In the penultimate season of “The Good Fight,” series costar Delroy Lindo bid farewell to his savvy and charismatic character Adrian Boseman. For the final season of the Paramount+ show, which aired its series finale on Nov. 10, creators Robert King and Michelle King introduced the equally compelling Andre Braugher to the ensemble in the role of Ri’Chard Lane, a walking brand of a lawyer and a Machiavellian character who complicates the leadership dynamics between Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and named partner Liz Reddick (Audra McDonald). Could the celebrated award-winning actor, who delivered a bravura turn as the scene-stealing Ri’Chard, help the overlooked show finally break through at the Emmy Awards?
SEE ‘The Good Fight’ series finale: How the daring drama pulled off an exceptional finish
Much like his co-star Baranski, Braugher has been an Emmy nominations magnet with 11 to date, attracting acclaim and recognition for his work across genres throughout his career. His first two nominations came in the same year, when he earned his first for Drama Actor for “Homicide: Life on the Street” and Miniseries Supporting Actor for “The Tuskegee Airmen” in 1996. He would win for “Homicide” two years later. Soon after, he netted another nom in Drama Actor for “Gideon’s Crossing” (2001) before taking home his second trophy for Movie/Mini Actor for “Thief” in 2006. Since then, he earned back-to-back bids for “Men of a Certain Age” in Drama Supporting Actor (2010-11) before going on to receive four nominations, three consecutively, for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” in Comedy Supporting Actor (2014-16, 2020).
It is those nominations for “Men of a Certain Age” that could be most indicative of a potential nomination for “The Good Fight.” That drama series was created by Mike Royce and Ray Romano and ran for two under-appreciated seasons in which Braugher costarred as Owen Thoreau, Jr., a put-upon car salesman who cannot escape his domineering father’s shadow. He was the sole nominee for the series not once, but twice, drawing support from actors even while other branches of the academy paid no attention to the show.
SEE ‘The Good Fight’ final season reviews: ‘Must-watch,’ ‘most ambitious’ episodes ever
“The Good Fight” is in a similar position to “Men of a Certain Age” as a critically-acclaimed, WGA-nominated series that has not significantly broken through with the Emmys. It did earn two nominations for its earliest seasons — in Main Title Theme Music for David Buckley (2017) and Original Music and Lyrics for Jonathan Coulton (2018) — but it never drew the widespread support of its predecessor “The Good Wife,” which was nominated for 43 trophies, including two for Drama Series and 30 for acting, including five wins.
That could change with Braugher. Not only does he seem so beloved in the industry that he has earned nominations for series that have otherwise been overlooked, but the Drama Supporting Actor field is also prime for some new contenders. Of last year’s eight nominees, five are ineligible: Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”), Park Hae-soo (“Squid Game”), John Turturro (“Severance”), Christopher Walken (“Severance”), and Oh Young-soo (“Squid Game”). That leaves the trio of “Succession” nominees — Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin, and Matthew Macfadyen — eligible to return for the final season of the HBO juggernaut, plus new contenders from “The White Lotus: Sicily,” “The Crown,” “House of the Dragon” and other series looking to pounce. But with the demise of the preferential ballot, it isn’t likely that any one show like “The White Lotus” will monopolize all of the category’s slots. If that’s the case, a beloved, 11-time nominee like Braugher could absolutely surprise.
PREDICT the 2023 Emmy nominations through July 12
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