awards including “Outstanding Variety Talk Series” and “Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series.” Deadline reports that this is Oliver’s fifth win in a row. Unlike HBO’s more complex series, Last Week Tonight has been able to continue filming safely during the pandemic. It is safe to say that we can expect more awards for Last Week Tonight next year.


Other wins for HBO included “Outstanding Television Movie” for Bad Education and “Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special” for The ApolloInsecure also secured a win for “Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series.”

Finally, HBO won “Outstanding Children’s Program” for We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest.

The pandemic made for a memorable night of virtual awards, but it was business as usual for HBO. HBO’s habit of sweeping the Emmy awards continues unchecked by the germs, murder hornets, forest fires, and other obstacles that 2020 has introduced. Here at HBO Watch, we aren’t surprised.

Looking for an award-winning series to add to your watchlist? HBO has assembled a YouTube playlist that will give you a taste of this year’s winning series.

Join us in the comments below to discuss HBO’s success at the 2020 Emmy Awards. 

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