'House of Cards' and the Emmys: Not as big a game-changer as you might think

house-of-cards-emmy-noms.jpgThe Emmys' embrace of "House of Cards" is potentially a watershed moment for the awards: It's the first-ever show not delivered by a traditional broadcast or cable network to be nominated for best drama series, and it picked up nine total nominations, including acting nods for stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.

Netflix is understandably proud of the recognition: In its first year as a maker of TV instead of just a distributor of it, it has broken through to stand among networks who have been making shows for far longer.

Had "House of Cards" debuted on one of those traditional channels, though, its Emmy debut might not have been seen as such a big deal -- noteworthy, for sure, but not necessarily game-changing.

To be clear, nine nominations is hardly chump change. Only a dozen other programs this year received more. But in terms of "prestige dramas" -- i.e., those that seem like they're geared to get awards recognition -- in their first year of eligibility, "House of Cards" is pretty much in the middle of the pack.

Zap2it looked at the Emmy hauls for the inaugural seasons of 15 other high-profile dramas since 1999 -- the first year of eligibility for "The Sopranos" and the start of cable's big push into the Emmy series categories. Here's how they rank.

"Six Feet Under" (2002): 23 nominations, 6 wins
"The West Wing" (2000): 18 nominations, 9 wins
"Boardwalk Empire" (2011): 18 nominations, 8 wins
"Mad Men" (2008): 16 nominations, 6 wins
"The Sopranos" (1999): 16 nominations, 4 wins
"Game of Thrones" (2011): 13 nominations, 2 wins
"Lost" (2005): 12 nominations, 6 wins
"Deadwood" (2004): 11 nominations, 2 wins
"24" (2002): 10 nominations, 2 wins
"Homeland" (2012): 9 nominations, 6 wins
"The Good Wife" (2010): 9 nominations, 1 win
"House of Cards" (2013): 9 nominations
"House" (2005): 5 nominations, 1 win
"Breaking Bad" (2008): 4 nominations, 2 wins
"Dexter" (2007): 3 nominations, 2 wins
"The Shield" (2002): 3 nominations, 1 win
Photo/Video credit: Netflix
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