5 45 p.m. Updated The Primetime Emmy Awards which bestowed its first honors on black and white game shows and anthologies 65 years ago suddenly seems downright futuristic.
On Thursday the online streaming network Netflix best known until recently for rerunning other companies old shows and films officially joined its cable and broadcast counterparts in the race for television s most prestigious prizes picking up more than a dozen nominations including a best drama nod for its political thriller House of Cards.
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright who portray the scheming husband and wife at the center of House of Cards were also nominated as lead actor and actress. The announcements represented the first time that series distributed via the Internet not television were nominated in top Emmy categories.The Emmy Awards
More coverage of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards including reports reviews interviews with nominees and more.
Ted Sarandos Netflix s chief content officer said he was thankful that the Emmy voters were so open to the idea of Internet distribution something that will seem like a no brainer in the future but that had few precedents until this year.
In a way it solidifies that television is television no matter what pipe brings it to the screen he said in a telephone interview.Melinda Sue Gordon for Netflix Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright were both nominated for their roles in House of Cards.
Mordecai Wiczyk a co founder of Media Rights Capital the studio that produced the series said For us what it shows is that if you support great artists and they do great work they get recognized.
The means of delivery and distribution are secondary to whether the work is great he added.
Netflix had campaigned for nominations for both House of Cards and Arrested Development the canceled Fox sitcom that it revived to much fanfare this year. Mr. Sarandos acknowledged some disappointment that Arrested was not among the six shows nominated for outstanding comedy. In a consolation of sorts one of the show s stars Jason Bateman was included in the lead actor in a comedy category one of the three nominations Arrested earned.
Over all Netflix picked up 14 Emmy nominations 9 for House of Cards including 1 for David Fincher who directed the first episode 3 for Arrested Development and 2 for Hemlock Grove a horror series that had its debut in the spring.
Its rival HBO which has been making critically acclaimed shows for decades had 108 nominations its highest total in nearly a decade. Last year it earned 81.
Nominees in major categories are listed below. The full list is available at emmys.com.
The race that is traditionally the most closely watched in the TV industry is outstanding drama. In that category House of Cards will challenge one HBO series Game of Thrones as well as last year s winner Homeland from Showtime and the four time winner Mad Men on AMC. PBS s Downton Abbey and AMC s Breaking Bad were also nominated.
In part because of Netflix competition in the major acting categories was stiffer than ever as evidenced by the absence of the actress Julianna Margulies who had been nominated for The Good Wife for the past three years and had won in 2011. The new FX drama The Americans was also shut out from the major categories. Otherwise the surprises were relatively few and far between in the lead actor in a drama category Damian Lewis of Homeland was joined by Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad Hugh Bonneville of Downton Abbey Jon Hamm of Mad Men Mr. Spacey and in the only major nod to HBO s Newsroom Jeff Daniels.
In the lead actress category last year s winner Claire Danes also of Homeland was joined by Vera Farmiga of Bates Motel on AE Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men Ms. Wright and two stars of ABC dramas Connie Britton of Nashville and Kerry Washington of Scandal.
It is always a real surprise and a real thrill Ms. Britton said of her nomination which followed several previous nods for her roles on NBC s Friday Night Lights and FX s American Horror Story.
The most nominated show was American Horror Story Asylum which was submitted as a mini series and which received 17 nominations. Game of Thrones was the most nominated drama with 16 nominations and 30 Rock was the most nominated sitcom with 13. NBC s Saturday Night Live picked up 15 nominations a record for that 38 year old show.
For NBC s 30 Rock which won the best comedy Emmy in 2007 2008 and 2009 this year is its last opportunity to take the prize back from ABC s Modern Family which has taken home the award for the past three years. Those two shows were nominated along with HBO s Girls and Veep FX s Louie and CBS s Big Bang Theory.
With three shows in contention for the top comedy prize the broadcast networks fared better in comedies than in dramas continuing a pattern that is now several years old. This year just as last none of the commercial networks earned a best drama nomination though the noncommercial PBS did for Downton Abbey.
The nominations were announced by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences the governing body that has overseen the awards since 1948.
The academy s chairman Bruce Rosenblum invoked the evolution that Netflix epitomizes in his opening remarks at a predawn news conference in Los Angeles. Television is on broadcast on cable and on demand over the Internet he said. This is truly an exciting time for us to be honoring the best of television.
Some people on Thursday drew analogies between the rise of HBO a generation ago and the rise of Netflix now. The results in both cases have included more choices for viewers and more competition for actors writers and directors. It seems likely that the academy will consider opening up the major categories to more nominees in the future.
For Netflix the nominations were another feather in an already stuffed cap coming almost six months after the release of House of Cards the first Netflix series that was perceived to be as good as anything on HBO Showtime or AMC. Emmy speculation surrounded House of Cards from the day all 13 episodes made their debuts at the same time online in part because the academy s eligibility rules were adjusted in the mid 2000s to include Internet distributed shows. (When that happened Netflix s streaming service hadn t even started yet. The company was still just shipping DVDs by mail.)
In recent years online shows like Web Therapy and Dr. Horrible s Sing Along Blog have been nominated in short form categories but the Internet s presence hadn t been felt in major categories like acting and directing. A series that Netflix imported from Scandinavia Lilyhammer was eligible for awards last year but did not receive any nominations. Of course that series did not break through to the wider public in the way that House of Cards did. Netflix lobbied aggressively for Emmy nominations for both this year even putting out election style lawn signs in West Hollywood.
But the effects of Emmy nominations or victories will be tough for Netflix to measure. What the awards provide is a kind of confirmation of the industry s respect and admiration something that doesn t immediately translate to its bottom line but is appreciated nonetheless.
Mr. Spacey said in a telephone interview that the method of distribution of House of Cards didn t change the creative process because the camera doesn t know it s a streaming camera any more than it s a TV camera or a film camera.
But he added it did affect the way we were able to create the series and that was very exciting.
He spoke from Baltimore where production of the show s second season is under way. Referring to the at home viewers ability to binge on episodes he said In some ways Netflix and all of us have maybe learned the lesson the music industry didn t learn.
For the next two months the Emmy winners will be announced on CBS on Sept. 22 debates will ensue about whether House of Cards is worthy of the outstanding drama prize. Breaking Bad after all has been passed over repeatedly despite being nominated three times previously. HBO s Game of Thrones has yet to win too despite being nominated twice before.
Alex Gansa a creator of Homeland no longer the underdog that it was last year said It s really nice to get the opportunity to defend our title this year. That s really the way I feel about it. When you start defending episodes and things you just can t help but sound like a whiner. We let the episodes and the season stand on their own.
The third season of the series will have its debut on Showtime in September and its success or failure will ultimately matter more than any Emmy statue. If I m anxious about anything he said it s about the third season not the second season.
Jeremy Egner and Dave Itzkoff contributed reporting.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad Hugh Bonneville Downton Abbey Damian Lewis Homeland Kevin Spacey House of Cards Jon Hamm Mad Men Jeff Daniels The Newsroom
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Vera Farmiga Bates Motel Michelle Dockery Downton Abbey Claire Danes Homeland Robin Wright House of Cards Elizabeth Moss Mad Men Connie Britton Nashville Kerry Washington Scandal
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Michael Douglas Behind the Candelabra Matt Damon Behind the Candelabra Toby Jones The Girl Benedict Cumberbatch Parade s End Al Pacino Phil Spector
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie Jessica Lange American Horror Story Asylum Laura Linney The Big C Hereafter Helen Mirren Phil Spector Sigourney Weaver Political Animals Elisabeth Moss Top of the Lake
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Jason Bateman Arrested Development Jim Parsons The Big Bang Theory Matt LeBlanc Episodes Don Cheadle House of Lies Louis C.K. Louie Alec Baldwin 30 Rock
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Laura Dern Enlightened Lena Dunham Girls Edie Falco Nurse Jackie Amy Poehler Parks and Recreation Tina Fey 30 Rock Julia Louis Dreyfus Veep
Outstanding Reality Competition Program The Amazing Race Dancing With the Stars Project Runway So You Think You Can Dance Top Chef The Voice
Outstanding Variety Series The Colbert Report The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Jimmy Kimmel Live Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Real Time With Bill Maher Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie American Horror Story Asylum Behind the Candelabra The Bible Phil Spector Political Animals Top of the Lake
Outstanding Comedy Series The Big Bang Theory Girls Louie Modern Family 30 Rock Veep
Outstanding Drama Series Breaking Bad Downton Abbey Game of Thrones Homeland House of Cards Mad Men
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Bobby Cannavale Boardwalk Empire Jonathan Banks Breaking Bad Aaron Paul Breaking Bad Jim Carter Downton Abbey Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones Mandy Patinkin Homeland
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Anna Gunn Breaking Bad Maggie Smith Downton Abbey Emilia Clarke Game of Thrones Christine Baranski The Good Wife Morena Baccarin Homeland Christina Hendricks Mad Men
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series George Mastras Breaking Bad Dead Freight Thomas Schnauz Breaking Bad Say My Name Julian Fellowes Downton Abbey Episode 4 David Benioff and D.B. Weiss Game of Thrones The Rains Of Castamere Henry Bromell Homeland QA
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Tim Van Patten Boardwalk Empire Michelle MacLaren Breaking Bad Gliding Over All Jeremy Webb Downton Abbey Episode 4 Lesli Linka Glatter Homeland QA David Fincher House of Cards
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Adam Driver Girls Jesse Tyler Ferguson Modern Family Ed O Neill Modern Family Ty Burrell Modern Family Bill Hader Saturday Night Live Tony Hale Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Mayim Bialik The Big Bang Theory Jane Lynch Glee Sofia Vergara Modern Family Julie Bowen Modern Family Merritt Wever Nurse Jackie Jane Krakowski 30 Rock Anna Chlumsky Veep
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Jeffrey Klarik Episodes Episode 209 Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon Louie Daddy s Girlfriend (Part 1) Greg Daniels The Office Finale Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock 30 Rock Hogcock Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield 30 Rock Last Lunch
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series Lena Dunham Girls On All Fours Paris Barclay Glee Diva Louis C.K. Louie New Year s Eve Gail Mancuso Modern Family Arrested Beth McCarthy Miller 30 Rock
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series The Colbert Report The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Jimmy Kimmel Live Portlandia Real Time With Bill Maher Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Reality Program Antiques Roadshow Deadliest Catch Diners Drive Ins and Dives MythBusters Shark Tank Undercover Boss
This post has been revised to reflect the following correction
Correction July 18 2013
An earlier version of this post misidentified the most nominated series. It was American Horror Story Asylum not Saturday Night Live. The post also misstated the total number of nominations for Saturday Night Live. It received 15 nominations not 171. The show has been nominated 171 times since it began in 1975. The post also misstated the number of times Mad Men has won the Emmy for outstanding drama. It has won four times not three.