Detailed by the L.A. Times, Netflix’s gamble on original programming for streaming video has paid off on the awards show front with nine nominations for David Fincher’s House of Cards political drama starring Kevin Spacey. Regarding critical acclaim, this is easily the most significant success for a series that was released through online digital delivery. Some of the more notable Emmy nominations include Kevin Spacey for lead actor in a drama series, Robin Wright for lead actress in a drama series, director in a drama series and best drama series.
When the Emmy Awards show kicks off during late September, Netflix’s House of Cards will be going up against other popular dramas such as AMC’s Mad Men, HBO’s Game of Thrones, Showtime’s Homeland, AMC’s Breaking Bad and PBS’s Downton Abbey.
Beyond the four categories mentioned above, House of Cards also received nominations for editing, cinematography, casting, music composition and the main theme music. In addition, Netflix’s fourth season of Arrested Development received a lead actor nomination for Jason Bateman as well as a nod for editing and score. Netflix’s Hemlock Grove also got some attention in the visual effects department.
When asked about how Netflix’s online distribution model altered the creation process, Spacey said “Because we weren’t obligated to do a pilot, test it, come up with artificial cliffhangers and all that, we were able to get on with the story — and we had 26 episodes to do that. Netflix and MRC just went whole hog and said, ‘Go for it.’ That’s quite interesting and, frankly, a bit of a gamble — a two-season order with no pilot. That was unprecedented. And it allowed us to get on with the storytelling. From a creative standpoint, it got everyone’s juices going and was very exciting.”
To date, Netflix management hasn’t released data in regards to the number of Netflix Instant users that have watched House of Cards or the other original programming developed by the company. It’s possible some of that information could be released during Netflix’s second quarter earnings report on Monday.
Regarding the Emmy nominations, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said “We are overwhelmed with 14 nominations and honored by a warm welcome which confirms what we have always believed, that great television is great television regardless of where, when and how it is enjoyed.”
At the moment, Netflix is currently promoting the recent release of the first season of comedy-drama Orange Is the New Black and is receiving praise from critics and the general public about the show. Beyond a second season of House of Cards, Netflix has also ordered new seasons of Lilyhammer, Hemlock Grove and Orange is the New Black. Netflix management is also exploring the possibility of another Arrested Development season. Assuming the schedules of the Arrested Development actors and actresses mesh again, Netflix users could see a new season as early as late 2014. Based off the critical success of these shows, it’s likely that Netflix will try out even more new shows to attract new batches of subscribers to the Netflix Instant streaming video service.