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It’s really happening: The world is going to get more Diane Lockhart in her own The Good Wife spinoff. The series, which will be on CBS’s streaming platform CBS All Access, is finally taking shape and for good reason, it’s premiering in February 2017. What do you need to know about Christine Baranski‘s The Good Wife spinoff? We’ve got you covered.
Baranski is headlining the unnamed series as Diane Lockhart, her Good Wife character. Returning faces from the original series include Cush Jumbo as Lucca Quinn and Sarah Steele as Marissa Gold. Confirmed newbies to The Good Wife world include Game of Thrones‘ Rose Leslie as Maia, Diane’s goddaughter and Delroy Lindo as Robert Boseman.
Regarding Leslie’s casting, showrunners and executive producers Robert and Michelle King said, “We’re thrilled to have Rose on board. We needed a young actress who could hold her own with Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo, and Rose is perfect. She’s real, she’s strong and she can play comedy. If we designed an actress from the ground up, we couldn’t have done better.”
And about Lindo, the Kings said, “Boseman is a character who dominates every scene, intimidates every lawyer, and is beloved by every client. He needs to look like a Chicago lawyer, but have a Shakespearian facility with language, and Delroy Lindo was really the only actor who came to mind. Obviously, we always loved his work in Get Shorty and Clockers, but it really was his work in Heist that jumps off the screen. It’s an incredible character he created and we are thrilled that Delroy agreed to come on board. Just thinking of his scenes with Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo makes us smile.”
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The untitled Good Wife spinoff also added Bernadette Peters and Paul Guilfoyle as recurring players. They’ll play Maia’s parents. CSI veteran Guilfoyle will play Henry, a beloved financial advisor. Peters is Lenore, financial whiz who expanded Henry’s fortune through her family’s private firm.
The Kings have said there is a possibility viewers would see Julianna Margulies once again strap on an Alicia Florrick wig for the series and provide more closure as to what happened after that final hallway scene between Alicia and Diane.
“It’s difficult only because you don’t want to taint something that felt complete to us,” Robert King told E! News earlier this summer. “One of those things we’re seeing if it works is seeing if Julianna can guest on the show. It’s not going to be going in the past, it will be continuing in the future…It is its own story and you want it to be its own story, so that is difficult and that’s one of the things we’re trying to break.”
Meanwhile, Carrie Preston and Jess Weixler have made it known they would love to return to the world of The Good Wife.
“It’s the best character I’ve ever gotten to play, no offense to Arlene on True Blood, but Elsbeth was like a real gift…I would take any opportunity to go and bring her back to life again,” Preston told us.
Weixler, who played investigator Robyn, said she’d return “in a heartbeat.” “Christine Baranski, she has been one of my idols from the beginning…I know it’s so silly, but when I saw her in The Grinch and all these different things growing up, I was like who is incredible force? I hope I have a moment to be on her team,” Weixler said.
The Kings are open to returning players too.”That’s the thing, could you really pass that up? Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo and hopefully we’ll get some faces you’ll recognize, but we really also want it to be about new faces too,” Robert said.
One person you’re probably never going to see again? Archie Panjabi‘s Kalinda Sharma. Panjabi left the show at the end of season six amid rumors of a feud with Margulies. Their final scene, the first the characters had shared since season four, wasn’t even shared—it was filmed with stand-ins and spliced together.
At TCA, she declined to discuss her exit, but after a panel for NBC’s Blindspot, where she recurs, Panjabi said she hadn’t thought about a spinoff appearance. “Truthfully, I haven’t even thought about that at that juncture,” Panjabi told press after the panel. “So, I can’t answer that. Who knows?”
But Panjabi said she’d entertain the thought…”I don’t know, to tell you the truth. Like I said, when I unzipped the boots, I knew it was the right time, so I don’t know. I’d have to sit and think about that,” she said.
And then seemingly put the nail in the coffin with a New York Times interview. “When I unzipped the boots, it felt so right. I had reached a stage of closure. I loved that character, and I’m often asked, “Would you come back to do the spinoff?” But I don’t know about stepping back into those boots. I don’t know if I could do it,” she said.
Things pick up for Diane Lockhart a year after she parted ways with Alicia Florrick (Margulies) in that back hallway with the slap heard around the world. A financial scam destroys Maia’s reputation and wipes out Diane’s savings. Lindo’s Robert Boseman begins poaching Diane’s associates and clients after the financial troubles hit. Diane is forced out of Lockhart & Lee and forced to join Lucca Quinn at a new pre-eminent law firm.
The Kings created the series and have been brought on as showrunners and serve as executive producers. Phil Alden Robinson co-wrote the premiere with the Kings and serves as executive producer alongside Ridley Scott, David Zucker, Liz Glotzer, Brooke Kennedy and Alison Cross.
WHERE TO WATCH
The premiere will air on CBS proper and then the additional nine episodes will be on CBS All Access starting in February 2017.