This season has been abuzz with the success of female-led comedies, but The Good Wife’s Christine Baranski says that it is not just comedy leading the field — television itself is entering a “new and exciting age for women.”
Baranski was among five women receiving New York Women in Film & Television’s Muse Awards at its 31st annual luncheon at the New York Hilton on Wednesday. Claire Danes, star of Showtime’s Homeland; Marcie Bloom, cofounder and former copresident of Sony Pictures Classics and partner of Orion Classics; Nadine Schramm, president of the industry’s leading trucking and labor service provider Budd Enterprises; and Martha Stewart, founder of MSLO and host of Hallmark Channel’s The Martha Stewart Show, were honored for their roles as women in the entertainment industry.
Both Baranski, as high-powered lawyer Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife, and Danes, as CIA operations officer Carrie Mathison on Homeland, portray strong leading women on their shows, bringing the female-led comedy trend to drama.
“The Good Wife is at the tippy top of the heap in terms of its quality of writing and the way the female characters are [written] in such a complex way,” Baranski said. “Claire Danes is on a great show, Glenn Close [on DirecTV’s Damages] — this is a marvelous terrain for women actresses…We have great writing being done on cable and on network.”
On cable, however, series like Homeland – which has proved a hit for Showtime, debuting as the network’s highest-rated freshman drama in eight years — are less restricted, and therefore more likely to push the envelope.
“We have to be a little classier; we can’t throw around those four letter words. I think it’s very good for network television, for CBS, to have such a quality show. Network television can do this; it’s got to try harder to do it. CBS had led the way,” Baranski said.