Emmy Spotlight: ‘The Good Wife’

Eight of our 11 editors have “The Good Wife” in their top three predictions for the winner of Best Drama Series with “Mad Men” and “Boardwalk Empire” as the frontrunners. The other nominees are “Dexter,” “Friday Night Lights” and “Game of Thrones.”

Of the four returning series, “Mad Men” increased its Emmy nominations to 19 from 17, “The Good Wife” stayed at nine, “Dexter” dropped from seven to five and “Friday Night Lights,” which picked up it first series bid, held steady at four.

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While “The Good Wife” may have stayed static with Emmy voters, critics increased their praise of the legal drama as it jumped from 76 to 89 on MetaCritic. Much of their attention was focused on series star Julianna Margulies who just earned her eighth career nomination. Also returning to the Emmys are last year’s surprise Supporting Drama Actress winner Archie Panjabi and nominee Christine Baranski. Josh Charles landed his first Supporting Drama Actor bid while Alan Cumming parlayed his nominated guest spot last year into a contending role this year. And Emmy darling Michael J. Fox reaped a bid in the Guest Drama Actor race.

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However, neither the directing nor writing of “The Good Wife” merited any nominations. The last time a series prevailed in the top drama category without receiving at least one such nod was in 1999 when “The Practice” won for the second year in a row. Like “The Practice,” “The Good Wife” is a legal drama that airs on a broadcast net and could be a serious rival to its cable counterparts. After all, new episodes of “The Good Wife” aired as recently as May while both “Mad Men” and “Boardwalk Empire” ended their contending seasons in 2010. 

BEST DRAMA SERIES
“The Good Wife”

BEST LEAD ACTRESS
Julianna Margulies

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Charles
Alan Cumming

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Christine Baranski
Archie Panjabi

BEST GUEST ACTOR
Michael J. Fox

BEST CASTING
Mark Saks, Casting Director

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Fred Murphy, Director of Photography

The clip below is from “In Sickness,” Margulies’ sample episode. Her character discovers that her husband had an affair with her best friend.

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