Will CBS All Access break through at 2017 Emmys thanks to ‘The Good Fight’ and Christine Baranski?

CBS All Access is making its first big Emmy push this year with “The Good Fight,” but will enough TV academy members have seen the show? In a savvy move, CBS TV Studios sent DVD screeners of all 10 episodes of the drama series to Emmy voters, so those who don’t subscribe to the streaming service were able to watch the entire first season. The series functions as a spinoff to CBS’s “The Good Wife” and features Emmy favorite Christine Baranski reprising her role as Diane Lockhart, but being on a new streaming service makes it a head-scratcher for Emmy predictions.

“The Good Fight” is the first original scripted show for CBS All Access, the online subscription service owned by CBS. While the first episode premiered on CBS proper in February, the rest of the first season’s 10 episodes were only available to be watched via CBS All Access. The series received rave reviews from critics, with many praising its wit and focus on complex female characters.

It’s no surprise that an Emmy campaign was launched given the success of “The Good Wife” at the awards show. Support for “The Good Wife” waxed and waned over the years, though four actresses were able to take home Emmys through its seven-season run, including star Julianna Margulies (twice), supporting favorite Archie Panjabi, and guest stars Martha Plimpton and Carrie Preston. Baranski was nominated for six consecutive years for Best Drama Supporting Actress but was never able to win.

Baranski is now the star of the show, so she is campaigning in Best Drama Actress, while co-stars Cush Jumbo, Rose Leslie, Sarah Steele, Justin Bartha and Delroy Lindo are competing in the supporting categories, alongside recurring cast members Paul Guilfoyle and Bernadette Peters. If Baranski gets nominated, our readers think that she should submit the pilot (“Inauguration”) as her Emmy episode submission.

While “The Good Fight” may have all the right ingredients for Emmy success, the CBS All Access factor puts a big question mark on its potential. Voters have been kind to some streaming services like Netflix and Amazon in their first forays into original programming, embracing shows like “House of Cards” and “Transparent.” Yet, other subscription sites have struggled to score major Emmy love, like Hulu (two nominations total) and Crackle (three nominations). CBS All Access is a different animal as it’s home to CBS programming only, and is still in its infancy stage with “The Good Fight” and “Big Brother: Over the Top” as its only programs. (“Star Trek: Discovery” is set to debut September 24 — watch the trailer.)

With a few days to go before Emmy nominations are announced on July 13, Gold Derby odds predict two “Good Fight” guest stars will be nominated — Preston, who reprises her Emmy-winning “Good Wife” role as Elsbeth Tascioni, and Dylan Baker, who returns to play Colin Sweeney. Meanwhile, Baranski is close to breaking into Best Drama Actress. The series is also contending for Best Drama Directing, Writing, and a number of technical categories. If Emmy voters are fans of the world Robert and Michelle King created, though, it could show up in numerous major categories, including Best Drama Series.

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