News Column

'House of Cards' makes Emmy history

July 19, 2013


July 19--Netflix's "House of Cards" made Emmy history Thursday with a top drama series nomination, the first time that TV's leading awards have recognized a program delivered online as equal in quality to the best the medium has to offer.

The nomination, one of nine nods earned by the political thriller, is a marker in the unfolding revolution in how we get and watch video entertainment.

The most Emmy nominations, 17, went to "American Horror Story: Asylum." Close behind was "Game of Thrones" with 16 nods, while "Saturday Night Live" and the Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra" earned 15 nominations each, including nods for stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

"House of Cards" stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright received acting bids, along with a number of other primarily big-screen actors who have migrated to TV for powerhouse projects, with Douglas and Damon among them.

Joining "House of Cards" and "Game of Thrones" in the best drama series category are "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey," "Mad Men" and last year's winner, "Homeland."

"Mad Men," which last year missed out on the best drama trophy that would have been its record-setting fifth, eclipsing fellow four-time winners "Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law" and "The West Wing," gets another shot this year.

The major broadcast networks were shut out of the prestigious category, a repeat of last year and a particular blow with the entry of Netflix's streamed drama. "Boardwalk Empire" was the only show not to return in the category, its spot claimed by "House of Cards."

In the comedy series category, nominees are "The Big Bang Theory," "Girls," "Louie," "Modern Family," "Veep" and "30 Rock," recognized for its final season. Another outgoing comedy, "The Office," didn't receive a best series nod.

A six-year-old TV academy rule change allows online entries to compete with cable and broadcast programs, but so far Internet shows have popped up only in the lower-profile categories. That changed with this year's prime-time Emmys.

"It certainly is a marker of the new era. ... It will send shock waves through the industry," said Tim Brooks, a TV historian and former network executive, who made the prediction on the eve of the nominations.

They were announced by Aaron Paul, a previous winner for "Breaking Bad" and nominated again this year, and surprise Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris. He filled in for "House of Cards" actress Kate Mara, who was stuck in Santa Fe, N.M., because of an airplane's mechanical malfunction.

Harris, an in-demand emcee, earned his own bid for hosting this year's Tony Awards.

Joining Spacey in the contest for best drama series actor are Chelsea's Jeff Daniels of "The Newsroom," Hugh Bonneville of "Downton Abbey," Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" and Damian Lewis of "Homeland," last year's winner.

Kevin Bacon, one of the big-screen stars trying their hand at TV, was not recognized in the category for "The Following."

Actresses nominated for their drama series work besides Wright are Vera Farmiga of "Bates Hotel," Michelle Dockery of "Downtown Abbey," Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men," Connie Britton of "Nashville," Kerry Washington of "Scandal" and last year's winner, Claire Danes from "Homeland."

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Emmy ceremony will air Sept. 22 on CBS.

Party like a Parrot Head

Jimmy Buffett returns to Comerica Park after last year's successful inaugural Detroit concert, and area parrot heads are ready to party.

Here are some preconcert party options:


Parrot Head Club (DPHC): Concert eve party includes music from the Detentions and the Caribbean Blue Band, a charity raffle, plus food and drink specials for DPHC members (memberships are $15 and available on the spot). Admission is free. 4 p.m. today Luna Kai Waterfront Bar & Grill, 37400 Jefferson, Harrison Township.

DPHC: Concert day festivities include music from the Detentions and Ten Beach Drive. Buses offering transportation from the Best Western Plus in Roseville to Bookies run 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., and to the hotel from the bar at 7 p.m. (for those not going to the concert) and beginning at 10:30 p.m. Admission is free; $20 for bus. 10 a.m., Bookies Bar & Grille, 2208 Cass Ave., Detroit.

Margaritaville Park: Official pre-Jimmy Buffett concert party includes music from Fifty Amp Fuse and Toast & Jam, a Margarita Express bus and photo lounge, the Landshark Lager "FinMobile," contests and family-friendly rides and games. Concert tickets required for entry. RV parking begins at 4 p.m. today; car parking begins at 7 a.m. Saturday. Gates open at noon Saturday at Comerica Park parking lot 3, 2100 Woodward, Detroit.

Ann Arbor 'Bully' activist's new cause

Katy Butler, the teen activist from the Ann Arbor area who led a popular online campaign to reduce the R rating for the documentary "Bully," is entering another film-related fray.

Butler is using a grassroots online petition site to support the Weinstein Co.'s right to use the title "The Butler" for its upcoming movie about a White House butler (played by Forest Whitaker).

The conflict over the title is between the Weinstein Co., Warner Bros. (the studio behind a 1916 short also called "The Butler") and the MPAA's Title Registration Bureau.

Butler launched her petition on this week, the second one she's started involving a Weinstein Co.-connected project. "Bully" was released by the same company.

"Claiming that this new movie will take away from the 1916 short and cause confusion for the audience is almost as ridiculous as saying my name, Katy Butler, will create confusion," she writes.

As of this afternoon, her petition had drawn 201 signers.

Butler's effort, and the Weinstein Co.'s decision to publicize it, has stirred some buzz in Hollywood. The Los Angeles Times headlined a Web story on the matter with: "In its fight over 'The Butler,' Weinstein touts ... Katy Butler?"

"The Butler," which is still being promoted under that title, is set to open Aug. 16.

'Millionaire' auditions next week

Open auditions for "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" will be held July 26 at Walsh College, Novi Campus (41500 Gardenbrook Road, Novi).

Contestant auditions consist of a timed multiple choice test. For those people who pass, an interview with one of the show's producers will follow.

Two audition sessions will be held: The first session will start at 7 a.m. with tests being given through 10 a.m. The second session will begin at 5 p.m. and continue through 7 p.m.

The last session of the day will begin promptly at 7 p.m. and will test contestants exclusively for "Movie Week," a specialty series featuring film buffs answering movie-themed trivia.

A new season of "Millionaire" with host Cedric the Entertainer will premiere on WWJ-TV (Channel 62) at noon Sept. 2.


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