House of Cards makes history

The list of nominees for the Emmy Awards was announced on Thursday.

The list of nominations for the 2013 Emmy Awards was released on Thursday 18 July. Picture:EWN

LOS ANGELES - The Netflix series House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey made Emmy history on Thursday as the first online series to ever be nominated for television's Emmy Awards.

The show which is available only through Netflix, scored nominations for best drama, best actor and best actress.

"If you look at the long history of the Emmys, and the incredibly strong contenders that have been recognised this year, it's about quality. We are very honoured to be amongst that group," said Spacey.

Netflix landed a total of 14 nominations for political drama House of Cards, comedy Arrested Development and thriller Hemlock Grove, a validation of its challenge to broadcast and cable networks.

The breakthrough by Netflix has been hailed as a turning point in television and an indication of a shift toward Internet-delivered entertainment.

It comes two decades after the first cable show on HBO, earned a nomination in one of the best series categories and shook up the world of broadcast TV.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY LEADS

The dark thriller American Horror Story: Asylum scored the most nominations for the awards.

The show which is about abuse and torture in a nun-run mental institution pulled in 17 nominations including best miniseries and best actress for star Jessica Lange.

HBO's Game of Thrones, an epic tale of warring families, landed 16 including best drama.

Last year's big winner, post 9/11 psychological thriller Homeland from Showtime was nominated in 11 categories including best drama and best actor and actress for Damian Lewis and Clare Danes, who both took home those awards last season.

In comedy, NBC's 30 Rock anchored the most nominations with 13.

Last year's big winner, ABC's Modern Family, scored 12 nods including best comedy series.

HBO's Girls was also nominated for best comedy series, gaining five nods overall, including best actress in a comedy for creator Lena Dunham.

The HBO movie Behind the Candelabra, based on the life of pianist Liberace, pulled in 15 nominations.

AMC drama Mad Men, picked up 12 nominations, including best drama series. Jon Hamm earned a nod for best actor in a drama, his 10th Emmy nomination, for his portrayal of ad man Don Draper.

British period drama Downton Abbey also earned 12 nominations and will go head-to-head against Mad Men for best drama series.

Another top Emmy contender for best drama series is AMC's Breaking Bad with 13 nominations.

This year's Emmy Awards will take place on 22 September and will be broadcast on CBS.

Actor Neil Patrick Harris will host the event.