Emmy voters rewrote the definition of television on Thursday morning as
Netflix's buzzed-about "House of Cards" crashed the Emmy
nominations with a stunning nine nominations.
In an extraordinarily competitive Outstanding Drama Series category,
Television Academy voters put a show that rolls out new episodes all at once up
against five that stick to the traditional timeline of once a week.
And for only the second time in history (albeit the second year in a row),
voters in the Emmys' drama category went with a slate of shows that didn't
contain a single series from any of the broadcast networks.
WIth these choices voters conceded that it's a brave new world in television,
making Beau Willimon's political drama a game-changer that parlayed Netflix's
multi-faceted Emmy campaign into nods for actors Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright (though surprisingly not
supporting-actor candidate Corey Stoll).
As TV Academy president Bruce Rosenblum said in introducing the nomination
anouncement, "Television is on broadcast, on cable and on demand on the
The presence of "House of Cards" in a category that also included perennial
nominees "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," "Downtown Abbey," "Homeland" and
"Game of Thrones" likely edged out FX's Cold War series "The Americans," which was considered
the other new show with a chance of breaking into the category.
Perhaps most surprisingly, two-time winner Eric Stonestreet became the only
one of the six main cast members of "Modern Family" not to land a supporting
actor or actress nomination; while Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O'Neill,
Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara were all nominated, Stonestreet was left out for
the first time in the show's four years on the air.
The least predictable category may well have been the reality-show host
category, in which seven-time winner Jeff Probst ("Survivor") was bypassed for
the second year in a row, and so was Phil Keoghan of "The Amazing Race" and
Carson Daly of "The Voice."
Instead, last year's winner, Tom Bergeron ("Dancing With the Stars") will
compete with Cat Deely ("So You Think You Can Dance"), Ryan Seacrest ("American Idol"), Heidi Klum ("Project Runway") and Anthony
Bourdain ("The Taste").
No show was completely dominant, the way some have been in past years. Ryan
Murphy's "American Horror Story: Asylum"
(right) led all programs with 17 nominations, one more than HBO's "Game
of Thrones," but its success is largely attributable to the fact that the series
got a special ruling that qualified it in the far less competitive miniseries or
movie categories, where it can rack up noms it would not have received if it had
competed as a drama series.
"Game of Thrones," meanwhile, was
predictably strong in the tech categories, but also landed three acting
nominations (for Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke and
Diana Rigg) to reach the most noms it has received in its three seasons.
Steven Soderbergh's HBO movie "Behind the Candelabra" tied
"Saturday Night Live" with 15 nominations -- and the "SNL" nods helped that
program break its own record as the most-nominated series ever, with 171 noms
over the past three decades.
(The most nominated individual in Emmy history, cameraman Hector Ramirez,
broke his own record with three more nominations, running his personal total to
In its final season, "The Office" only received three
nominations -- though that's three more than the comedy received last year, when
it was shut out completely.
And "The Americans," which was considered a strong contender for a
drama-series nod and a couple of lead-acting nominations, had to settle for one
guest-actress nom for Margo Martindale and another for its music.
And speaking of music: Emmy voters have given songwriter and composer Alan
Menken the opportunity to become only the 12th person to win the EGOT, the rare
Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony grand slam. Menken already has a Tony and multiple
Grammys and Oscars, and he received an Emmy nomination for his song "More or
Less the Kind of Thing You May or May Not Possibly See on Broadway" from the ABC
comedy "The Neighbors."
House of Cards deserves it! It is very well written and Kevin Spacey and cast are brilliant. I tell my friends that it is like the West Wing if the President was Keyser Soze. No one does slimy as well as Kevin Spacey.