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Emmys recognize online video with this year's nominees

'Epic Rap Battles of History,' 'Honest Trailers,' and others are up for the award.

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You knew this was coming. The Emmys announced back in March that it would expand its award categories beyond the conventional, big-budget television productions to include short-form series, virtual reality and internet-only videos -- and it has. At the upcoming 68th annual Emmy Awards, five popular online series are in the running for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series. The nominees include YouTube hits Epic Rap Battles of History and Honest Trailers, Funny or Die's Gay of Thrones, and both Making A Scene With James Franco and Park Bench With Steve Buscemi from AOL.

What's more, Her Story, a YouTube exclusive, was nominated for "Outstanding Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series," against traditional television shows like Comedy Central's Childrens Hospital, Lifetime's UnREAL The Auditions and even a Fear the Walking Dead episode.

This is a big deal. Even just a few years ago, the thought of any but traditional television programs being nominated for an Emmy, much less actually winning one, was laughable. However, given online video's global reach and rapid maturation, shows like these now rival conventional media in both audience size and production quality. So it's no wonder that they're now getting serious looks from the Academy. The Emmys will air September 18th, 2016 at 5PM Pacific.

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