Emmy Awards crystal-ball gazing was so much easier in the old days, circa the last few years: ABC’s “Modern Family” would be honored as best comedy series and a cable show, “Homeland” or “Mad Men” or such, would win best drama.
“Modern Family” may earn its fourth consecutive trophy at Sunday’s ceremony. But the drama picture is murkier because of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” the first online program to be nominated for top series honors under a 2007 Emmy rule allowing digital contenders.
It’s as big a revolution as the 1993 best comedy series nod for HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show,” which came after the TV academy opened its arms to cable as well as broadcast fare.
“We didn’t believe it would take as long as six years-plus for the world to start looking to this new explosion of original content,” said Rob Barnett, who moved his career from cable (MTV, VH1) to online as founder and CEO of My Damn Channel. “But it’s clearly happening.”
Whether “House of Cards” will actually claim the trophy is another matter. It took more than a decade before a cable show, HBO’s “Sex and the City,” prevailed as a top series winner; in an impatient world, might “House of Cards” compress the time frame?
Or it is possible that astute Emmy voters smacked their foreheads, realized they had yet to crown AMC’s “Breaking Bad” as TV’s best drama and made amends?
They should have, we say in unison. Here’s what else we’re predicting for the 8 p.m. EDT ceremony on CBS hosted by Neil Patrick Harris — who, no Ouija board needed, will be reliably outstanding.
Should win: “Breaking Bad.” At the height of its power, and Walter White knows where you live.