Netflix makes history with Emmy nominations

The video rental and streaming company earned a total of 14 nods, with political drama 'House of Cards' pulling in 9.

By Julie K Balise Jul 18, 2013 5:27PM

It looks like the cards were in Netflix's (NFLX) favor when it launched two original series and revived a cult favorite for subscribers this year.


The video rental and streaming company is now the first to receive major Emmy nominations for digitally distributed content. Netflix programs earned a total of 14 nominations, announced Thursday morning.


The original series "House of Cards" received nine nominations, including one for best drama series, best lead actor in a drama series for Kevin Spacey, and best lead actress in a drama series for Robin Wright.

 The political drama, which debuted in February, follows ambitious congressman Frank Underwood (Spacey), his wife Claire (Wright), and their interactions with politicians, lobbyists, constituents, and journalists. It is based on a BBC miniseries of the same name.


Three nominations went to "Arrested Development," which returned to Netflix for one season in May after seven years off the air. Jason Bateman, who portrays Michael Bluth, earned a nod for lead actor in a comedy series. 


Horror series "Hemlock Grove," which premiered on Netflix in April, earned two nominations.Arrested Development cast Season 4 © Netflix


"Today's nominations mark the rise of digital content, but Netflix still has a ways to go to catch up with HBO," CNBC's Julia Boorstin said on Thursday.


HBO is the most-nominated network this year with 108 nominations. It's followed by CBS and NBC, with each earning 53 nominations.


HBO was home to the first cable show to ever receive an Emmy nomination: "The Larry Sanders Show" took that honor 20 years ago. HBO's standouts this year include drama series "Game of Thrones" and the movie "Behind the Candelabra."


Now that Netflix is competing for major awards, investors may be hoping for major returns.


"Though Emmy nominations don't have a direct impact on Netflix's financial results, the prestige of the nominations translates to free attention which helps secure and attract subscribers," Boorstin said.


She pointed out that Netflix's earnings report is scheduled to come out Monday afternoon. At that point, investors will be eager to see how many new subscribers the company's original series have drawn.


Netflix shares began Thursday trading up, edged lower, and were flat in the afternoon.


The Emmys are scheduled for a Sept. 22 broadcast.


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