Emmys Shun Network Dramas In Outstanding Series Category & It Was 10 Years Coming

Before Daenerys Targaryen went on her quest to take over Westeros, there was another huge takeover going down. In the past 10 years, network drama series have been knocked out of their majority ruling of the Emmys' Outstanding Drama Series category. So much so, that on July 10, when the 66th Emmy Awards nominations were announced, not a single network drama series was nominated out of five. What happened to network dramas? TV fans and Emmy voters alike have been so wrapped up in the "Rise of the Antihero" that they forgot all about the network series — or has their quality really declined that much?

This year's Outstanding Drama Series category included six series: AMC's Breaking Bad and Mad Men, PBS' Downton Abbey, HBO's Game of Thrones and True Detective, and Netflix's House of Cards. Now, don't get me wrong — I'm not, in any way, suggesting that any of these shows don't deserve to be in this group. They obviously do, considering GoT alone raked in 19 nominations this year, and I can't remember a time before True Detective was everyone's obsession. But, what happened to previous network nominees that are still on the air (even if they've over-stayed their welcome) like Grey's Anatomy and The Good Wife? Because the last time a network drama series snuck into this category was The Good Wife, three years ago in 2011, at the 63rd Emmys. So, how did this happen? Well, the last 10 years of nominees and winners explain it pretty well:

2004

The West Wing, NBC

Joan of Arcadia, CBS

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS

24, FOX

The Sopranos, HBO — WINNER

2005

24, FOX

Deadwood, HBO

LOST, ABC — WINNER

Six Feet Under, HBO

The West Wing, NBC

2006

24, FOX — WINNER

Grey's Anatomy, ABC

House, FOX

The Sopranos, HBO

The West Wing, NBC

2007

Boston Legal, ABC

Grey's Anatomy, ABC

Heroes, NBC

House, FOX

The Sopranos, HBO — WINNER

2008

Boston Legal, ABC

Damages, FX Networks

Dexter, Showtime

House, FOX

LOST, ABC

Mad Men, AMC — WINNER

2009

Big Love, HBO

Breaking Bad, AMC

Damages, FX Networks

Dexter, Showtime

House, FOX

LOST, ABC

Mad Men, AMC — WINNER

2010

Breaking Bad, AMC

Dexter, Showtime

LOST, ABC

Mad Men, AMC — WINNER

The Good Wife, CBS

True Blood, HBO

2011

Boardwalk Empire, HBO

Dexter, Showtime

Friday Night Lights, DirecTV

Game of Thrones, HBO

Mad Men, AMC — WINNER

The Good Wife, CBS

2012

Boardwalk Empire, HBO

Breaking Bad, AMC

Downton Abbey, PBS

Game of Thrones, HBO

Homeland, Showtime — WINNER

Mad Men, AMC

2013

Breaking Bad, AMC — WINNER

Downton Abbey, PBS

Game of Thrones, HBO

Homeland, Showtime

House of Cards, Netflix

Mad Men, AMC

Back in 2004 (and when this category only had five nominees), network television dominated the Outstanding Drama Series race with 24, The West Wing, Joan of Arcadia, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and only one, little HBO series, The Sopranos, was able to sneak in. Since then, however, networks have seen a steady-decline in drama series Emmy nominations as HBO, Showtime, and AMC crept up with their antiheroes and period dramas like Boardwalk Empire. The fact also remains that, in the past 10 years, only two network shows, Lost and 24, managed to take home the Drama Series trophy in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

So, while the antihero opened up viewers' eyes to the "Golden Age of Television," did he also kill the network drama?

Either way, AMC is totally saying to all of the other 2014 Drama Series nominees, "Say my name."

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