The Emmy nominations are out and network TV (Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, CW) has some work to do. In several categories, the five networks are non-existent. This is no more evident than the nominations for outstanding drama. The nominees: Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, True Detective, Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Mad Men. There are no network representatives. As well, for outstanding actress in a drama, outstanding actor in a drama, and outstanding supporting actor and actress in a drama, there are only two network representatives, Scandal’s Kerry Washington and The Good Wife’s Christine Baranski.
Scandal is one of the few network shows that could and should compete on a regular basis where quality is concerned. The fact of the matter is that the cable networks are amassing better quality writers and directors because they are able to stretch their legs more and not just do the same thing over again. Looking at the outstanding drama nominees, House of Cards and Mad Men, they never would have stood a chance on network TV. Both are slowly methodical shows for which the old networks neither have the time nor patience to let develop. The networks look for a brand and beat it to death, as evidenced by the fact that CBS cannot spin off NCIS fast enough. And even putting aside the copious amount of nudity in Game of Thrones, none of the regular channels would touch it. Same goes for all the other five nominees.
Sure, network shows are under more stringent guidelines, but only to a certain degree. They get away with the same amount of violence that HBO shows like True Detective and Game of Thrones do. The only things they cannot do on the networks are nudity and swearing but, if you are in need of those to save your show, then you really don’t have much of one to begin with. What it comes down to is that the more creative writers and creators are finding their way to premium and basic cable and they are reaping the rewards. And so are we.
Tags: Emmys 2014