Cable Drama Dominance in the New Century: This Emmys Chart Tells All

The Sopranos Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Everett Collection

The Sopranos Still - H 2015

Broadcast hasn't taken home the big award since 2006, as cable, streamers and even PBS have shut out the once-sure stalwarts.

This story first appeared in the June 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

In 1999, The Sopranos became the first cable show to score a drama series nomination.

It wouldn't win until 2004, but its second trophy in 2007 set off a streak of cable dominance that continues to this day. No broadcast series has been named best drama since Fox's 24 in 2006 -- and, for the past three years, the Big Four broadcast networks have been entirely absent from the race.

Taking their place? Netflix, which has two-time nominee House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black in the running. PBS/Masterpiece Classics' three-time nominee Downton Abbey has further crowded the category. And those three represent a tiny fraction of the dramas submitted, one reason the TV Academy upped the nominee count from six to seven this year (after last expanding the field from five in 2008) -- though the field of entrants is growing even faster.

Says TV Academy senior vp awards John Leverence, "We went from 108 dramas submitted in 2014 to 145 this year." A dramatic increase that just may let one of the Big Four back into the race.