If you are a television fan, or just like to watch award shows, you might have noticed that Emmy nominations were released yesterday. Lots of the nominated programs and actors came from shows that have been favorites over the years, including Mad Men, Modern Family, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation and The Big Bang Theory.
There is something interesting to note about some of the nominations this year, however; and that is that more and more, what’s nominated for TV’s biggest award has less and less to do with your TV set.
For example, House of Cards, an original Netflix series, received many nominations, including best drama series. Arrested Development, whose most recent season was released only on Netflix, and Hemlock Grove, another Netflix original series, also received nominations. This is interesting, as Netflix’s instant streaming services are frequently utilized on devices other than TVs, laptops and tablets being two popular choices. Certainly Netflix’s instant streaming offerings are still watched on TVs, but in those cases another device, such as a Wii, Xbox or PlayStation, are still needed.
Another good example of the “TV is getting away from TVs” idea is the fact that certain categories acknowledge that now, many people have another device (like a phone, tablet or laptop) around when they watch TV. For example, the category “Special Class: Short-Format Nonfiction Programs” includes nominees Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen and Jay Leno’s Garage, both of which were made purely for the web as an extension of television based main shows Top Chef and The Tonight Show.
The category, “Interactive Program,” takes it a step further, acknowledging programs that were created especially for people who are on another device, and want to interact with the show from there. In fact, the interactive program designed to go with Conan (Conan O’Brian’s late night talk show) is titled The Team Coco Sync Multi-Screen Experience.
What’s interesting about all of these nominations is that they really solidify that television is going in a new direction. Shows that you’ll never have to sign up for cable to see brand new are beating out traditional programs, and traditional television shows have realized the importance of capturing people’s attention on all of their devices (and are winning awards for doing so). It’s enough to make you wonder if one day the cable bill (and the cable plug in your wall) will be obsolete.