It’s All About Netflix at 2013 Emmy Nominations

If 2012 was the year of ‘Homeland,’ then 2013 is the year of Netflix.

If 2012 was the year of Homeland, then 2013 is the year of Netflix. The streaming service’s first original drama, House of Cards, a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey, was nominated for nine Primetime Emmy Awards. The nominations, which were announced this morning, also included three for Arrested Development and two for Hemlock Grove, bringing Netflix’s total to 14 and marking the first time that shows released only via the internet have been nominated for TV’s highest honor. Think of it as the year the Internet made historyagain.

The nominees in all the major categories are listed below, but here’s a quick recap of what’s trending up, what’s on a downhill slide, and what’s quivering in between.


Netflix: see above.

Louie: The show doubled its nominations from three in 2012 to six in 2013. Star and creator Louis C.K. won an Emmy last year for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy, and his dark, painfully funny show is only getting better. 

Game of Thrones: Didn’t think the death of Ned Stark was harsh enough? How about killing off his wife, son, daughter-in-law, and most of the adults in the Stark clan? Season 3 was darker, more violent, and more brutal than any TV drama out there. When it comes to literary epics translated to television, Game of Thrones is the gold standard—at least right now.

Behind the Candelabra: It’s the heavy favorite to win Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, and the stars of the Liberace biopic, Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, will compete against each other for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries. 

The Big Bang Theory: In its umpteenth season (okay, sixth season), the show keeps building. This year it received eight nominations, three more than last year. They include nods for Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik and a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series where it’s up against some tough contenders: Girls, Louie, Modern Family, 30 Rock, and Veep.

Scandal: The show didn’t start out with a huge viewership but it has steadily built an audienceand a lot of buzzthanks largely to star Kerry Washington’s nuanced performance as Washington D.C.’s most competent (and stylish) crisis management expert. Thank goodness she was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama.

The First-Timers: In their first eligible year, these middle-of-the-road showsneither brilliant nor risible (except for The Newsroom; utterly risible)all earned at least two Emmy nominations: The Americans, Nashville, Da Vinci’s Demons, Elementary, The Newsroom, Revolution.


Breaking Bad: It’s criminal that in 2012 Breaking Bad, one of the best television shows of the decade, only won one of the 13 Emmys for which it was nominated. This year, the series has again received 13 nominations including the biggies: Lead Actor in a Drama, Supporting Actor (twice), Supporting Actress, Outstanding Writing, and Outstanding Directing. If the show doesn’t walk away with more than one statuette, there is no god in heaven.

The Office: Sure, it received three nominations this year as opposed to last year’s big fat zero, but these feel like pity nodspats on the back for a series that had been stale for years but managed to infuse a little life (Jim and Pam argue!) into its farewell season.

Girls: The show earned five nods, the same number it received last year, but almost nobody loved the second season the way they did the first. It’s also notable that the show earned nods for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Comedy Series, and Directing for a Comedy Series, but creator and star Lena Dunham didn’t earn a nod for writing. We’re glad that Adam Driver, whose character had the strangest, most interesting arc this season, earned a nod for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Modern Family: Who cares? Seriously, who cares? It’s a funny show, but it’s not the be-all, end-all of TV comedy. Last year, it received 14 nominations and won five awards. This year it received 12 nominations. Enough already. Although it’ll be fun to see Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill, and Ty Burrell compete gainst each other in Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. 


Boardwalk Empire: It’s not that HBO’s Jazz Age gangster drama did badly this yearit received 10 nominations, after allbut that’s two less than last year and none in the award show’s biggest category, Outstanding Drama. We’re glad Bobby Cannavale, who played the psychotic gangster Gyp Rosetti, earned a nod although he’s up against some tough competition, most notably from Peter Dinklage who plays everybody’s favorite character on Game of Thrones and Jonathan Banks as hard-bitten fixer Mike Ehrmantraut on Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey: The British soap opera with all its upstairs/downstairs drama earned 12 nominations compared to last year’s 16. It’s an impressive total, but with the death of two major characters this past seasonSybil and MatthewDowntown Abbey is on the verge of becoming a parody of itself and its genre.

Mad Men: The show only garnered 12 nominations compared to last year’s 17, even though this season was its strangest, its most socially ambitious, and its most self-reflexive. Don’t worry, you’ll still get to see Jon Hamm in a tux.

(full list of nominees)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Jeff Daniel, The Newsroom

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Claire Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men
Connie Britton, Nashville
Kerry Washington, Scandal

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Toby Jones, The Girl
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End
Al Pacino, Phil Spector

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice

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 Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story: Asylum
Behind the Candelabra
The Bible
Phil Spector
Political Animals
Top of The Lake

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family
30 Rock

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
George Mastras, Breaking Bad, Dead Freight
Thomas Schnauz, Breaking Bad, Say My Name
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey, Episode 4
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones, The Rains Of Castamere
Henry Bromell, Homeland, Q&A

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire
Michelle MacLaren, Breaking Bad, Gliding Over All
Jeremy Webb, Downton Abbey, Episode 4
Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland, Q&A
David Fincher, House of Cards

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill , Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale, Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Anna Chlumsky, Veep 

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes, Episode 209
Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon, Louie, Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1)
Greg Daniels, The Office, Finale
Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, 30 Rock, Hogcock!
Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock, Last Lunch

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, Girls, On All Fours
Paris Barclay, Glee, Diva
Louis C.K., Louie, New Year’s Eve
Gail Mancuso, Modern Family, Arrested
Beth McCarthy-Miller, 30 Rock, Hogcock! / Last Lunch

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Reality Program
Antiques Roadshow
Deadliest Catch
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
Shark Tank
Undercover Boss