LOS ANGELES — “House of Cards” proved to be Netflix’s ace Thursday, making history with nine nominations for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards — and redefining the television landscape in the process. Broadcast and cable networks are no longer the only programming games in town.
The company best known for its little red DVD envelopes broke new ground with its slate of original programming with “House of Cards,” the reboot of the cult comedy favorite “Arrested Development,” and the horror thriller “Hemlock Grove.” The three programs received a combined 14 Emmy nominations Thursday morning — and suggested that the TV academy members are binge viewers.
Still, Netflix has a long way to go.
HBO pulled in 108 nods, 27 more than last year, helping to solidify one of the longest-running story lines in TV history. (That being the pay channel’s dominance each awards season.) In second place were CBS and NBC, tying with 53 nominations apiece.
The single most lauded program of the day was FX’s gothic miniseries, “American Horror Story: Asylum,” which goes into the TV awards season with 17 nominations, including for best miniseries, and best actress for Jessica Lange. That was followed by HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which garnered 16 nods — the most for any drama series.
Tying with 15 nominations apiece was HBO’s movie “Behind the Candelabra,” starring Michael Douglas as the flamboyant Liberace and Matt Damon as his young lover, and NBC’s veteran variety series “Saturday Night Live.”
That’s quite an accomplishment for “SNL,” which has been on the air since 1975. Its tendrils of influence extend far beyond its variety series category, as evidenced by Thursday’s nominations.
Three of the nominees in the marquee lead actress in a comedy series category are “SNL” alums: Tina Fey for “30 Rock,” Amy Poehler for “Parks & Recreation” and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “Veep.” “SNL” alum Jimmy Fallon, who is taking the reins of “The Tonight Show” in February, earned an Emmy nomination for best variety series for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” And several performers were nominated for hosting “SNL,” including Justin Timberlake and Melissa McCarthy.
On the comedy series front, NBC’s “30 Rock” led the pack with 13 nominations, including best comedy series and best actress and actor nods for Fey and Alec Baldwin. The show — a critical favorite that was never a ratings blockbuster — ended its run in the spring.
Showtime, the other major pay channel, picked up 31 nominations, its most ever. It earned 11 for last year’s top Emmy winner, “Homeland,” including a nomination for best drama series, and lead actor and actress for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes. Also receiving a nomination in the writing category was executive producer/writer Henry Bromell, who died this spring at age 65.
“Homeland” is competing against “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad,” “Downton Abbey,” “House of Cards” and “Mad Men” in the best drama series category. In contention for best comedy series alongside “30 Rock” are “The Big Bang Theory,” “Girls,” “Louie,” “Modern Family” and “Veep.”
The Emmy Awards air live Sept. 22 on CBS with Neil Patrick Harris as host.