STREAMING pioneer Netflix cleaned up at the Golden Globe nominations Thursday, leading the TV nods with eight and earning one for its first feature film, reflecting the rise of online studios in producing original content.
The nominations scored by Netflix for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards came for six different scripted series — from repeat contenders House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black to new drug cartel drama Narcos.
Other digital broadcasters also did well, with Amazon earning five nominations and Hulu nabbing its first.
Cable broadcasters trailed behind their digital peers, with perennial awards giant HBO earning seven nominations and Starz getting six.
Traditional networks ABC, CBS and Fox meanwhile combined for a paltry nine nominations. And NBC, the network broadcasting the Golden Globes from Beverly Hills on January 10, was entirely left out in the cold.
“When Netflix started not so long ago, it was a company that delivered DVDs via the post office,” Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, told AFP.
“Today they are turning out to be one of the most exciting places on television … and now for feature film as well.”
Netflix scored its first Globe in a film category for African war drama Beasts of No Nation, which debuted a few months ago simultaneously on Netflix’s streaming service and in a select number of theaters.
Idris Elba earned a best supporting actor nomination for his searing turn as the leader of a group of child soldier rebels.
“We are very proud of the nine nominations, and of the creative talent doing such amazing work for Netflix members around the world,” the company’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos told industry magazine Variety.
Netflix has won fans with its original content, which it uses to differentiate itself from competitors and attract new subscribers to its video streaming on-demand service.
It also made a breakthrough with this week’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations, earning 10 nods and again overtaking HBO for the first time in a top awards context.
Tom Nunan, a lecturer at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, described Netflix’s gains as a “historic” achievement that will help place it on a par with major studios.
“Netflix and HBO are now the two buyers with the deepest pockets in Hollywood,” he said.
‘The place to be’
Netflix earned nominations for shows with a wide range of themes.
Both Narcos and Orange is the New Black, a comedy set in a women’s prison, scored two nominations each — for best drama series and comedy series, respectively, and one acting prize each.
Netflix’s flagship political thriller House of Cards earned one nod, for best actress contender Robin Wright.
Actress Lily Tomlin, who has been making a comeback at age 76, was nominated for best actress in a comedy for Grace and Frankie.
The series, co-starring Jane Fonda, tells the tale of two women who are sworn enemies, but find common ground when their husbands come out as gay and start dating each other.
Comedian Aziz Ansari earned an acting nod for his new series Master of None, and Ben Mendelsohn is up for a best supporting actor prize for family drama series Bloodline.
For Syracuse University’s Thompson, Netflix’s impressive Globes showing across its slate of series further cements its role as a force to be reckoned with in the industry.
“They no sooner started doing original programming in 2013 that they became the place to be,” he told AFP.
Elba — one of several double Globes nominees along with Tomlin — told Entertainment Weekly he was “floored and humbled.”
“It’s such a huge honor to be recognized by my friends and peers and for two projects that have really been such an important part of my life,” said Elba, whose second nod came for best actor in a limited series for BBC America’s Luther.
The SAG and Globe nominations this week sent the Hollywood awards season into full gear, with Tinseltown headed for the Oscars on February 28.