Once again this year CBS’ The Good Wife is the only real broadcast contender for a best drama series Emmy nomination. It was the only broadcast series in the category last year and the only best drama series nominee producing 22 episodes a season in both of its years of eligibility to date, 2010 and 2011. (There was only one other broadcast drama, ABC’s Lost, which landed a nom in 2010 for its 16-episode final season. The final season of DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights, which earned a nom last year, consisted of 13 episodes despite the show’s broadcast origins as an NBC series.) Facing cable competitors who make 10-13 episodes a year, The Good Wife is taking a page from the cable playbook in its Emmy campaign this year, trying to put as many episodes in the hands of voters as possible. The legal drama’s Emmy mailer contains seven episodes, far more than the average 2-4 episodes sent by most shows. A cable series, Showtime’s Huff, was the first to send out an entire season of episodes to TV Academy members in 2005. The strategy has been subsequently adopted by other cable shows but broadcast drama and comedy series have largely stuck to the decade-old tradition of only making a handful of episodes available to voters. In its first two years of eligibility, The Good Wife has won two Emmys, one for star Julianna Margulies last year and one for supporting actress Archie Panjabi in 2010. The series has netted a total of 18 Emmy nominations, including two for best drama series and one for writing for creators’ Michelle and Robert King’s pilot.
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