Emmys 2016: Are ‘House of Cards’ and Netflix Ready for the Drama Series spotlight?


Political scandal, a contentious race for presidency, a First Lady fighting for candidacy, domestic terrorism – these sound more like news headlines from just this last year, but “House of Cards” bridges the gap between fiction and reality, showcasing there’s often truth to fantasy and hyperbole to facts.

The latest season of the acclaimed Netflix series, which premiered in March, saw anti-hero President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) pitted against handsome Republican nominee for president and Governor of New York Will Conway (Joel Kinnaman).

But tensions also rise behind closed marital doors when First Lady Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) pressures her husband to support her while she runs for Congress in Texas’ 30th District, while she deals with aiding a sick parent (Ellen Burstyn).

Apart from amazing guest actors this season (including the likes of Kinnaman, Burstyn, Cicely Tyson, Neve Campbell and Colm Feore) – and one helluva performance from recurring guest actor Reg E. Cathey in a standoff with Underwood I’m still hoping someone will edit together with a Trump snippet – this season is also significant because it marks the fourth and final one for showrunner Beau Willimon, who announced earlier this year he is exiting the series. Given that the show is already a favorite at the Emmy’s, it could prove a nice turnout for some of its new members in the Guest/Supporting categories.

Last year, the series was nominated for 11 Emmy’s, and won for Music Composition (Jeff Beal) and Guest Actor (Cathey) – the first time an actor ever took home an acting Emmy for the series.

In 2014, it was nominated 13 times and won for Sound Mixing. And in 2013, it was nominated 9 times and took home the Emmy for Cinematography (Eigil Bryld), Directing (David Fincher) and Casting (Laray Mayfield and Julie Schubert).

The series seems to only procure wins in the technical, behind-the-camera, categories, despite always being nominated for the most coveted ones, i.e., Drama series, Actor, Actress, etc. “House of Cards” has a chance of replicating what it did last year with Cathey and earn another Guest Actor/Actress or Supporting Actor/Actress Emmy, particularly with Burstyn (in a guest role), because she’s a big name and because of her already impressive track record with the award ceremony – she’s been nominated seven times since 1981 and won twice for a guest spot on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 2009 and most recently in 2013 for the miniseries “Political Animals” in a supporting role.

Kinnaman and Campbell seem also likely to get nominated in the supporting category, with Tyson looking like she has a chance as well in the guest category. Cathey might be looking at his third consecutive year being nominated for guest actor on the series, it’s unlikely he’ll win for a second year in a row, even though he deserves it for that aforementioned scene. Wright had an amazing season, with a chilling cliffhanger that placed her character as equal with her husband. Wright has been nominated every year for Lead Actress but looks unlikely to top this year due to stiff competition. A fourth nomination isn’t bad though.


  • Outstanding Drama Series
  • Outstanding Actor – Kevin Spacey
  • Outstanding Actress – Robin Wright
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor – Joel Kinnaman; Michael Kelly
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress – Neve Campbell
  • Outstanding Guest Actor – Reg. E. Cathey
  • Outstanding Guest Actress – Cicely Tyson; Ellen Burstyn
  • Outstanding Cinematography (single-camera)
  • Outstanding Production Design
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing
  • Outstanding Music Composition
  • Outstanding Writing
  • Outstanding Directing
  • Outstanding Casting

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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