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Will 'The Good Wife' return to Drama Series race at Emmys?

By Paul Sheehan
Apr 18 2013 09:40 am
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"The Good Wife" was a contender for Best Drama Series at the Emmys for its first two seasons losing to "Mad Men" in both 2010 and 2011. Last year, despite reaping seven bids, it was shut out of this top race. Will it return?

Reviewers have been raving about the current season and it scores 86 at Metacritic, tying the second season which did reap a series bid. And that score is high enough for a sixth place finish among all drama series contenders. 

Last year's snub has hurt the CBS Sunday night staple in our rankings for this year's Emmys. It is behind all six of last year's nominees as well as newcomers "House of Cards" from Netflix -- which is 11th on the critics' list -- and HBO's "The Newsroom" which sits in 17th place among reviewers.  

Last year marked the first time in Emmy history that no fare from the commercial broadcast networks contended in the Drama Series category. Voters aware of this exclusion may boost "The Good Wife" into the top six. 

The acting branch certainly loves this show as performers account for 17 of the 25 nominations. In 2010, the show won one of its nine nominations -- an upset by Archie Panjabi in Supporting Actress. In 2011, star Julianna Margulies was the lone win out of nine nods. Last year, guest star Martha Plimpton was the sole champ among the seven nominees. 

RELATED: Hey, where's the Emmy love for critically praised 'Justified'?

Will "The Good Wife" bounce back into the Drama Series race? Our editors offer their opinions below. What do you think? Make your Emmy predictions here

Says Gold Derby founder Tom O'Neil

Even though “The Good Wife” wasn’t nominated for Best Drama Series last year, there’s a very good chance it will rally. Other shows managed to return to the race after being dropped in the past (“Lost,” “Six Feet Under”) and this isn’t just any show.

According to TV critics, it’s the best drama on broadcast television and that’s important to academy voters. Most of them work in broadcast TV and they have a strong vested interest in championing their medium, which is under siege by cable fare.

It’s remarkable in another way too. “The Good Wife” is told through a female perspective – that’s a plus because it’s noble. Also key: it has serialized plots just like most recent champs. And class. Loads of class and style. Voters love dramas about beautiful rich people (“Mad Men,” “The West Wing”), especially when they’re attorneys (“The Practice,” “L.A. Law”).

Of course, Margulies will be nominated again. The big cliffhanger is: how many supporting stars will make the cut?

For Rob Licuria

"The Good Wife" undoubtedly remains the best example of what a prestige drama series on broadcast television should be. First class writing and directing combine beautifully with an A-grade cast, led by Emmy darling Julianna Margulies, previous nominees (and winners) Josh Charles, Christine Baranski, Archie Panjabi and Alan Cumming, and the highly respected Chris Noth and Matt Czuchry.

For its first two years, it was effectively the last bastion of the broadcast networks in the cripplingly competitive Best Drama Series category. Last year it likely just missed out under the weight of just too many contenders vying for six slots. And this year, that situation will be even more of a problem for "The Good Wife," as countless drama series, mostly from basic and premium cable, battle it out for a seat at the table.

After a rough start to its fourth season, where consensus appears to be that certain storylines weren't working, the show has excelled at what it does best -- delivering riveting courtroom drama while delving into rich and complicated characters. That the show also showcases the absolute best guest cast on TV is also a feather in its cap. But how does it squeeze into a six-deep category when there are about 15 series battling it out?

However, Marcus Dixon cautions: 

When "The Good Wife" failed to receive a Best Drama Series nomination at last year's Emmys, that was essentially the nail in the coffin for what I'd call my favorite broadcast network drama. Nine times out of 10, when an Emmy favorite fails to receive a top nomination in any given year, their time in the Emmy spotlight is essentially over. The one exception that comes to mind is "Lost," which won the Best Drama Series Emmy in 2004, got snubbed in 2005 and 2006, and then rebounded with nominations for its final three seasons. Unless a "Lost"-style reset were to occur again, "The Good Wife's" elimination from the top category last year signals the beginning of the end for this brilliant legal series at the Emmys.

And Daniel Montgomery thinks: 

Some shows are ahead of their time. "The Good Wife," on the other hand, is a little bit behind. Fifteen or 20 years ago, when shows like "Picket Fences," "Law & Order," and "The Practice" were winning Emmys, "The Good Wife" would have been a shoo-in for a Drama Series nominations, maybe even a couple of wins. But in the 2000s shows like "The Sopranos" changed the paradigm, and in the 2010s case-of-the week procedurals on the broadcast networks have fully ceded their prestige, acclaim, and watercooler appeal to edgier, serialized cable fare like "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," and "Homeland." While there's still a chance for "Good Wife" to return to Best Drama at the Emmys, and multiple acting nominations are all but certain, it represents an old guard of TV that's on its way out.

RELATEDTom O'Neil: Why I predict 'Louie' will win Emmy for Best Comedy Series

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