2013 looks like it could be the first year that streaming series from digital programmers like Netflix and Amazon go head-to-head with traditional TV shows at the Emmy Awards. The Emmys made a rule change to allow digital series to compete in the same drama and comedy categories that TV shows do back in 2008, but none have been nominated yet. The reason that may change this year is Netflix’s high-profile launch of the Kevin Spacey/David Fincher drama House of Cards and the revived fourth season of Arrested Development.
With Amazon set to launch a bunch of original streaming comedy series in the next year, TV Guide has compared the potential invasion of digital series into the TV landscape to cable’s gradual takeover of the Emmys beginning in the 1990s. Arrested Development, which drops its fourth season in one large 14-episode chunk this May, will be the only digital show eligible for the Outstanding Comedy Series category in the fall, making the cutoff because all of its episodes are being dropped at once just before the deadline. Only time will tell if Arrested Development will dominate the Emmys this spring when everyone is watching it just like it used to nearly a decade ago when no one was watching it.