It should come as no surprise that Schitt’s Creek performed well at the Emmys on Sunday night. As David Rose might put it, things have gotten “very dark” of late—and what better comfort TV could anyone find than a sweet, deeply humane family comedy that also happens to star Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy?
But even the truest of believers might not have expected Schitt’s Creek to sweep like that. On Sunday night, the show became the first comedy series in 72 years to win all four acting Emmys and also took home the statuette for Outstanding Comedy Series. And while this is exceptional news for Canada’s CBC and Pop TV, which airs the series in the U.S., Netflix is likely celebrating as well.
The Netflix bump is a documented phenomenon; every now and again, a broadcast or cable series sees a spike in viewership after its producers strike a licensing deal with the streaming giant. It started with Breaking Bad, which saw a tremendous ratings spike in its fourth and fifth seasons after AMC made the show available on Netflix. Since then, series like Riverdale and Shameless, which became available on Netflix after seasons had aired, and You, which Netflix took over producing from Lifetime after Season 1, have reaped similar benefits.
But with Schitt’s Creek, Netflix’s contribution is more starkly recognizable. Breaking Bad and Shameless had already received the Academy’s attention before their Netflix debuts. Schitt’s Creek only received its first nomination last year after Netflix had boosted its popularity.
The Emmys have proven a somewhat elusive awards show for Netflix. Claire Foy’s win for The Crown remains the streamer’s only major-category acting win, although Jharrel Jerome, Regina King and others have won for limited series categories and supporting roles. Netflix also has yet to win outstanding comedy or drama.
Netflix likely would have preferred performers from its own series—like Betty Gilpin, nominated for supporting actress for the third time for Glow. But if the show that’s stealing all the gold statues away from HBO happens to be one it also provided a well-documented assist? Things could be worse.
And if Ozark manages to work some magic as the major categories begin, things could get even better in just a little while.