Net scores ten Emmys

Fox didn’t manage to beat NBC in the ratings last season, but in terms of Emmy love, Rupert Murdoch’s net is now king of the broadcasters.

Thanks to a strong showing by frosh laffer “Arrested Development,” Fox managed to score a total of 10 Emmys (including creative arts awards handed out a week ago). NBC, meanwhile, settled for second place, earning eight statuettes — down noticeably from last year’s tally of 15.

But the real story was the continued decline of the broadcast nets at the expense of cable — HBO in particular. Pay cabler’s whopping tally of 32 awards was more than the six broadcast nets earned combined.

CBS had a particularly bad Emmy year.

After hauling 18 statuettes in 2003 — the best in nearly 10 years –the Eye went home last night with two awards (behind A&E and tied with Cartoon Network and Viacom siblings Comedy Central, Showtime and UPN). And none of the net’s scripted shows or actors was called on stage Sunday.

ABC earned seven awards overall, tied with PBS.

The Emmy wins for Fox offer the net some solace as it begins what’s likely to be another tough fall. It also reinforces the net’s schizophrenic image as the home to both TV’s most critically praised shows and the medium’s most reviled (if sometimes popular) reality skeins.

But 20th Century Fox TV’s 12 Emmy wins — the most of any major studio — stands as an example of how vertical integration can work. Ten of those 12 statuettes were for Fox skeins (“Arrested,” “24”).

Meanwhile, HBO’s thrashing of the broadcast nets, thanks in part to the ultra-expensive “Angels in America,” will no doubt renew cries from some broadcasters about the cabler’s unfair advantage in the kudo race.

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