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Online series 'House of Cards' makes Emmy history

  • Actors Aaron Paul, left, and Neil Patrick Harris announce nominations at the 65th Primetime Emmy Nominations Announcements at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Thursday, July 18, 2013, in North Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP)

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

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

"It's really groundbreaking," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. "It's beyond our most bold expectations. We were thinking a single nomination would be a win... It's as much a win for Internet television as it is for the content creators."

2013 Emmy Award Nominations

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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.

The bonanza of nominations for "Game of Thrones" is the swords-and-fantasy show's most-ever and includes a best drama series nod and three acting bids, including a supporting nod for Peter Dinklage.

"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."

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