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Emmys 2013: The story lines to watch as the show unfolds

Netflix's breakout series 'House of Cards,' Kerry Washington's nomination for 'Scandal' and Bryan Cranston's nod for 'Breaking Bad' help lend drama to the proceedings.

September 22, 2013|By Yvonne Villarreal
  • Kevin Spacey, left, Robin Wright and Michael Kelly in "House of Cards."
Kevin Spacey, left, Robin Wright and Michael Kelly in "House of Cards." (Patrick Harbron / Netflix )

Some view it as TV's biggest night. A few this year might call it the three-hour lead-in to the penultimate episode of "Breaking Bad." Tomayto, tomahto. The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards are upon us!

The sure-to-be twerk-free soiree in downtown Los Angeles will air on CBS at 5 p.m. PDT with host extraordinaire Neil Patrick Harris leading the carousel. It's a night when an online sensation is "House of Cards," not Rebecca Black. A night when the "Downton Abbey" folks freak us out with their modernity.

After the jaw-dropping (eh, maybe not) Creative Arts Emmys — which last week saw sitcom veteran Bob Newhart finally take home the gold — we're pumped to see what the main event has in store.

EMMYS 2013: Full coverage | Top nominees | Complete nominee/winner list

Let's consider the possibilities:

• Netflix could solidify itself as a TV force rather than just an online streaming service that dishes out outrageously pathetic recommendations based on our viewing pleasures. Its breakout series "House of Cards," which kicked off a series of launches for the site this year, has made Emmy history. The political-intrigue saga, up for best drama, marked the first time TV's top awards have recognized an online program as equal to that delivered on a traditional platform. It's up for nine nominations.

• Or could the blood-tastic Red Wedding seal the deal for "Game of Thrones" in the best drama category? The television academy hasn't typically recognized genre shows in the main categories — hello, we're waiting for a "Walking Dead" nomination. But maybe a turning point is upon us?

MORE EMMYS: Nominee reactions | Snubs & surprises | Winners timeline | Emmy hosts

• Last year's Golden Globes opened our eyes to the possibility that there are good hosts besides Harris. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, one of several girl-power pairings, will present together on Sunday night.

• Sure, there are a lot of repeat names and series, but there's a good number of first-time nominees — Vera Farmiga ("Bates Motel"), Jeff Daniels ("The Newsroom"), Kerry Washington ("Scandal"), Emilia Clarke ("Game of Thrones"), Zachary Quinto ("American Horror Story: Asylum"), Morena Baccarin ("Homeland") to name just a few. Will beginner's luck seize the night?

• "Scandal," by sheer force of will, has become a hit. There's no denying the show has been wrapped up in buzz. Now it's taken on historic proportions. Washington is up for lead actress in a drama for her role as crisis fixer Olivia Pope. She's the first African American to earn a nomination in the category since 1995. And if she wins, she'll be the first African American to do so. Prognosticators don't see it happening, but the Emmys are at least fully aware of the significance. They've paired Washington with Diahann Carroll, who made history in 1968 as the first black actress in television history to star in her own series (NBC's "Julia"), to present during the ceremony.


• Movie stars and filmmakers are crashing the joint like never before. Kevin Spacey. Jane Fonda. Shirley MacLaine. Al Pacino. Helen Mirren. Michael Douglas. Matt Damon. Steven Soderbergh. Jane Campion. It'll feel as if we're getting a sneak peak at the Oscars! Or maybe just Golden Globe Redux?

• Is Bryan Cranston back with a vengeance? Damian Lewis' win last year in the lead actor category for his run on "Homeland," over Cranston (the sadistic Walter White of "Breaking Bad"), nearly gave us whiplash. So, after an arm-hair-raising first half of a final "Breaking" season, will the presenter in the category remember Cranston's name?

Countdown: Emmys 2013

Emmys 2013

TIMELINE: Emmy winners through the years

Creative Arts Emmy winners

PHOTOS: Top nominees

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