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Netflix at the Emmys?

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Brigid Lowney, A&E Editor

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One of the most common phrases heard during awards season is, “It was just an honor to be nominated.” But for Netflix, being nominated was more than a honor. Netflix recently made Emmy history for being the first Internet-based television network to receive Emmy nominations, 14 to be exact.

What started as a mail-in DVD rental service has transformed into one of the world’s top Internet movie and television providers. With over 36 million members in 40 different countries, Netflix has become a hot commodity in the digital world.

In 2008, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences decided to allow original Internet television to be eligible for Emmy nominations. However, none have been nominated until now.

In addition to old movies and reruns of popular TV shows, Netflix has produced five new original series. Of the five, House of Cards, Arrested Development and Hemlock Grove have received Emmy nominations in both major and minor categories.

The most talked about nominations were:

● House of Cards for Best Drama Series

● Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, for Lead Actor in a Drama Series

● Robin Wright, House of Cards, for Lead Actress in a Drama Series

● Jason Bateman, Arrested Development, for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series


So why are just a few nominations causing such a stir? It’s been made clear that Netflix is changing the way that people watch TV. According to an online survey in Edelman’s 2013 Global Entertainment study, 63 percent of technology consumers said that they have become more open to watching TV online within the last year. So the question is: are Internet-based series considered television, and do they deserve Emmy nominations?

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said in an interview with USA Today, “Change comes very slow, but Emmy voters recognized that great television is great television, and they didn’t pay attention to how it got there. It really validates Internet television as a viable form of the highest-quality entertainment.”

Rich Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG Research, expects that Neflix’s Emmy nominations will attract more well known writers and actors as well as an increase in subscribers. In an interview in USA Today, he said, “It’s a real positive sign to the talent community that Netflix is a place you want to work.”

Just by being nominated, Netflix has already made Emmy history. So what will happen if they actually win? Subscriber growth, world renown, praise, a spike in stocks? All will be revealed at the Primetime Emmy Awards, Sunday Sept. 22.


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