When it was announced last July that Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was up for an Emmy Award last July, I said this was history in the making. It would be the first time that internet-only content would compete with webisodes made for established shows, and a Super Bowl halftime show.
On September 12th, 2009, Dr. Horrible stopped the world, not with his freeze-ray but with a song. The musical won the Emmy for Special Class, Short-Form, Live-Action Entertainment Program. This also marks the day Joss Whedon won his first Emmy Award.
So what happens now?
Will the Emmys add more categories for internet shows, including Felicia Day's The Guild? Her show started season three with a bang thanks to a popular video that became an instant hit on YouTube and iTunes. From there, thousands of fans are embedding episodes into their blogs, as they worry about how the Knights of Good will defeat their latest enemy, the Axis of Anarchy.
However, it doesn't stop there. Lisa Kudrow, who won an Emmy for Friends, is making her mark on the net thanks to a sitcom called Web Therapy. Jon Heder, best known for Napoleon Dynamite, will be part of a zombie comedy called Woke Up Dead for Crackle.com in October. Along with classic shows, theWB.com has a number of original shows for the net including Children's Hospital, Rockville, CA and The Lake (directed by 90210's Jason Priestley).
There's a growing number of people who are weary of reality shows, too many spinoffs, and shows that all look the same. They are turning to the internet for original programming that may be edgier or quirkier than what HBO, Showtime or basic cable may provide. Once the internet gets a loyal audience, the Emmys will have to recognize that form of entertainment. It took years to allow cable TV shows to compete for Emmys, and it may not be long before internet programs will be welcome, too. While it may be years away before an internet drama may compete against Mad Men or 24, giving web-only shows their own categories is a start, and something the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences should consider in the near future.
As Dr. Horrible would say, "it's a brand new day," and he's the one who brought it to the Emmys.
Or to recycle an old show biz quote, we can all relax, because Joss has got his Emmy. There better be more where that came from, Emmy!
Too bad the songs from the musical weren't nominated. They were a lot better than what has won in the past two years, and he and Jed could have picked one up, too.