In a first of its kind event, a web series has won a 2013 Primetime Emmy Award with the Netflix original, House Of Cards, picking up the award for ‘Outstanding Directing In A Drama Series’, winning out against such high-profile competition as BBC’s Downton Abbey, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Showtime’s Homeland, and even the extremely popular Breaking Bad, from AMC. House of Cards is a political thriller in which duplicity and double-crossing in Washington D.C. leads to revenge and corruption throughout.
This award marks the first time that an award of this nature has been won by a web series. The Emmys represent the Oscars of television. They are international and considered the highest achievement that can be awarded onto a small screen programme. Whilst not detracting from the recent ‘Creative Arts Emmy’ won by the superb vlogging web series, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, House Of Card’s win of probably the most sought after award in programming entertainment marks a huge acknowledgement of what web series can achieve. The series was also nominated in Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama (for Robin Wright).
Web series or not, House Of Cards has some huge names behind it which have helped give it a big boost in exposure. It stars Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey (who was also nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Emmy), and the director who won the Emmy itself was none other than David Fincher, who is himself an Oscar-winning director whose credits include Fight Club, Panic Room, The Social Network and the American adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. When you combine this with Netflix’s reported coverage (estimating that every 2 in 5 homes in America use the online streaming service) then it becomes clear that if any web series stood a chance of being the first to gain such a prestigious award, it was going to be House Of Cards
Netflix has been pushing hard with original content. They funded and produced the revived fourth season of the critically acclaimed comedy, Arrested Development (read our review here), are gaining further acclaim for the female prison comedy / drama, Orange Is The New Black, and have a horror / thriller series in Hemlock Grove (both Hemlock Grove and Arrested Development were also nominated for Primetime Emmys). Netflix may have started as a de-facto online rental service, but it has been actively working towards aspirations of becoming an online-only streaming and television network, and I would say they have achieved it admirably.
Clearly the huge investment by Netflix in original content is paying massive dividends when it has Emmy awards and nominations raining down on it in a shower of celebration. And where there is one success, you can bet your bottom dollar that others will come rushing up in their wake.
It’s a great time to be covering web series and we at ComedyTVisDead will always be here to keep you updated with all the exciting news and reviews you could ever want. You lucky lucky people.