The British original series House of Cards broke many a boundary when it debuted in 1990, and now Netflix’s U.S. adaptation has earned itself a little spot in the history books. The series earned a Best Director Emmy award for David Fincher–the first time a major category award has gone to an online video provider.
The Wall Street Journal calls the win a “milestone,” suggesting it’ll add some serious heft for Netflix to throw around in Hollywood when it looks for future original material. But it has to be said it’s a small victory compared to the raft of Emmys that went to productions broadcast to the public via more traditional cable channel distribution networks. Netflix’s other headline-grabbing show, the reboot of Arrested Development, didn’t win any awards–although House Of Cards did land two other smaller awards at the Creative Arts Emmys a short while ago.
Netflix used its version of House of Cards to challenge many established norms of the U.S. TV industry, choosing not to spread the episodes out over several weeks–possibly even adding in break weeks for other timetabling purposes–but to make the complete show available all at once. It was a play to break the power of the boring, entrenched TV channel and instead serve up content the way digitally savvy consumers would prefer. This sort of dramatic challenge to the TV system is also being attempted through more technological means by players like Google, Sony, and perhaps most interestingly by Apple–which is still expected to disrupt the TV market soon.