Netflix's commitment to developing original content for its video streaming service appears to be paying off. Following the launch of House of Cards and a fourth season of Arrested Development earlier this year, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced both Netflix shows have been nominated in the 65th Emmy Awards — with Netflix becoming the first company to receive a nomination for an online-only show.
Political drama House of Cards was nominated for nine Emmys, including one for best drama series. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright also received acting nominations for their work. Arrested Development received three nominations in total, after Jason Bateman was nominated for best lead actor in a comedy series. Hemlock Grove also got in on the act with two nominations for music and special effects. Netflix won't have it all it's own way, House of Cards will be up against Homeland, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, and Game of Thrones for the coveted outstanding drama award. Even Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos wasn't expecting the company to fair so well: "The number of awards this morning  was sort of a shock for everybody. We didn't plan a big enough party."
"We didn't plan a big enough party."
The nominations are a huge boost for Netflix, which has already said "the goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us." The company vowed to generate a minimum of five original programs a year (doubling that number next year), putting aside more than $300 million to make projects like House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, and the recently released Orange Is The New Black available on the streaming service.
In 1999, The Sopranos became the first cable series to earn an Emmy nomination for best television drama. Nearly 15 years later, online-only shows are starting to make their presence known in the fiercely competitive TV show market. Netflix isn't the only company investing in original video content on the web; Amazon has said it aims to pick "somewhere between" zero and seven shows to produce for full-length seasons and has already added Alpha House (starring John Goodman) and Betas (centered around a Silicon Valley startup) to its development roster. If Amazon gets it right, we could see another online-only service vying for Emmy nominations next year.
I believe the first ever cable Drama Series nomination was Sopranos in '99. Less than 15 years to go from first-ever to totally dominating.— Linda Holmes (@nprmonkeysee) July 18, 2013