But he was not the star of the night. The ’90s hits blaring from the D.J. booth were no match for the applause that erupted when Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the star and creator of “Fleabag,” made her way into the party, with her boyfriend, the writer-director Martin McDonagh, in tow. From the second she walked in, Ms. Waller-Bridge was so besieged by well wishers that she could barely get a bite of food or even light her cigarette.
No wonder. “Fleabag” upset the HBO awards show juggernaut “Veep” for best comedy and Ms. Waller-Bridge, the star and creator of “Fleabag,” claimed three Emmys over all. She beat out Julia Louis-Dreyfus to win best actress in a comedy, the first time in the show’s seven seasons that Ms. Louis-Dreyfus did not win.
“We had a great night,” said Mr. McDonagh. “I was hoping for one. Who knew?”
Amazon has had the reputation in Hollywood for being a sleeping giant. It spends plenty and it has seemingly infinite resources, but, despite the earlier success of shows like “Transparent,” its overall impact has been muted.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Now, between “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Fleabag,” it has back-to-back Emmy comedy winners. And it is a sign that there are plenty of competitors — particularly from the tech world — ready to go toe to toe with HBO.
With all that, HBO is not pushing the panic button just yet.
“I have the benefit of being here for 15 years so I’ve heard this over and over again,” said Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming. “This is the world we live in and our formula of curation and betting on people we believe in and doing the hard work, it pays off. I’m not going to say I’m not worried. You can’t do this job without being worried. But I feel really good about the future.”
Indeed, predicting HBO’s demise has been an entertainment world parlor game for years. After “The Sopranos” went off the air in 2007, rival executives dubbed the network “HB-Over.”
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe