Emmy nominations revealed
The dark thriller American Horror Story: Asylum has scored the most nominations for television's Emmy Awards, but it was the Internet streaming service Netflix that made history with nods for its big push into original programming.
Netflix landed a total of 14 nominations for political drama House of Cards, comedy Arrested Development and thriller Hemlock Grove, a validation of its challenge to broadcast and cable networks. It is the first time programs not produced specifically for television have won Emmy nominations in the top categories, with House of Cards competing for best drama and leading stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright contenders for best actor and actress.
"If you look at the long history of the Emmys, and the incredibly strong contenders that have been recognised this year, it's about quality. We are very honoured to be amongst that group," Spacey, who plays the win-at-all costs Washington politician Francis Underwood, told Reuters.
The breakthrough by Netflix was hailed as a turning point in television and an indication of an unabating shift toward Internet-delivered entertainment. It comes two decades after the the first cable show, on HBO, earned a nomination in one of the best series categories and shook up the world of broadcast TV.
"Everybody is stepping up their game. It's an opportunity to tell stories on multiple platforms and it's great news for our industry," said Bruce Rosenblum, chairman and chief executive of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which gives out the Primetime Emmys, America's top television awards.
Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said the nominations were recognition that online television is on equal footing with cable and broadcast TV.
"As of today, the lines are forever blurred between TV and the Internet. It's about what's on the screen," he said.
Netflix subscribers could download all 13 episodes of the David Fincher-directed House of Cards on its first day, changing the water-cooler conversation around television, in which episodes have long been released on a weekly basis.
But as Netflix blazed a new path sure to be followed by other digital companies, cable continued to reign at the Emmys, particularly Time Warner's HBO, which snagged 108 nominations, its highest number in nine years.
FX's American Horror Story: Asylum about abuse and torture in a nun-run mental institution pulled in 17 nominations including best miniseries and best actress for star Jessica Lange. HBO's Game of Thrones, an epic tale of warring families, landed 16 including best drama.
Last year's big winner, post 9/11 psychological thriller Homeland from Showtime was nominated in 11 categories including best drama and best actor and actress for Damian Lewis and Clare Danes, who both took home those awards last season.
MAD MEN, DOWNTON IN RUNNING
None of the big four US broadcasters - ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC - were nominated for best drama series.
"That's a real slap," said Tom O'Neil, an awards show handicapper at Goldderby.com.
In comedy, where traditional broadcast is strongest, NBC's 30 Rock anchored the most nominations with 13 including best comedy for the long-running series' final season. Creator and star Tina Fey and co-star Alec Baldwin picked up nominations in leading comedy actor categories. Last year's big winner, ABC's Modern Family, scored 12 nods including best comedy series.
HBO's Girls, about twenty-somethings finding their way in New York City, was also nominated for best comedy series, gaining five nods overall, including best actress in a comedy for creator Lena Dunham.
The HBO movie Behind the Candelabra, based on the life of pianist Liberace, pulled in 15 nominations, and Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover will compete in the lead actor in a miniseries or movie category.
AMC drama Mad Men, an Emmy stalwart, picked up 12 nominations, including best drama series. Jon Hamm earned a nod for best actor in a drama, his 10th Emmy nomination, for his portrayal of ad man Don Draper, and Elisabeth Moss was nominated for best actress in a drama as Draper's protégé Peggy Olson.
British period drama Downton Abbey, which airs on US public broadcaster PBS, also earned a dozen nominations and will go head-to-head against Mad Men for best drama series, best actor (Hugh Bonneville) and best actress (Michelle Dockery).
"I think it's tremendously exciting when you make a show in the culture of one country and it's been a hit all over the world," creator Julian Fellowes said of the series, which is set in early 20th century aristocratic Britain.
"It means somehow you've touched universal values and interest," he added.
Another top Emmy contender for best drama series will be AMC's Breaking Bad, a quirky drama about a high-school chemistry teacher played by Bryan Cranston who turns to a life of making drugs after he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. It had 13 nominations including best actor in a drama for Cranston.
"Sometimes it takes a little longer for the grittier series to break through," said O'Neil. "It will be the buzz of Hollywood because its airing its final season during the voting."
This year's Emmy Awards will take place on September 22 (September 23, NZ time). Actor Neil Patrick Harris hosts.
65th annual Emmy Awards main nominations:
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story: Asylum
Behind the Candelabra
Top of the Lake
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Laura Linney, The Big C
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade's End
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Toby Jones, The Girl
Al Pacino, Phil Spector
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or A Movie
Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters - American Horror Story: Asylum
Imelda Staunton as Alma Hitchcock - The Girl
Ellen Burstyn as Margaret Barrish Worthington - Political Animals
Charlotte Rampling as Sally Gilmartin - Restless
Alfre Woodard as Ouiser - Steel Magnolias
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
James Cromwell as Dr. Arthur Arden - American Horror Story: Asylum
Zachary Quinto as Dr. Oliver Thredson - American Horror Story: Asylum
Tom Berenger as Jim Vance - Hatfields & McCoys
Scott Bakula as Bob Black - Behind The Candelabra
John Benjamin Hickey as Sean - The Big C: Hereafter
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Don Cheadle, House Of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler - The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester - Glee
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy - Modern Family
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett - Modern Family
Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow -Nurse Jackie
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney - 30 Rock
Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer - Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Adam Driver as Adam Sackler - Girls
Ed O'Neill as Jay Pritchett - Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett - Modern Family
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy - Modern Family
Bill Hader as various characters - Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale as Gary Walsh - Veep
Outstanding Drama Series
Game Of Thrones
House of Cards
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Connie Britton, Nashville
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Claire Danes, Homeland
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis , Homeland
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Anna Gunn as Skyler White - Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham - Downton Abbey
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen - Game Of Thrones
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma - The Good Wife
Monica Baccarin as Jessica Brody - Homeland
Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway Harris - Mad Men
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti - Boardwalk Empire
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman - Breaking Bad
Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut - Breaking Bad
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson - Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister - Game Of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson - Homeland
Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program
Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, Project Runway, Lifetime
Ryan Seacrest, Host - American Idol
Betty White, Host - Betty White's Off Their Rockers
Tom Bergeron, Host - Dancing With The Stars
Cat Deeley, Host - So You Think You Can Dance