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'House of Cards,' 'Veep' rack up awards nominations, as anti-incentives talk grows

TV awards season starts Sunday with the Golden Globes, and the buzz is that Kevin Spacey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus could win as best actor in a drama and best actress in a comedy or musical, respectively.

But the bigger story here is the way both of their Maryland-made productions, "House of Cards" and "Veep," continue to pile up nominations for excellence -- even as the number of voices calling for the state to end incentives to them grows.

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I wonder if some of the people on that bandwagon appreciate how rare it is to have two productions of this quality filming in a place like Baltimore. Read what you will into that sentence. As much as I love living here, I know a lot of TV producers and performers who would rather be in Los Angeles six months out of the year.

I understand how attractive economically and politically a fast end to incentives is when you have the kind of budget deficit Maryland does - and a new governor elected on a pledge of just such action.

But here's a prediction from someone who has been covering this story since "Homicide: Life on the Street" started filming here: You end incentives in this next legislative session, and you will never get back to the level of production excellence Maryland has now. In fact, Maryland might have a hard time getting any kind of serious TV or online production here again.

Typical of the quality of talent working here, the nominees for the Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production were announced Monday: Steve Arnold for "House of Cards" and James Gloster for "Veep." Those awards will be given on Jan. 31 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Also announced on Monday were the nominees for the Producers Guild Awards. Again, both "Veep" and "House of Cards" were nominated. Awards will be given on Jan. 24 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.

Here's the producing team for "Veep" (HBO): Chris Addison, Simon Blackwell, Christopher Godsick, Armando Iannucci, Stephanie Laing, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Frank Rich, Tony Roche.

Here's the producing team for "House of Cards" (Netflix): Dana Brunetti, Joshua Donen, David Fincher, David Manson, Iain Paterson, Eric Roth, Kevin Spacey, Beau Willimon.

That's some pretty serious Hollywood talent making TV and online series in Maryland.

Are you sure you want to end such relationships?

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