The announcement of arts and entertainment award nominees rarely reflect a changing industry as much as this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. We hear plenty about the changing media environment and audiences’ changing expectations; both in terms of content and the way its delivered. It’s those production studios and networks that are able to best adapt to their audiences’ expectations that are also winning the most critical praise, and that’s reflected in the Emmy nominations.
In May this year, Peter Green wrote on Daily Review about the rise of Netflix as a production company, and that rise has only continued with the online studio receiving 31 nominations, which puts it ahead of free-to-air network Fox, and every cable network with the exception of HBO and FX. Netflix is an on-demand television service established in 1997 that has over 33 million subscribers in the United States. It’s long been rumoured to launch in Australia, and with TV fans demanding its presence, it’s apparently just around the corner.
Netflix began airing original programs in 2013, starting with political drama House of Cards and several other programs, including the lucrative return of cult comedy Arrested Development. Netflix has more than doubled its 14 nominations in 2013, with House of Cards and prison dramadey Orange is the New Black receiving 13 and 12 nominations, respectively.
Orange is the New Black is as much a drama as it is a comedy, although its up against programs that are all undeniably comedies in its various categories. Given that the series has received the most nominations of any comedy, it will be interesting to see how the dice fall at the ceremony in August.
You also have the rise of the big-budget TV blockbuster, and American cable network HBO continuing to hit its stride with hits like Game of Thrones and the star-laden telemovie The Normal Heart. HBO received the most nominations of any network, with 99. Game of Thrones has the most nominations of any drama series, with 19 (its most ever). The Normal Heart, which starred Mark Ruffallo and Julia Roberts, scored 16 nominations, the most of any made-for-television movie.
There’s a fair share of interesting snubs, such as cop sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which won Best Television Series (Comedy) at this year’s Golden Globes, but has only nabbed two nominations for the Emmys, and missed out on a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series. Lena Dunham’s critically-acclaimed Girls, which won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series for its first season, has also only received two nominations and missed out on the category it won in 2012. The Americans and Orphan Black also failed to secure any nominations.
Surprisingly, British historical drama Downton Abbey has continued its success, with 12 nods, despite the fact that it’s received a far less enthusiastic critical reception in its most recent series.