The shift to cable TV and beyond


Thoughts concerning the 2014 Emmy nominations and the future of television

By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist

The nominations for the 2014 Emmy Awards were announced last month by Bruce Rosenblum, the CEO of The Television Academy, Mindy Kaling from The Mindy Project, and Carson Daly from The Voice. As usual, HBO got a whopping 45 nominations, largely thanks to the surprise hit show True Detective and Game of Thrones being the channel’s most popular show earning 19 nominations.

Interestingly, most of the shows nominated this year were shown on premium cable channels like HBO, Showtime, AMC, and PBS (which is available in basic cable). These channels have become synonymous with high-quality shows; they have original stories, generate a lot of buzz, and spark conversations.

Expansion to the Internet with Netflix has also changed the landscape of television. There is a new player in the Emmy Awards now, with Netflix exclusives such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black contending for the prize.

However, with new runners, there are bound to be snubs. Shows that were not nominated which could have been this year include: The Blacklist, Hannibal, and the Canadian science fiction show Orphan Black. Most of these shows have great stories, but may not have the same quality as those on HBO and Showtime.

Orphan Black’s star, Tatiana Maslany, could have been nominated for Lead Actress in a Drama. She played multiple versions of the main character, and it was an experimental performance worthy of recognition. Next, some actors who were seen regularly in shows were nominated as guest stars instead of the leading or supporting role. For example, Joan Cusack, seen in every season of Shameless, was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy. It’s an interesting category, because in a traditional sense, she should be nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.

The members of the Academy tend to nominate actors who portray unique characters. For example, Julia Louis-Dreyfus from Veep and Matt LeBlanc from Episodes. There were surprise nominations this year as well, including Adam Driver from Girls, Lizzy Caplan from Masters of Sex, and Kristen Wiig from The Spoils of Babylon. All those characters are interesting enough to earn attention.

My predictions for the Emmy Awards this year is that either Breaking Bad or True Detective will win Outstanding Drama, Modern Family will win Outstanding Comedy, and either The Tonight Show, The Colbert Report, or The Daily Show will win Outstanding Variety Show. The miniseries version of Fargo will win Outstanding Miniseries and The Normal Heart will win Outstanding TV Movie.