Why the 2013 Emmy Nominations Are a Game Changer

The Netflix series House of Cards earned 9 nods, marking the first time an online series has been recognized

Who's popping the champagne in Hollywood right now? Anyone who works on Netflix's House of Cards, and HBO's Game of Thrones, and FX's American Horror Story: Asylum -- all of which received scads of Emmy nominations on Thursday morning. 

Who's maybe feeling a little overlooked? Usual Emmy nominees Julianna Margulies (CBS's The Good Wife) and Melissa McCarthy (CBS's Mike & Molly) didn't hear their names in the running this time around. Arrested Development, which earned a nod for Outstanding Comedy Series in all three of its original seasons, failed to score one for its recent, Season 4 return. And Emmy chose not to give the dearly departed The Office any love in that category, either. 

But the big news of the day was Emmy's embrace of Netflix, the video streaming/home subscription service that got into the TV biz last year. Overall, Netflix picked up 14 Emmy nominations: nine for House of Cards; three for Arrested Development (maybe not for Outstanding Comedy, but at least an Outstanding Lead Actor nod for Jason Bateman); and two for its lesser-known horror series, Hemlock Grove“In a way, it solidifies that television is television, no matter what pipe brings it to the screen,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer.

The shows that rounded out the nods in top categories were less surprising: For Outstanding Drama Series, House of Cards and Game of Thrones will compete against the usual suspects: Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Mad Men and last year's winner, Homeland. It's been said already, but it bears repeating: We're living in a golden age of scripted drama right now. Let's not take it for granted!

As for the Outstanding Comedy category, it also features lots of repeat competitors: The Big Bang Theory, Girls, Louie, Modern Family, Veep and 30 Rock. "I honestly woke up to a call from my publicist, and I was like, 'What did I do now? What did I say that’s been taken heinously out of context, and I now have to decide whether or not to release a statement about it?'” said Girls creator Lena Dunham, when asked about getting the news that her show was up for the top comedy prize. "What she actually was calling about was pretty great." (Dunham also got nods for Lead Actress and Best Director.)  

Now, the winners just need to be crowned: That will happen on Sunday, Sept. 22 on CBS, in a nail-bitingly exciting ceremony hosted by Neil Patrick Harris!

Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.

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