If it's an honor just to be nominated, streaming service Netflix can feel pretty honored after the 2014 Emmy nominations came out Thursday. Other online TV creators weren't as fortunate.
Netflix original programming grabbed an impressive share of nominations for the television industry awards — 31 nods in total. That's more than twice what it got in 2013. Netflix this year garnered more nominations than traditional broadcasters such as cable channel AMC and the Fox TV network.
Netflix's biggest 2014 Emmy draw was Kevin Spacey's political potboiler House of Cards, which received 13 nominations, including Best Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama (Spacey) and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Robin Wright). This is the second consecutive year Spacey and Wright received acting nods. House of Cardswon three Emmys last year, the first online TV show to win these coveted awards.
Netflix's Orange is the New Black also proved to be a darling of Emmy voters, grabbing 12 nominations. They include Best Comedy Series, and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Taylor Schilling. Another Netflix series, Derek, got a nomination for Ricky Gervais in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category.
As impressive as Netflix's nomination haul may be, it's still a drop in the bucket to HBO's total — 99 Emmy nominations to lead all other networks. In contrast, the Big Four TV networks are slowly losing ground. For instance, Fox has no entries in the five major categories; NBC only has one.
But you'd be hard pressed to find many other online TV providers and streaming services joining Netflix at this year's Emmy ceremonies. Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, which appears on Crackle, was nominated for Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program, as was AOL's Park Bench With Steve Buscemi. FunnyOrDie.com scored a Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program nomination for Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. Netflix, though, was the only streaming or online service to be recognized in the major award categories. As a result, Netflix's success isn't a big win for online TV production as much as it is a big win for Netflix exclusively, thanks to the money the content provider invests in creating quality original programming.
If there's a lesson to be drawn from Thursday's Emmy news, it's that online TV can compete with the best content that broadcast and cable TV produce. It's just that — with the exception of Netflix — the online TV industry has so far chosen not to.
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