The digital revolution at the Emmys is being fought by an army of one. With 31 nominations for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, Netflix more than doubled its 14 nods from last year. Its 12 nominations for the freshman season of comedy series Orange Is the New Black led the genre, while drama House of Cards fell just one short of last year’s 14 nominations. Acting nominations came through as expected for Orange’s Taylor Schilling and Cards’ Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, as well as Ricky Gervais of the otherwise unsung comedy Derek.
House of Cards was joined in the best drama category by Breaking Bad and Mad Men from AMC, Game of Thrones and True Detective from HBO and PBS’ Downton Abbey. Orange was nominated for best comedy alongside Silicon Valley and Veep from HBO, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, FX’s Louie and ABC’s Modern Family.
But Netflix’s windfall masked a lack of gains elsewhere from over-the-top networks. The number of nominations for digital services increased from 19 last year to 39 this year, but all but three of those new nods can be attributed to Netflix, which was once again the only digital outlet to crack the high-profile series categories. Competitors Amazon and Hulu earned zero nominations. AOL and FunnyOrDie.com earned their first nominations, but those came in the shortform categories.
For all the buzz around digital, cable is still the Emmy king. With its 99 nominations, HBO once again makes all other networks look like the Brazilian men’s national soccer team. Game of Thrones led all drama series with 19 nominations, though it failed to land a spot in any lead acting category. The network made up for Game’s lack of thespian love elsewhere, drawing five nominations for lead acting in drama and comedy series.
The network also scored with its decision to enter True Detective as a drama series rather than in the less competitive miniseries categories. The show drew 12 nominations, including lead-actor nods for Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey (his first Emmy nom) and Woody Harrelson. Last year’s drama-actor winner Jeff Daniels earned another nomination this year for The Newsroom, making HBO the first network to land three nominations in the category—which was rounded out by Spacey, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Mad Men’s Jon Hamm.
Showtime pulled off its own hat trick in the comedy-actor category, also a first, via House of Lies’ Don Cheadle, Episodes’ Matt LeBlanc and Shameless’ William H. Macy. Macy’s nomination came thanks to Showtime’s decision to submit Shameless as a comedy this year. Macy had failed to land a nomination for past seasons, when the show competed as a drama. The Showtime actors are joined by Gervais, The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons and Louie’s Louis C.K.
The hits just keep not coming for the Big Four broadcast networks, all of which drew fewer nominations than they did last year— though CBS’ 47 was the most of any network besides HBO. While the only lead-actor nomination for a broadcast series went to Parsons for his work on CBS’ Big Bang, female-friendly programming helped the broadcasters to four nominations in the lead-actress categories— five if you count Michelle Dockery of PBS’ Downton Abbey, and yes, you should. With 34 nominations, PBS nearly doubled the total for Fox (18) and came within striking distance of NBC (46) and ABC (37).
Dockery was nominated for best drama actress alongside Wright, Masters of Sex’s Lizzy Caplan, Homeland’s Claire Danes, The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies and Scandal’s Kerry Washington. Schilling was joined in the comedy-actress field by Girls’ Lena Dunham, Mike & Molly’s Melissa McCarthy, Nurse Jackie’s Edie Falco, Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler and Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Unsurprisingly, HBO dominated the studio race, earning 96 nominations. The Fox-run studios combined to finish second with 44 nods, followed by Sony Pictures Television at 36.
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