The Good Wife (CBS)
How often we’ve seen the sad tableau: The dutiful politician’s spouse stands stoically behind her man as he seeks forgiveness from her, his family and his constituents for a lapse of judgment and ethics — on live TV. Writer-producers Michelle and Robert King extrapolated this scenario into The Good Wife, invigorating the cliche with vivid characterization and a narrative both imaginative and logical. After her husband is disgraced by sexual scandal and jailed for corruption, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) nervously resumes her abandoned law career to support herself and two children. At Chicago’s Stern, Lockhart & Gardner, she finds conscience issues all her own, from clients who are anything but righteous to the temptation of an old flame who’s now her boss. And when her husband is cleared of corruption and begins his political rehabilitation, pressure mounts for her to resume her good wife role, or at least play along, lest she sabotage him. Alicia’s home and work challenges are carefully interwoven each week with ingeniously varied legal cases, from murder defenses to intellectual property theft. Meanwhile, the series’ universe of distinctive, smartly etched characters continues to expand. For its compelling melding of an edgy, morally challenging drama most associated with premium cable and the legal heroics that have been broadcast-network staples for half a century, The Good Wife receives a Peabody Award.
Executive producers: Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Robert King, Michelle King, David Zucker, Brooke Kennedy. Co-executive producers: Ted Humphrey, Keith Eisner, Leonard Dick. Producers: Courtney Kemp-Agboh, Corrine Brinkerhoff, Kristin Bernstein. Story editor: Meredith Averill. Actors: Julianna Margulies, Christine Baranski, Josh Charles, Archie Panjabi, Matt Czurchy, Makenzie Vega, Graham Phillips, Alan Cumming, Chris Noth. Casting: Mark Saks. Editors: Scott Vickrey, David Dworetzky, Hibah Frisna. Director of photography: Fred Murphy.