'House of Cards' hopes to come up trumps at Emmys

LOS ANGELES —

Netflix political drama “House of Cards” hopes to make television history Sunday night by becoming the first online-only series ever to win a major Emmy award.

The series, starring Oscar winner Kevin Spacey as scheming U.S. congressman Francis Underwood, is nominated in nine categories including best drama and best actor at the Emmys, the Oscars of the television world.

“Breaking Bad,” “Homeland” and “Mad Men” are key rivals for the coveted top drama prize, while “American Horror Story: Asylum” has the most nominations with 17 nods at the 65th annual prime-time Emmy awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

Elton John will make his first ever appearance at the show in a tribute to piano legend Liberace, the subject of acclaimed biopic “Behind the Candelabra”—whose stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will be among the presenters.

Other stars handing out awards include Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock,” “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston and “Homeland” nominee Claire Danes, while Sunday’s show will be hosted by “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris.

“House of Cards,” inspired by a BBC series from the early 1990s, was made exclusively for Netflix, the online movie streaming website, which put all 13 episodes online in February in one fell swoop.

The series’ success highlights the radical changes underway in the TV industry, with more and more viewers “cutting the cable” and watching favorite shows via the Internet on cell phones, tablets and so-called “smart TVs.”

“Anyone who has recently been in a college dorm room or the home of a twentysomething may have noticed there is something missing: a television,” the LA Times noted.

“More and more young people are accessing TV content on their computers, iPads or cell phones. Somebody is going to profit from this and, right now, Netflix seems well positioned to be the chosen one.”

Other nominees for best drama include “Downton Abbey” and “Game of Thrones”—marking the first time no series from a mainstream U.S. television network has been nominated in the category.

Cranston and Spacey are frontrunners for the best drama actor prize, while other nominees are Jon Hamm for “Mad Men,” Jeff Daniels for “The Newsroom” and Britons Damian Lewis (“Homeland”) and Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey.”)

For best drama actress, the clear favorite is Danes as CIA agent Carrie Mathison in “Homeland,” although contenders who could cause an upset include Kerry Washington (“Scandal”) and Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”).

Up for best comedy are “Modern Family,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Girls,” “Louie,” “Veep,” and “30 Rock,” which after seven seasons aired its final episode on NBC in January.

Nominated for best TV movie or miniseries are “American Horror Story: Asylum,” “Behind the Candelabra,” another HBO music biopic “Phil Spector,” “Political Animals,” “Top of the Lake” and the History Channel’s “The Bible.”

There were some notable snubs when the Emmy nominations were announced in July, including Julianna Margulies, who failed to pick up a nod for her turn in “The Good Wife,” and “Two and a Half Men” actor Jon Cryer.

“Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, who died in June aged 51, and late “Glee” actor Cory Monteith will be remembered among others who passed away this year, in the show’s “In Memoriam” segment.

The show will also mark the 50th anniversary of two key historical events: U.S. President John F Kennedy’s assassination and the Beatles’ appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”

(C) 2013 AFP

  • -3

    highball7

    NO chance, Walter White baby. Breaking Bad all the way. The range of Cranston as an actor is just amazing. Menacing yet sympathetic. Vulnerable yet comedic.

    Its got to be Breaking Bad. It can't lose after killing off Hank like that.

  • 0

    gaijinfo

    Tough call between House of Cards and Breaking Bad (I haven't seen the other shows).

    I think Walter White is perhaps one of the best written villains of all time, but then again, Underwood is pretty nasty as well.

    Who's the bigger criminal? Meth Kingpin, or Vice President?

  • 2

    Ian Duncan

    Are any of these shows available for Japanese viewers to enjoy? Or had we better stick with people eating and shrieking?

  • 1

    Eddie Craven

    Ian, yes. Use this service and you can access the US Netflix while in Japan. unblock-us.com

  • 0

    Jaymann

    House of Cards is excellent. I really enjoyed it. But I enjoyed the original British version even more. You'd think Breaking or Homeland would be favoured to win an Emmy though.

  • 0

    Francis Urquhart

    Funnily enough, the real 'House Of Cards' featured a British gentleman going by the name of Francis Urquhart. I wonder if we are related...

  • 0

    ambrosia

    highball7: I have to agree. House of Cards is good but it doesn't hold a candle to Breaking Bad. I really enjoyed the former but wouldn't lose any sleep if it were axed today. The latter, on the other hand, has kept me up on more than one occasion. I've got to make sure and watch it well before bed time or I get too keyed up to sleep.

  • 0

    Nessie

    For best drama actress, the clear favorite is Danes as CIA agent Carrie Mathison in “Homeland,” although contenders who could cause an upset include Kerry Washington (“Scandal”)

    Washington can barely act. Spacey's faux southern accent is distracting. Cranston is overrated, but he'll be a winner.

  • 0

    ambrosia

    nessie: or best drama actress, the clear favorite is Danes as CIA agent Carrie Mathison in "Homeland," although contenders who could cause an upset include Kerry Washington ("Scandal")

    Doubtful. If anything it'll probably be Elizabeth Moss or Robin Wright.

    Washington can barely act.

    I agree.

    Spacey's faux southern accent is distracting.

    I agree.

    Cranston is overrated,

    I strongly disagree.

    but he'll be a winner.

    I hope so!

  • 0

    lostrune2

    Breaking Bad won.

  • 0

    Okinawamike

    highball7Sep. 22, 2013 - 10:27AM JST

    Its got to be Breaking Bad. It can't lose after killing off Hank like that.

    Ever occur to you that not everyone has watched to date and you just spoiled a large part of the show?

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