Emmys Shakeup: Netflix Arrives as a Serious Contender

Jul 17, 2013  •  Post A Comment

With nominations for the Emmy Awards to be revealed Thursday, industry watchers believe two of Netflix’s shows — "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development" — are leading contenders to receive bids in the outstanding acting and program categories, reports Bill Carter in The New York Times.

"And if they are nominated, it would be the first time that slots in the most avidly pursued categories went to programs not specifically produced for the medium of television," Carter writes.

He continues: "The reaction to this development inside the traditional television business has been largely muted, with many executives suggesting that only the quality of the work is important. But to some, this is a moment reminiscent of the days when cable channels like HBO first began to challenge the dominance of broadcast networks like ABC."

"House of Cards" is likely to grab one of the six nominations for best drama, FX Chairman John Landgraf told Carter. That could kick off one of his network’s candidates, such as "Justified" or "The Americans."

"It would be the height of bad sportsmanship to seek to keep a show out because it comes from a different distribution system," added Landgraf, whose cable network is aggressive in its pursuit of Emmy recognition.

"More than anything else, Netflix’s arrival in the Emmy mix is disquieting to some broadcast and cable executives because it is probably only the beginning," Carter writes. "Though there is little evidence that winning Emmys drives up viewership (just ask Tina Fey about ’30 Rock’), creators and networks still see them as validation. Netflix clearly does; it campaigned ardently for nominations this year … including planting lawn signs in Los Angeles neighborhoods presumed to be dense with members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences."

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