It's not TV, it's Netflix. But the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored the online streaming service with 14 Emmy nominations anyway on Thursday.
Nine of those nominations were for "House of Cards," Netflix's Washington, D.C.-set political drama starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.
Thursday's nominations were the first for the streaming service, which dove into episodic original content earlier this year with "Cards." Netflix made all 13 "Cards" episodes available at once, tapping the viewer trend of "binge-watching" series online. (I wrote about "Cards" and the binge-viewing phenomenon in February).
"Cards" will compete against Showtime's "Homeland," HBO's "Game of Thrones," AMC's "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" and PBS's "Downton Abbey" for the outstanding-drama trophy at the Sept. 22 Emmys, to be broadcast on CBS. Spacey is up for best dramatic actor for his performance as a wheeler-dealer congressman, and Wright will vie for best dramatic actress for her performance as the congressman's Lady MacBeth-like wife.
The presence of "Cards" in the Emmys' top categories underscores the television industry's embrace of alternative content-delivery methods.
"We are ... honored by a warm welcome which corroborates what we have always believed - that great television is great television regardless of where, when and how it is enjoyed," Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said Thursday in a statement released in response to the Emmy nominations.
"Arrested Development," the beloved cult comedy Netflix revived in May, received three nominations including an outstanding comedic actor nod for Jason Bateman. "Orange Is the New Black," the Netflix women's-prison dramady released last week, debuted too late for Emmy consideration this year.
FX's "American Horror Story: Asylum" led all Emmy contenders with 17 nominations.
PHOTO: Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix