‘House of Cards’ drama makes Emmy history

Netflix’s House of Cards made Emmy history with a top drama series nod, the first time television’s leading awards have recognised a programme delivered online as equal in quality to the best that TV has to offer.

‘House of Cards’  drama makes Emmy history

The nomination, one of nine nods earned by the political thriller, is a marker in the unfolding revolution in how we get and watch programmes.

The most Emmy nominations, 17, went to American Horror Story: Asylum. Close behind was Game of Thrones with 16 nods, while Saturday Night Live and Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra earned 15 nominations each, including nods for stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright received acting bids, along with a number of other primarily big- screen actors who have migrated to television for powerhouse projects, with Douglas and Damon among them.

Another Netflix series, Arrested Development, did not earn a best comedy series but scored three nods, including one for star Jason Bateman.

Joining House of Cards and Game of Thrones in the best drama series category are Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, and Homeland.

Mad Men, which last year missed out on the best drama trophy that would have been its record-setting fifth, gets another shot this year.

The major broadcast networks were shut out of the prestigious category, a repeat of last year and a particular blow with the entry of Netflix’s streamed drama. Boardwalk Empire was the only show not to return in the category, its spot claimed by House of Cards.

In the comedy series category, nominees are The Big Bang Theory, Girls, Louie, Modern Family, Veep, and 30 Rock, recognised for its final season.

A six-year-old TV academy rules change allows online entries to compete with cable and broadcast shows, although so far internet shows have popped up only in lower- profile categories. That changed with the 65th Primetime Emmys.

“It certainly is a marker of the new era... It will send shock waves through the industry,” said Tim Brooks, a TV historian and former network executive.

More in this section

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox