The Emmy nominations – do they reflect a broadcasting power shift?

Netflix's 14 nominations shows a turning tide in the way we watch television, says Susanna Lazarus

Today’s Emmy nominations not only recognised a crop of British talent, but also acknowledged a turning tide in the way we watch television. 


Ever since Netflix debuted their remake of BBC’s House of Cards back in February, the TV landscape changed and a new force was born. Since then we’ve seen the release of Hemlock Grove, Lilyhammer and, of course, Arrested Development with the online streaming service pumping their millions into heavy promotional campaigns.

Last week saw yet another new series drop its 13 episodes in one fell swoop as Jason Biggs and Taylor Schilling’s Orange is the New Black debuted to glowing reviews.

And to top off a defining year for the on-demand subscription service, the Emmy’s voters have responded with 14 nominations, and not just in the categories you’ve never heard of.

House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright have secured nods for the best actor and best actress in a drama, while the programme itself picked up a best drama nomination. Arrested Development’s Jason Bateman scored recognition in the best actor in a comedy category, with the revamped series picking up a further two nominations for music and camera editing, meanwhile Hemlock Grove was shortlisted for visual effects and title theme music. To put that into perspective, six years ago not one of those shows would have even have qualified.

Today’s nominations are the first time an internet-only programme has been shortlisted for a major category, and will surely act as motivation for Netflix’s competitors, Amazon and Hulu, as they focus on their own forays into original programming.

Back in May, Amazon commissioned a full series of John Goodman’s Alpha House, meanwhile American service Hulu has been churning out their own content since 2011, with Battleground, Up To Speed and a Day In the Life among the in-house shows now available to users.


Today’s nominations were greeted by critics clamouring to have their say about the future of television, but that future is already in full swing. Today doesn’t mark the change that came about with the release of House of Cards and, to a greater extent, Arrested Development. It simply celebrates it, recognising dramatic integrity, especially in the case of the former. While the fate of TV schedules rests in the balance, one thing’s for certain – original online content is here to stay.