| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Aug 25 Three television upstarts
and a field of film stars could shake up the annual Primetime
Emmy Awards on Monday in a validation of the television
industry's move toward sophisticated, long-form storytelling.
Led by HBO's bayou crime mystery "True Detective," FX's
snowy psychological miniseries "Fargo" and Netflix's
online-delivered jailhouse comedy "Orange Is the New Black," a
new breed of TV has headed to the top of the establishment
"We have a lot of sexy newcomers," said Tom O'Neil, the
editor of awards handicapper Goldderby.com. "It's not just the
same old slapstick comedy show with a new face."
Together, the three shows have picked up 42 nominations and
reflect the growing clout of unorthodox storytelling - from
Netflix giving audiences an entire season at once to "True
Detective" and "Fargo" as anthologies with new casts and stories
"They have not just extraordinary critical acclaim," O'Neil
said. "They have enormously high cool factors, extraordinary
critical buzz and high visibility."
The Emmys are handed out by the Academy of Television Arts
and Sciences in a televised ceremony from Los Angeles and will
be hosted by comedian Seth Meyers.
With broadcast networks again shut out from the best drama
series race, the night's top honor, AMC's drug tale "Breaking
Bad" will defend its title against Netflix political thriller
"House of Cards," AMC ad world portrait "Mad Men," PBS British
period series "Downton Abbey," HBO's fantasy epic "Game of
Thrones" and "True Detective."
EMMYS "NEW CURRENCY"
The rookie shows also have the benefit of movie star chops
as Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson from "True
Detective," and Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman from
"Fargo" vie for top acting awards.
"What you see now is 'True Detective' and 'Fargo' as the
vanguard for where a lot of television storytelling is going,"
said Andy Greenwald, a staff writer at Grantland.com, who added
that the miniseries format allows Hollywood talent to test the
TV waters without complicating their big-screen career.
Netflix shrewdly submitted "Orange Is the New Black," about
a middle-class woman in jail on drug charges, as a comedy,
avoiding a showdown against its own political thriller "House of
Cards" in the drama series running.
The gamesmanship among networks - HBO has "True Detective"
in the drama running while "Fargo" is expected to sweep the
miniseries competition - reflects the value of an Emmy victory
at a time when delayed and online viewing has rendered audience
ratings more opaque to networks, Greenwald said.
"Prestige and perception are really the new currency in the
TV marketplace," he said.
Although it would be a rare feat for "True Detective,"
"Fargo" and "Orange Is the New Black" to sweep the top races,
O'Neil said, their presence alone has given the Emmys a jolt.
"The Emmys are a conservative industry award that tends to
be much like TV reruns themselves, rewarding the same-old,
same-old year after year," O'Neil said. "These are three
troublemakers in town that could cause a lot of disruption."
(Editing by Mary Milliken and Leslie Adler)