Emmys 2013: 'House of Cards,' 'Arrested Development' change the game

kevin-spacey-325.jpgIf anything, the nominations for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards indicate the honors are changing, along with the television business itself.

And this year, that largely comes down to one word: Netflix.

That pay service has become a major player in the Emmys -- which CBS televises Sunday, Sept. 22 -- for the first time, thanks to the two projects it backed that viewers couldn't see anywhere else (before their later home video releases, anyway): the Americanization of "House of Cards" and the revival of "Arrested Development."

If the broadcast networks thought they had a lot to fear from cable, now they have direct delivery systems such as Netflix to contend with, too. And just how worrisome does cable continue to be for the ABCs, CBSes and NBCs of the world? Consider that only one of the six nominees for outstanding drama series -- "Downton Abbey" -- is from the broadcast world. And that's PBS.

It's the same thing with the nominees for outstanding lead actor in a drama series. Only Hugh Bonneville's "Downton Abbey" nomination is connected to broadcast TV. The others, from Jon Hamm ( "Mad Men") to Kevin Spacey ("House of Cards")? All from other sources.

One benefit is the entry of fresh projects and faces into the Emmy races, rather than the usual suspects continuing to turn up year after year. However, the downside is that some of the fields are so crowded, they eliminate space for some who deserve to be there ... such as, in this writer's humble opinion, this year's surprisingly absent Julianna Margulies (who has earned every nomination she's gotten for "The Good Wife," including her win two years ago).

Will the Emmys be the usual star-watching parade again? Sure ... but if you really look at the nominees, they represent a larger message that can't possibly be lost on those who work in television: The times, they keep a-changin'. And for viewers, if not for certain TV executives, that's largely proving to be a very good thing in terms of both quality and variety.
Photo/Video credit: Melinda Sue Gordon/Knight Takes King Prod.
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