At the 2013 Primetime Emmys, House of Cards became the first Netflix program to take home one of television’s highest honors. Though it fell to Breaking Bad in the Best Drama Series, director David Fincher scored a win for his outstanding directing of the show’s debut episode.
Fincher’s win represented the only triumph for a Netflix show among the premium video site’s 14 nominations. Nonetheless, the Fight Club and Social Network director bested an impressive field to earn his reward. The other directing nominees came from four critically-lauded programs: Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, Downton Abbey, and Breaking Bad.
By proving it can compete with the big boys, Netflix has made an impressive statement. It can now sell to prospective creators all of the exposure and glam that comes with traditional TV distribution while also removing many of the restrictions imposed by the major networks. With a large audience of paying subscribers in tow and, as evidenced last night, no shortage of industry recognition, Netflix’s package is hard to beat.
Of course, Netflix’s Emmy count will only go up, as it already has several exciting candidates for next year’s awards. In addition to the second season of House of Cards, the platform can boast the critically-acclaimed Orange is the New Black, arguably its best show to date. The upcoming Sense8, directed by The Wachowskis, could make some noise in the technical categories, and historical drama Marco Polo will be produced by The Weinstein Brothers, who know a thing or two about winning major awards.
Until the next wave arrives, however, Fincher stands alone. Congrats to him and the rest of the House of Cards team on their milestone achievement.