'House of Cards' makes Emmy history
Netflix's 'House of Cards' makes Emmy history with a top drama series nomination - the first time the Emmys have recognised an online show.PT1M48S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2q7x3 620 349 July 19, 2013
You don't need to be on a TV network to win a nod at TV's night of nights any more, as the Netflix-produced series House of Cards waltzed in and stole the show.
Netflix is an online television and film portal. It has just expanded its offering from TV library to producer of original content, notably the critically acclaimed political thriller House of Cards.
It is House of Cards, which starred Kevin Spacey and is based on an iconic British drama of the same name, which is the centre of all the talk. Netflix unveiled the series earlier this year, making all of the episodes available online at the same time.
Nods to Netflix: Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter star in the acclaimed Arrested Development.
It earned nine nominations in all, including acting nominations for its stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.
Another Netflix series, the fourth season of Arrested Development, won three nominations.
In fact, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which governs the ballot for the annual Primetime Emmy Awards - this year's ceremony will be the 65th - changed its rules to allow online programming six years ago.
TV hit: Breaking bad. Photo: AP
But this is the first year in which a TV program, produced exclusively for an online platform, has surfed into the top-tier categories.
The six nominated television dramas were: Breaking Bad (AMC), Downton Abbey (PBS), Homeland (Showtime), Game of Thrones (HBO), House of Cards (Netflix) and Mad Men (AMC).
Really, not The Good Wife, which is arguably network TV's best written drama?
American Horror Story: Asylum: 17 nominations. Photo: AP
And the surprise is not that Netflix placed in such good company, but just how much HBO ground has been eroded by other rivals, including the cable channels AMC and Showtime.
Most of the nominees in this category are returning nominees from previous years. HBO's Boardwalk Empire is the one that has been bumped to make room for House of Cards. That's Netflix 1, HBO 0.
The six nominated comedies are a much more predictable offering: The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Girls (HBO), Louie (FX), Modern Family (ABC), 30 Rock (NBC) and Veep (HBO).
Emmy history: Kevin Spacey's House of Cards.
At first glance it seems strange that a complex comedy drama such as Girls is put in the same category as more traditional sitcoms such as The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family.
It shines a light on one of the peculiarities of the Emmy Awards: the category is selected by the applicant, not the awards themselves, and because of almost a decade of dense competition in the drama category many shows have struggled to be heard.
For comedy/dramas, such as Desperate Housewives, they pitch themselves into the "comedy" category to get a look in. Desperate Housewives more or less qualified. Girls, in striking contrast, isn't exactly a hoot.
American Horror Story, with only 13 episodes in each season order, pitches itself instead as a miniseries, a move which has delivered it (and its owner, 20th Century Fox) a massive windfall.
The show's second season, American Horror Story: Asylum, was the most nominated program for this year's Emmys, with 17 nominations across the categories.
HBO's Game of Thrones was second with 16. Another HBO project, the telemovie, Behind The Candelabra, about the life of the iconic pianist and flamboyant entertainer Liberace, earned 15.
In some respects, this year's Emmys are a pretty easy prediction: House of Cards will clean up in the series drama categories, and you could expect Behind The Candelabra to take out most of its nominations.
Both generated enormous social media noise and, significantly, were discussed in Hollywood's corridors of power in the most flattering terms. Behind The Candelabra, particularly, seemed to deliver well above expectation.
The winners of the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced on September 22.