Television newcomers True Detective, a crime drama from HBO, and Orange is the New Black, a dark prison comedy from Netflix, racked up a dozen Emmy nominations in a challenge to stalwarts like Breaking Bad and Modern Family.
Online streaming company Netflix Inc, the big disrupter of the Emmys last year, more than doubled its nominations for TV’s highest honours to 31 this year. Its political thriller House of Cards, which stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, earned 13 nods for its second season.
HBO’s medieval thriller and fan favourite Game of Thrones received the most nominations - 19 - and pushed the premium cable service’s overall nods to 99, the most of any network for the 14th year in a row.
Last year’s winner, Breaking Bad, will compete for its final season, along with the ad world drama Mad Men, House of Cards, British period drama Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones and True Detective.
“It’s a horse race between True Detective and Breaking Bad,” said Cynthia Littleton, the TV editor-in-chief at trade publication Variety. Homeland, a big winner in its first year, failed to snag a nomination in the best drama category despite good reviews for the Showtime domestic-terrorism tale in its third season. Claire Danes, who has won Best Lead Actress for a drama for the last two years, was nominated again.
True Detective, which follows a sadistic crime spree, earned best actor in a drama nominations for both Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, two of the biggest film stars to move into the thriving television industry.
The co-stars and friends will also battle with last year’s surprise winner, Jeff Daniels from The Newsroom, as well as Spacey for his conniving congressman, Bryan Cranston for his final turn as the teacher-turned-drug dealer in Breaking Bad, and Jon Hamm, who plays brooding ad man Don Draper in Mad Men.
In the TV movie category, HBO’s The Normal Heart based on the true story of an early AIDS activist in New York City, earned 16 nods, including a best actor nomination for Mark Ruffalo and best supporting actor for Julia Roberts.
Last year, Netflix received the first Emmy nominations for shows produced solely for the Internet. The company has made original programming a priority to lure subscribers around the world. It has also spurred competition from the likes of Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc, which has had less success with its own forays into TV production.
For the year’s best comedy, Orange is the New Black will compete against ABC’s Modern Family, which won last year. Rounding out the competitors are political satire Veep and tech-world take-down Silicon Valley, both from HBO; CBS nerd-fest The Big Bang Theory; and the irreverent comedy Louie from FX.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2014.
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