Deadline TV contributor Diane Haithman files this report:
Michelle and Robert King regret only one thing about their critically acclaimed network political drama: the title. “I don’t think guys are saying: ‘I have to get home and watch The Good Wife,’” jokes Robert. “We could have done better for ourselves if it was called The Sexy Wife or The Wife in Very Sheer Lingerie. Problem is, the show is meant to be edgy in a cable-like way, and there is something very patrician-sounding about the title.” Whatever its name, the married creators and executive producers of this CBS series say they were shocked when 2010 Emmy nominations were announced and the freshman season reeled in nine Emmy nominations: for the series, for them as writers, for star Julianna Margulies, and for supporting actress Archie Panjabi who alone took home the gold for her edgy and sexy portrayal of secretive law firm investigator Kalinda Sharma.
“Look, the bottom line last year was, we weren’t expecting anything — and we’re not expecting anything this year,” says Robert. “We were just stunned by the love directed towards the show. You can be a little insular when you are doing a series — you get no sense of whether you are hitting your creative bullseye. What Emmy means to us is that it will probably bring more eyeballs. There may be people who are still turned off by the title, but I think it’s a show they might be drawn to if they saw it won an award.”
CBS Television Studios, which produces the serial, found that the problematic word for attracting audiences was not the word “Good” in the title but “Wife.” Says President David Stapf, “As a guy, I love this show. But I do wonder if the title does chase some men away?” Though at this point after its second season, the episode plots have gone far beyond the original topical premise: the story of a “good wife” who stands by a philandering political husband. Or does she?