Emmy Grows a Pair

The nominations for the 2013 Emmy Awards were announced last Thursday. I had intended to write up a post on the subject for that day or Friday, but life intervened and I got busy with other things. And frankly, the Emmys always nominate the same small handful of shows year after year anyway. Would anyone even care? But then a funny thing happened and Emmy decided to do something just a little bit ballsy this year.

The political drama ‘House of Cards’ received nine nominations in all, including Best Drama Series and Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series for star Kevin Spacey. The newly revived season of ‘Arrested Development’ also picked up three nominations, the most high profile of which was Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Jason Bateman. Neither show actually aired on television over the past year. Both premiered online-only via Netflix.

The Emmy rules were amended back in 2007 to allow recognition of “qualified broadband programming.” Prior to this, the most notable web series to be rewarded was Joss Whedon’s musical ‘Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog’, which received a Creative Arts Emmy in 2009. This year marks the first time that online content has been nominated in any of the top artistic categories.

Not only is this a victory for the future of online programming, it’s another humiliating defeat for the four major broadcast networks, which were all completely shut out of the Best Drama Series category in favor of cable, PBS and now Netflix.

The most nominations overall went to ‘American Horror Story’ with 17. Despite completing its second season, Emmy continues to define the show as a miniseries. (Although I’m a big ‘AHS’ fan, this second season wasn’t nearly as good as the first.) Close behind was ‘Game of Thrones’ with 16 nominations and Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace bio-pic ‘Behind the Candelabra’ with 15.

The remaining slots in the major categories were mainly filled by repeat nominees like ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Homeland’, ‘Mad Men’, ’30 Rock’ (so far past its prime that any award talk is laughable), ‘Modern Family’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory’. However, Vera Farmiga from ‘Bates Motel’ makes another welcome and worthy new addition.

Drama Series
  1. ‘Breaking Bad’ (AMC)
  2. ‘Downton Abbey’ (PBS)
  3. ‘Game of Thrones’ (HBO)
  4. ‘Homeland’ (Showtime)
  5. ‘House of Cards’ (Netflix)
  6. ‘Mad Men’ (AMC)
Comedy Series
  1. ’30 Rock’ (NBC)
  2. ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (CBS)
  3. ‘Girls’ (HBO)
  4. ‘Louie’ (FX)
  5. ‘Modern Family’ (ABC)
  6. ‘Veep’ (HBO)
Miniseries or Movie
  1. ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ (FX)
  2. ‘Behind the Candelabra’ (HBO)
  3. ‘The Bible’ (History)
  4. ‘Phil Spector’ (HBO)
  5. ‘Political Animals’ (USA)
  6. ‘Top of the Lake’ (Sundance Channel)
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
  1. Hugh Bonneville, ‘Downton Abbey’
  2. Bryan Cranston, ‘Breaking Bad’
  3. Jeff Daniels, ‘The Newsroom’
  4. Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’
  5. Damian Lewis, ‘Homeland’
  6. Kevin Spacey, ‘House of Cards’
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
  1. Connie Britton, ‘Nashville’
  2. Claire Danes, ‘Homeland’
  3. Michelle Dockery, ‘Downton Abbey’
  4. Vera Farmiga, ‘Bates Motel’
  5. Elisabeth Moss, ‘Mad Men’
  6. Kerry Washington, ‘Scandal’
  7. Robin Wright, ‘House of Cards’
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
  1. Alec Baldwin, ’30 Rock’
  2. Jason Bateman, ‘Arrested Development’
  3. Louis C.K., ‘Louie’
  4. Don Cheadle, ‘House of Lies’
  5. Matt LeBlanc, ‘Episodes’
  6. Jim Parsons, ‘The Big Bang Theory’
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
  1. Laura Dern, ‘Enlightened’
  2. Lena Dunham, ‘Girls’
  3. Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’
  4. Tina Fey, ’30 Rock’
  5. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, ‘Veep’
  6. Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’

The Emmy Awards will air Sunday, September 22nd on CBS. You can find the full list of nominations on the official Emmys web site.

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