Christine Baranski, Good Wife

Myles Aronowitz/CBS

In some strange twist of fate The Good Wife did not get nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Drama Series category or in the Drama Writing category. Its stars—Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles and Christine Baranski— picked up nominations, and despite having a season heralded by critics and fans alike, The Good Wife was snubbed.

"If you really look back on season five and just watch the whole season unfold, there's such artistry to it. The court cases are interesting; the personal relationships are so interesting and adult. The office politics—people can really relate to it because it's very much a grown-up world," Baranski told E! News. "I'm always saying this: This is a show that doesn't rely on sensationalism or violence, rape, sex, beheadings and people being in strange, weird, aberrational—particularly women. I love that the women in this show—we're not victims, we're not arch-bitches, we're adult characters living in a tough moral…in a new world where there's just moral ambiguity and it gets harder and harder to see what's the right and the wrong thing. I always like to call this show shades of gray. There's a real skill involved in writing a show that has that complexity and sophistication."

So where's the nomination? Ask just about anybody who's seen more than one episode of The Good Wife and they'll agree with Baranski's sentiments. With her 12th nomination overall and fifth for playing Diane Lockhart, Baranski is an awards veteran. While The Good Wife's snub stings, Baranski is finding some solace in the reaction its caused in the media and fans.

The Good Wife, Archie Panjabi, Christine Baranski

Jeff Neira/CBS

At this point, does getting nominated lose its thrill?
No, I'm no longer a virgin, though...I remember the first time I got a nomination and actually that was the nomination I actually won for Cybill. It is a very cool first feeling, very cool. But you know what? It's like the wonder of it. This is my 12th nomination—it's an amazing thing to get the nomination and know you're with your peers. It's a pretty wonderful feeling, I'm not jaded about it, believe me.

Watching your work this season it just felt like a done deal because your work as Diane was amazing.
Well, you know, I've got to say—look what they gave me to do. I mean, the breakup of the firm, losing the judgeship, getting married and then the loss of my partner and literally leaving the firm in the final episode. As dramatic arcs go, [Laughs.] I really had a good one. I thank the Kings for that. I think they wrote a phenomenal season this year. I'm sorry they're not being recognized because I think the reason you have three actors with these nominations—Josh and Jules and I—is we were just given such great material and it was a brilliantly conceived season, brilliantly executed.

Right, which is why there's so much outrage over The Good Wife's snub.
If that's what happens where we get more attention for not getting a nomination and people are starting to say, "Hey, wait a minute, it's time to recognize this. It's 22 quality episodes, maybe it's not a level playing field we're dealing with here and if The Good Wife can't win after a season like that, there's got to be something a little off-kilter," so I'm glad people are upset. I mean, it's a happy day, but I'm glad it's being recognized. Maybe we need to reexamine how this whole awards system works…In television, the whole landscape is changing. We have shows that do—what was True Detective? Six? Eight? OK, so how does 22…it's just not the same in terms of storytelling and production.

And there's longer lead times for production on cable that you don't always have on broadcast.
Yeah, yeah. Big movie stars can come in for eight episodes. You do 22 episodes, that's a commitment. [Laughs.] That's a commitment, year-after-year. It's also a privilege because there are 22 episodes over the course of five years that I've gotten to tell the story of my character and be part of something that's—something that people really follow and invest in, so it packs a punch when one of your lead characters is taken out. The response to Will Gardner's death was unbelievable. It was like someone had actually died.

The Good Wife, Julianna Margulies, Christine Baranski


Have you heard from Josh or Julianna?
I heard from Jules this morning. I haven't heard from Josh, but I popped him an email. Your email starts getting flooded—all your agents are happily writing you [Laughs.] He's probably answering a lot of emails.

Are you doing anything special to celebrate?
I'm not, although it's kind of touching: My acting teacher and the man who gave me my first break as an actress happens to be in my neighborhood in Connecticut and we're going out this evening and it's kind of wonderful. The guy who gave me my first break and opened the door for me, his name is Michael Kahn, and he kind of jump-started my career. That's kind of nice!

Aside from your costars, are you rooting for anybody?
Ah, interesting. I don't want to take sides. I haven't looked at the complete list. I'm sorry my pal Archie [Panjabi] wasn't nominated and Matt [Czuchry] of course who does wonderful work. As happy as you are for yourself and the people who have been recognized, it means other people aren't, so there's that.

The Good Wife returns for season six on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. on CBS

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