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Emmys: Netflix Web Series 'House of Cards,' 'Arrested Development' Get Buzz

Image: Emmys: Netflix Web Series 'House of Cards,' 'Arrested Development' Get Buzz Kevin Spacey

By Clyde Hughes   |   Wednesday, 17 Jul 2013 11:59 AM

One of the biggest questions televisions critics have about Thursday's Emmy Awards announcements is whether Netflix will get nods for its popular web series "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development."

A web series has never been nominated in a major Emmys category, but buzz is strong for the political drama "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey, which spoofed the White House Correspondent's Dinner and hilariously called it "Nerd's Prom."

Along with "House of Cards," the former Fox hit "Arrested Development," starring Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, and Jessica Walter, is in the awards hunt. 

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"There have been original shows on streaming sites in the past (Hulu’s 'Battleground,' anyone?), but these two are the first ones with serious production quality and a deafening buzz even noise-cancelling headphone-wearing Emmy voters can hear," wrote Steve Heisler, a television critic on HitFix.com. "And though they are new series (relatively speaking, in the case of 'Arrested Development'), the Netflix delivery model gives them a leg up on other recent additions."

This could be the year Netflix shatters the glass ceiling for web-only shows like HBO did in the 1990s for pay-for-view only shows like "The Sopranos," "The Larry Sanders Show," and "Sex and the City."

"It certainly is a marker of the new era. ... It will send shock waves through the industry," said Tim Brooks, a former network executive and TV historian. "It makes it acceptable for A-list creatives to work for you. They like awards and the acclaim of their fellows."

Without the aid of regular television, Netflix shows have taken to the streets to gain viewers for "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development" in Los Angeles, with billboards and even campaign-like lawn signs to advertise "House of Cards," according to Deadline.com.

Garth Ancier, a former network chief and an Emmy voter, told The Associated Press he received DVDs of Netflix series from the company.

"I was kind of surprised, because I don't really think of Netflix as being television," Ancier said. It seemed "sort of odd the academy is so up-to-date. That said, 'House of Cards' is great stuff and it does make sense."

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