Spacey helps make TV history with ‘House of Cards’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Spacey loves being part of what he calls “a new paradigm”: Internet television that’s just as compelling and well produced as anything on a cable or broadcast channel.

Spacey was nominated for an Emmy Award Thursday for his leading role in “House of Cards,” the Netflix original series that collected nine bids in all.

“I’m so happy for the series and so happy for Netflix … because it’s a big acknowledgement of the show and its quality,” said Spacey, also an executive producer. “For us to have broken through in … so many categories, nine nominations, for what is really, in many ways, a new paradigm, is so thrilling.”

Internet TV is a new frontier with new rules. For example, Netflix didn’t require “House of Cards” to begin with a pilot episode introducing the main characters and story lines, freeing the writers to create natural suspense in an evolving story.

“It changes the creative process of how you write a show,” said Spacey, 53. “When they gave us an order of 26 episodes — or chapters, as we like to call them — that was a remarkable thing for us because it meant that we could just get on with telling the story.”

The way the show is distributed — all 13 episodes available at once — also offers audiences more choices about how to consume it.

Such creative flexibility draws film writers, directors and actors, such as Spacey, to the TV landscape.

“For storytellers who want to tell stories that are driven by character and not by explosions and things that only, in a sense, appeal to the heartbeat or the pulse and not the mind, then it makes sense to me that the best writers and directors and actors and storytellers are going to go to the ground where it is fertile,” he said. “It’s very fertile now, obviously. The streaming business is fertile, and the television business in its usual sense.”

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at http://www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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