The second season of the Netflix original series House Of Cards will premiere on Friday, February 14. Like with the first season, all 13-episodes of the second season will be available to watch instantly in all of Netflix’s territories. House Of Cards, from MRC and director David Fincher, stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. It just received its first PGA Award nomination yesterday. Here is the first teaser:
Netflix‘s march into the major TV awards circles continues. After an impressive showing at the Primetime Emmy nominations, the streaming service, which has been an original programming player only since January, today received two Producers Guild Awards nominations: for best drama series, House Of Cards, and best comedy, Arrested Development. The double nomination puts Netflix in the same category as awards juggernaut HBO as the only two outlets with multiple scripted PGA nominations. (HBO’s contenders are drama Game Of Thrones and comedy Veep.) For House Of Cards, this is a first PGA nom, while Arrested Development continued its streak of four consecutive PGA nominations for each of its seasons — three on Fox and one on Netflix. Ironically, Netflix’s most buzzed about original series, Orange Is The New Black, didn’t make the cut, exposing again the PGA Awards’ outdated eligibility window — which includes series that aired between June 1, 2012-May 31, 2013, a month before Orange premiered.
Related: PGA Awards TV Nominees Unveiled
House Of Cards provided the only change from last year in the best drama series field. But it was a significant one as the newcomer replaced AMC veteran Mad Men, which had been nominated every year it had been eligible so far and won twice. Once the most dominant drama awards contender, Mad Men also was shut out from winning Emmys the past two years. Joining House Of Cards are returning PGA nominees Showtime’s Homeland, which won the award in January; AMC’s Breaking Bad, hot off winning the best drama Emmy; PBS’ Downton Abbey; and Game Of Thrones. U.S. commercial broadcasters were shut out completely for a second straight year, underlining the awards struggle for network drama.
There were no snubs on the comedy series side, with Arrested Development and Veep taking the spots vacated by Curb Your Enthusiasm and Louie, both not eligible this year. They join last year’s nominees, ABC’s Modern Family, which is aiming at a fourth consecutive PGA win; NBC’s departing 30 Rock; and CBS’ mega hit The Big Bang Theory.
“Our intent is that the show keep going for sure,” said Netflix‘s Ted Sarandos today. “It was a 26-episode commitment. It was not our intent that it just run for two seasons,” he added of House of Cards’ run on the streaming service. Netflix’s Chief Content Officer was delivering the keynote Saturday at Film Independent‘s 9th annual confab at DGA HQ. “Talks are in progress right now,” he told me afterwards on a further deal to lock in more seasons of the Emmy-winning political drama, “so stay tuned.” Former House of Cards EP Rick Cleveland said last month that the series would wrap up after its second season. The lack of any new deal announcement despite the breakout HoC proved to be for Netflix fueled speculation about its demise after the current two season deal was up. The second season of the Kevin Spacey starring series, which is presently in its last week of production, is expected to debut on Netflix early next year. The Film Independent Forum continues Sunday.
Related: Netflix Shares Hit New Highs in Q3
Though D.C. rarely returns the favor, Hollywood continued to fawn over Washington at the Emmys. Neither Netflix’s political thriller House Of Cards nor Showtime’s domestic terrorism drama Homeland took home The Big One — best drama series — but plenty of trophies were handed out to Washington-centric shows.
Related: Nikki Finke Live-Snarks 65th Emmys
HBO’s Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus gave the night’s best acceptance speech, when she repeated her win for best comedy actress with her made-for-TV assistant Tony Hale standing behind her, holding her evening bag, and tactfully cueing her when she forgot to thank her family. Hale had, moments earlier, been named best supporting actor in a comedy. In what was maybe the night’s biggest surprise, Jeff Daniels won the Emmy for best lead actor in a drama series for his starring role in HBO’s political/media fantasy The Newsroom — his first win, he said, since winning a Golden Barcalounger from the AARP as Best Actor over 50 for The Squid And The Whale. Backstage, Daniels insisted he’d tweeted correctly when he said The Newsroom has been renewed for a third season, but they’re still trying to work out the schedule.
House Of Cards — the first online show to be nominated in Emmy glam categories — took home one statuette, for best drama director. Sadly, David Fincher was not there to pick up his trophy. House Of Cards had won two Emmys the previous Sunday during the Creative Arts portion of the two-night Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, for best drama-series casting and best single-cam cinematography.
Related: Creative Arts Emmy Awards Winners
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.
Hitting the right notes on a TV pilot can often require composers to pay for their perfectionist ways. After landing the scoring gig for the CW’s DC Comics pilot Arrow, Blake Neely was faced with the daunting task of following in the footsteps of other big-screen superhero themes. However, at the time, The CW was unsure if Arrow was a go on the fall 2012 schedule. And Neely’s using an orchestral score wasn’t even a possibility.
“The best way to prove to them that they needed (an orchestral score) for the series was for them to hear it,” says Neely. So he hired a 30-piece orchestra comprising strings and brass to create a suspenseful, dark-toned sound, recorded in his Sherman Oaks studio. CW suits were wowed, and Neely’s score lived – but only for the first episode. The bulk of the music budget for Arrow was sacrificed for other production elements, which is typical considering most shows get by with synthesizers.
Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview
Kevin Spacey officially opened the Guardian Edinburgh Television Festival in the Scottish capital this evening, becoming the first Hollywood star, rather than exec or broadcaster, ever to deliver the prestigious James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture. The lecture is designed to focus on the topics that are currently top of mind for the British TV biz. The House Of Cards star and exec producer riffed that the Netflix show was “one of the primary — if not the only reason — I was asked to speak today.” In an hourlong speech, he touched on the show’s innovations, the problems with pilots, the importance of storytelling and the industry’s responsibility to support new talent.
One of his more rousing comments was about making programming. “We know what works and the only thing we don’t know is why it’s so difficult to find executives with the fortitude, the wisdom and the balls to do it,” he offered. Speaking of the House Of Cards experience, he said, “Of course we went to all the major networks… and every single one was very interested in the idea… but every one of them wanted us to do a pilot first… Netflix was the only network that said, ‘We believe in you. We’ve run our data and it tells us that our audience would watch this series. We don’t need you to do a pilot. How many episodes do you want to do?’”
This may sound counterintuititve to those who see Netflix as a haven for cord-cutters, or viewers who want an alternative to primetime’s current sitcoms, dramas, and reality shows. But TiVo Research and Analytics says today that data from 9,956 …
EMMYS Analysis: Web Series Become Major Contenders Via Netflix, ‘Louie’ Scores Series Nom, Broadcast’s Drama Drought Continues
Six years after the TV Academy changed its rules to allow online series to compete in the Emmy race alongside traditional shows, series that have not aired on broadcast or cable TV made it to the top categories for the first time. Leading the breakthrough is streaming giant Netflix with House Of Cards, which landed 9 nominations, including best drama series and best actor/actress for Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, and Arrested Development, with a best actor nom for Jason Bateman. Netflix, which scored a total of 12 noms vs. none last year, employed some non-traditional Emmy campaign tactics, including lawn signs and a BBQ food truck. This marks Bateman’s second nomination for his starring role on the cult comedy eight years after he was first nominated for the series’ second season on Fox. But while the comedy earned best series noms for each of its three seasons on Fox, this time around it missed the cut in the top category.
Related: EMMYS: 2013 Scorecard By Show
Meanwhile, FX’s Louie continued its awards momentum with its first best series nom. Over the past year, Louis C.K.’s edgy comedy landed its first Emmy in September, then first SAG, Golden Globe and PGA nominations and the top comedy prize at the WGA Awards. Now Louie, which is on a prolonged hiatus, netted its most Emmy nominations, six, including third consecutive noms for lead actor Louis C.K., and writing, a category won by Louis C.K. last year; as well as second nom for directing, also for Louis C.K. The stand-up comedian/Renaissance man, who writes, directs, acts and edits, surpassed his record of seven Emmy nominations last year, landing as many individual noms this year spread over Louie, his HBO special Oh My God and his hosting duties on Saturday Night Live, plus a best series mention for Louie, on which he serves as executive producer.
Cari Lynn is an AwardsLine contributor.
With her early iconic roles of Buttercup (The Princess Bride) and Jenny (Forrest Gump) nestled into filmgoers’ collective consciousness, it’s easy to forget that Robin Wright’s roots were in TV, where she garnered three Daytime Emmy noms in the mid-1980s for her role on the soap Santa Barbara. Now, after a couple decades of a lauded but intermittent film career, Wright is back on the small-screen in Netflix’s House Of Cards, where she’s generating Emmy buzz for her deftly nuanced role as Congressman Underwood’s (Kevin Spacey) formidable wife, Claire, a cold-blooded schemer with hot flashes.
AwardsLine: You started in TV, but did you ever think you’d be back on a series?
Wright: No. Never. Never imagined. The other thing is, I never watched TV—well that’s not true, I did watch Friends with my kids, but that was about it. But David Fincher said to me, “This is a new medium; it’s not television. No one’s ever done this revolutionary format. This is where the future is heading.” We’d done Girl With The Dragon Tattoo together, and I wanted to be in business with him. I’ve been in this business nearly 30 years, and you get to a point where you know who you want to work with. I wanted to work with David and Kevin and [writer] Beau Willimon. It’s a true collaboration.
Cari Lynn is an AwardsLine contributor.
Although Oberlin and Tisch-grad Corey Stoll received accolades for his 2004 stage performance opposite Viola Davis in Intimate Apparel and was a series regular on Law And Order: LA, his breakout came in 2011 playing Ernest Hemingway in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris. But it’s his role as Peter Russo in David Fincher’s lauded House Of Cards that is now generating Emmy buzz. Stoll plays a well-meaning U.S. Representative from Philadelphia, whose dalliances with debauchery land him beholden to the Machiavellian congressman from South Carolina played by Kevin Spacey.
AwardsLine: Peter Russo is such a richly nuanced character. How did this role come to you?
Stoll: It happened before all the pilot season craziness. I read the script and fell in love instantly. I put [my audition] on tape, but then didn’t hear anything for months. When they did come back to me, it was to meet with David Fincher. The irony is that when I first auditioned, I thought it was a part that could go on for years. It’s a high bar when you’re looking at a pilot, and you want a character that you could play for a while, a character where you can see all the iterations. It was in this initial meeting when David gave me the basic character arc, and there was part of me that was holding some sort of hope they would change their mind [about the character’s demise]. But then I began to see it as more like doing a film role, and I could really dig in in that way.
AwardsLine: I had an overall eye-opening experience when I interned on Capitol Hill. Was there anything about politics and D.C. that you were surprised to learn?
Stoll: I was shocked at how young the city is! Interns and young staffers are the people who make the city function. I’m not the first person to point out the parallels between Hollywood and D.C.—the intersection of image-making, power and money. I saw that the reason some people originally went into politics and where they wind up can get mixed up very easily. The game can be so intoxicating.
EXCLUSIVE: Eli Roth’s thriller/horror series Hemlock Grove has received a second-season renewal by Netflix. Seasoned showrunner Charles H. (Chic) Eglee (The Walking Dead, Dexter) is joining the series, which will return with 10 original episodes next year. Based on Brian McGreevy’s gothic horror novel of the same name, Hemlock Grove, produced by Gaumont International Television, stars Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgård and explores the strange happenings in a small Pennsylvania town. The series launched its entire 13-episode first season on April 19 to mixed reviews but strong interest from viewers, with Netflix announcing at that time that the series was “viewed by more members globally in its first weekend than was House Of Cards and has been a particular hit among young adults.” Hemlock Grove‘s popularity with the the younger set helped the show land a second-season renewal just as the options on the actors were set to expire. “The worldwide fan response to Hemlock Grove was phenomenal” said executive producer Roth. “Netflix members loved the potent combination of sexy monsters, mystery, and the dark family soap opera that ended with a huge twist, leaving audiences worldwide totally shocked. Season One was just a warm up for what we have in store for season two. Get ready to be scared in ways you never expected.” Landon Liboiron, Freya Tingley and Dougray Scott co-star on the series, which will begin production on Season 2 later this year.
Now it gets serious. Emmy ballots become active at 6 PM PT tonight for all 16,000+ active voting members of the Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences and are due by snail mail to Academy accountants Ernst & Young by June 28 at 5 PM PT. Although, unlike the Oscars and other awards voting groups, there is no direct online voting option for the TV Acad yet (but certainly there will be one eventually), the list of eligible shows and individual achievements with corresponding numbers for the Scranton computer ballot can be accessed via a special Emmy web address or on old-fashioned paper if members request it. Trying to influence those members (full disclosure: I serve on the Academy’s Board Of Governors representing the Writers branch) just as voting gets underway are the Television Critics Association which (coincidentally?) announced their nominations today and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association which (coincidentally?) holds its awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton tonight. But even as these are well-timed events, the TV Academy generally has a mind of its own and often is much slower to embrace the newer, quirkier programs these groups tend to endorse in a big way.
But things are looking up and the Academy does seem to be responding to new blood. Last year Homeland in only its first season dethroned four-time champ Mad Men. Lena Dunham’s edgy Girls and FX’s Louie also made waves. On the other hand the very deserving Breaking Bad, a critical favorite, has yet to win a Drama Series Emmy even as it ends its run later this summer (though stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have won multiple times). Those final eight shows will be running just as the last phase of Emmy voting is taking place in August and could be a factor even though those episodes won’t be eligible until next year as cutoff was May 31. Last summer’s batch of eight is what voters will be assessing this year.
In a first for a Hollywood star, Kevin Spacey will deliver the keynote MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival in August. The influential speech traditionally focuses on serious issues facing the UK TV business. It has in the past been delivered by three members of the Murdoch family: Rupert, James and Elisabeth, who gave last year’s address. Other previous speakers include Ted Turner, Eric Schmidt and former BBC chief Mark Thompson.
Spacey’s involvement comes on the heels of exec producing and starring in House Of Cards, which Netflix positioned as a game-changer by releasing all 13 episodes of the drama’s first season at once. Season two is currently filming. On giving the MacTaggart, Spacey said, “Clearly this has been an exciting period for me personally, but also I believe this is a time of huge opportunity, innovation and creativity for all of us who live to tell stories and engage audiences. I’m excited to share my thoughts and meet players from across the media industry. I’m also an Edinburgh TV Festival virgin so have no idea what I am letting myself in for!”