Netflix is having a very good week, and not just because the Internet is about to explode in anticipation of its release of the new season of "Arrested Development."
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter posted Wednesday morning, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos got to do plenty of bragging about the success of "House of Cards," the Netflix original political thriller series that many in the industry regarded as a major gamble. He admitted that getting Emmy attention would be an important milestone for Netflix to achieve mainstream acceptance.
"It's a valuable symbol of the mainstreaming of Internet television," he said. "It puts it on the same playing field with the best of broadcast, cable and premium television and resets the expectations of the industry and of the consumer. We'll have to challenge conventional thinking among the voters."
Wednesday's announcement of the nominations for the Critics' Choice Television Awards proved Netflix to be at least one step closer to that goal. "House of Cards" garnered two nominations for the performances of Kevin Spacey and Corey Stoll. Sure the number is small compared HBO's 21 nominations and FX's 19. However, "House of Cards" earned more nominations than "Mad Men" and "Modern Family" – two shows never lacking in critical attention – which each only received one nomination.
The Critics' Choice Television Awards is a young competition held by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, this being only its third year. But, as Deadline Hollywood pointed out, it's no coincidence that its awards will be given out June 10 (comedian Retta of "Park's and Recreation" will host), during the period of Emmy voting. Last year, Showtime's "Homeland" won Critics' Choice top honors, and went on to clean up at the 2012 Emmys. At the very least, the inclusion of the Netflix show among the nominees demonstrates critics are willing to consider a streaming company among the big leagues of conventional broadcast, cable and premium network content.