Television

Against All Odds: “The Good Wife”

It appears to be that time of year again. The time where you cringe wondering if your favorite show that is “on the bubble” will be canceled or renewed. For the next few weeks I’ll be taking a look at some of the bigger “bubble” shows, starting with CBS’s The Good Wife.

Odds in Favor of Renewal:

While The Good Wife definitely isn’t a ratings hit for CBS in its new Sunday timeslot, the series still has a lot of award recognition in its third year. It is probably broadcast television’s only award darling among many cable shows. Stars Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi also get constant recognition for their roles.

The show blends legal drama, humor, and sexuality in 42-minutes of great storytelling. The subplots involving recurring starChris Noth and his character’s drive to the top also are engaging week in and week out. The balance between workplace and home also keeps the show fresh, as the children of Noth and Margulies are now in their mid-to-late teens.

The final thing going for the series is that one more season will help The Good Wife be a lock-in for a good syndication deal. If the current season (the third) ends up having 23-episodes like the first two, the show will have 69-episodes by the end of the season. 88 is the magic number, 100 is the key for a great deal. A full fourth season will have the show hovering around 90.

Odds Against Renewal:

Ratings, ratings, ratings! While the first season of the show had decent ratings, they have dropped quite a bit in the Sunday timeslot. Also, being the third season of any series means that production costs are rising. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, it does make CBS consider how much they would make on syndication.

Another key thing to focus on is that The Good Wife went home with 0 Golden Globe wins this year, with Margulies supposedly  being the front-runner in her category. Does this signal a slow decrease in award buzz for the series?3

Final Verdict:

If The Good Wife gets a fourth season, it will more than likely be its last. While the show gets great guest stars (Michael J. Fox, Jerry Stiller, and Gary Cole to name a few), everything about the show is getting expensive. CBS still needs to make money on the show.

Odds: 70%

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