Archie Panjabi is leaving ‘The Good Wife’ after the current 6th season (spoilers)


I watch The Good Wife, but I’m not always keeping up with the current season. Since the episodes all run into each other and since CBS often airs new TGW episodes late because of football, I usually just buy the DVDs and watch an entire season over a weekend. The Good Wife is currently in its sixth season and it’s still feels fresh and exciting, even after (SPOILER?) losing one of its principle actors last year when Josh Charles/Will Gardner left in a blaze of courtroom gunfire. Seeing Alicia Florrick deal with that loss made Season 5 especially watchable. Josh Charles’ exit also strengthened the female-driven quality of the show, making everything feel like it was all about Alicia and Diane Lockhart now.

What I also noticed was that Archie Panjabi’s Kalinda character didn’t have all that much to do last season. She gave a powerful supporting performance in the wake of Will’s death, but Kalinda has been largely sidelined over the past season or so. It’s weird because… well, Kalinda used to be the best part of the show. Archie has won multiple awards – including an Emmy – for this role, and she’s provided some of the biggest water-cooler moments. So… sad news, guys. Archie is leaving The Good Wife this season. Damn, girl!!

CBS’ The Good Wife will say farewell to Archie Panjabi this season. The Emmy-winning actress, whose contract expires at the end of season six, has signed a development/holding deal with 20th Century Fox Television, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. 20th’s plan calls for the actress behind Kalinda Sharma to star in a drama pilot for the studio in the spring.

“Archie is an Emmy Award-winning dramatic actress, and rightly so. Her work on The Good Wife has been extraordinary, and the time has come for her to star in a project of her own,”20th exec vp casting Sharon Klein said. “We couldn’t be happier that it will be with us.”

Added Good Wife showrunners Robert and Michelle King: “Archie is an amazing actress who helped build Kalinda from the ground up as an enigmatic, powerful and sexy character. It’s been a pleasure to write for her, and we’ll be sad to see her go; but we still have her for the rest of season six, so let’s not exhaust our goodbyes yet. We look forward to meeting all the wonderful new characters Archie brings to the screen. But either way, we’re keeping the boots.”

Panjabi, a regular since season one, has earned three Emmy nominations (including one win) and a Golden Globe nom for her role on the Good Wife. The actress’ departure does not mean that the critical darling drama could be coming to an end this season. The series has been able to reset itself after a key character exits. In its sixth season, The Good Wife is in the midst of a major reboot following Josh Charles’ shocking departure last season. BuzzFeed this week declared that the drama “is the best show on television right now.”

[From THR]

Well, I like that 20th Century Fox Television recognizes that Archie – a 42-year-old British-Indian woman – should have her own production deal. I know she’ll be okay, because Archie works like crazy and she’s always popping up in weird British productions too. I was shocked to see her pop up in The Fall as a sexy, Kalinda-like pathologist in Belfast, and she’s always getting those kinds of supporting parts in film & TV. But I’ll be sad to see Kalinda go. Kalinda/Archie is my spirit animal.

PS… I hope they don’t kill off Kalinda. Kalinda is the kind of person who can disappear like a vapor, like she was never there. They can write her out of the show without killing her.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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28 Responses to “Archie Panjabi is leaving ‘The Good Wife’ after the current 6th season (spoilers)”

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  1. Marianne says:

    Well when Will was still on the show, I know her character told him that she wanted to leave, so thats the storyline they can stick with. That shes tired of the job and wants to do something different or go somewhere different.

    • Rocketmerry says:

      Yep. Archie’s character is not going forward as much as the others, Kalinda is not as close to Alicia anymore, there’s no Will to keep work interesting and exciting, Carey is a complicated situation… Also there’s that weird situation with her (possibly “late”?) husband…
      I say don’t kill her off. She can go in hiding and then they can decide if after a couple more seasons she could come back and shake things up.

  2. Lahdidahbaby says:

    I love Archie. Now I’m dreading the possibility they might off her. She is one of the best things about The Good Wife.

    • Tanguerita says:

      I’m pretty sure they won’t, I don’t think it’s this kind of show. I remember reading an interview with JM where she said that they had to kill Will, because there was no other way to “separate” him and Alicia: he could not just “leave the town”, because she would have followed him anywhere, sooner or later. So they had to eliminate the very idea of them together in order for her character to develop. Kalinda has been sidelined long time ago, after the horrible 4th season she has barely had anything to do, so – although I really love this character – it’s time for her to go.

  3. Lucy2 says:

    I don’t blame her for wanting to go, character really has been sidelined recently. I’m glad she has such a great opportunity elsewhere, but I agree they shouldn’t kill her off- leave it open to the occasional return someday.
    The show was so good last season, but I’m not really feeling the season yet. I have never enjoyed the more personal stories about Alicia or all the political campaigning, so with so much focus on her now running for office, i’m not enjoying it as much. More Diane!

    • Sugar says:

      I agree that the show needs more Diane! We’ve barely seen her this season and that’s a shame.

      As for Kalinda, she’s always been my least favorite character because it annoys me the way she’s written as some superhero woman that despite her tiny size can put a beat down on a large man. They should write that she outwits them with her intelligence , which could be believable. I also find it annoying that they want us to believe that her seductive powers are completely irresistible.

  4. Vee says:

    I love TGW, it won’t be the same without her 🙁

  5. Jessica says:

    Well I’m excited to see what Archie does next but ugh to The Good Wife without her.

    I love the show but Alicia just bores me to death, I’m only there for the other characters. Will and Kalinda brought a different energy to the show that’s much needed. I guess they were like the wildcards, you never quite knew what they were about or where their storylines might go. They made it interesting. Without those two I’ll just be watching for Alan Cumming and a few of the recurring guest actors.

    • Greata says:

      I think Archie is an amazing actress. Her acting is subtle yet it has numerous undertones. I actually think she is a better actress than Marguiles. I am glad she is leaving , and I hope the production deal works out for her.

  6. JKL says:

    From the tv critics I follow I gather that she and Margulies don’t get along. They haven’t shared a scene in something like a season and change, where previously they were practically joined at the hip. I can see that getting on one’s nerves somewhat, so I don’t blame Punjabi for leaving.
    For example:

    • kibbles says:

      Interesting. Had never known about this since I haven’t watched TGW since Season 4. I need to catch up on this show. It’s unfortunate if the rumors are true. They had great chemistry on screen and should work out their personal issues for the sake of the show.

      And this is not a good enough excuse: For Margulies to completely shut down the possibility of a reunion between the two characters is suspicious to me. Anything is possible. Seems like she doesn’t want it personally.

      Another issue is that Margulies is a producer on the show. If there is a personal issue that is affecting the Kalinda character to be sidelined, it is smart for Punjabi to leave and grab a better opportunity to be the star of her own show.

    • Pri says:

      Whoa, that is some juicy stuff JKL. I think the article should include it. I mean, I haven’t seen pics of them together (at award shows, press lines) since the earlier seasons.

  7. Anniefannie says:

    Kalinda is my favorite character on TGW!!
    Having lost Will in the 5th season it’s
    heartbreaking that another major
    character is leaving. I’m not surprised
    that she has major offers but Im shocked
    as hell that’s she’s 42?!? WTF!

  8. Bored suburbanhousewife says:

    I read awhile ago that the Kalinda character was sidelined largely because Julianna insisted that after Alicia learned that Kalinda had once slept with Peter prior to meeting Alicia, a person like Alicia could never ever go back to being BFFs with Kalinda. While I can appreciate that view, the close relationship between Alicia & Kalinda was one of the shows best in the early seasons. Then the writers tried to give K her own marital drama story but fans hated it and it fizzled. I do like her with Cary, though! Glad to see he is getting more to do now and I can’t get enough of Alan. And please more Elspeth!

    • lucy2 says:

      Yet Alicia would still fool around with Peter and publicly support him and remain his wife? But no way would she still be friends with the “other woman”. Interesting.

      • Jessica says:

        I actually think that’s completely consistent with Alicia’s character. She’s a major hypocrite.

        There has to be more to it though because Kalinda was never just Alicia’s friend, she had her own stuff going on and much more interesting relationships with other characters. She didn’t need to be pushed aside just because the character was no longer tight with Alicia.

  9. Anna says:

    She’s 42?!?! Damn she looks really good, I thought she was in her early 30s

  10. feebee says:

    It’s been a bit tough for Kalinda of late. First she and Alicia break up, which made from some interesting scenes but overall less Kalinda, then Will died and to me she was always more Will’s go-to than Diane’s so again less Kalinda.

    I’m with you on not wanting her killed off, though I’m wondering if they’re setting up some sort of confrontation or misunderstanding with Mr Bishop and then she disappears. That might give Alicia another kink to work through. I’m hoping it will set up a nice storyline for Cary.

    It’s great she’s getting her own show though. More Archie Panjabi is always a good thing.

  11. almondey says:

    is there anyone out there utterly underwhelmed by kalinda the character, NOT archie panjabi? I got onto TGW about two months ago and literally devoured the entire show in time for the new season to start a few weeks ago…and i was so excited to love Kalinda because I’ve read so much about Kalinda love…

    …but i’m so underwhelmed and even worse I can’t find anyone who agrees with me. like her whole shtick to me just got so tired halfway through the third season? i get that kalinda is superhuman and “wins cases” but I literally never understood how EVERY police officer/detective bent over backwards and let her get to any crime scene/evidence just because she looked them or said something sexual but entirely unconvincing. Like when Will dies and was initially shot, it’s inconceivable to me that Kalinda would have pushed her way through the scene before a police officer even got in there as the assailant is still shooting and hasn’t even been disarmed. Maybe it’s because I’m in the field and I’m 2/3 of the way to becoming a lawyer and have been in a bunch of courtrooms…that a situation like that would never happen.

    secondly, it kind of really annoyed me that the character never changed or evolved. i know i know, they gave her the husband storyline which totally tanked so they backed off Kalinda but even aesthetically..she wasn’t accorded one change. Nobody’s wearing a tiny skirt, see through stockings, and knee-high heeled boots in the slushy, frozen, and icy Chicago Januarys. Plus, you never saw her in pajamas once, or just in jeans on a weekend. People usually just reply by saying “yeah, cos Kalinda’s that hardcore or that badass” and I’m honestly never convinced. It always comes off as trying too hard for the character. I know this is an aesthetic quip but I’m always astounded at how it never bothers anyone that she’s pretty one-dimensional as a character. I think Archie Panjabi brings her acting chops to the role for sure- and her subtle looks in the eyes are everything but the character is so one-note for me that it almost ruins the show for me, at times.

    there’s got to be someone out there who agrees with me, right? i can’t be the only one 🙁

  12. Mrs. Darcy says:

    I haven’t seen any of the new season but they have definitely let her character slip into the background, inexplicably, so can see why she is leaving. I will miss Kalinda, I just have no interest in Peter and since Will left the heart of it has deflated for me. I do like Matthew Goode in it though, hope he features more when they start the next season in U.K.

  13. JayGee says:

    The title of this post alone is a spoiler. NOT COOL.

    • LadySlippers says:


      Similar titles are on the entertainment news. So this isn’t that much different.

  14. Reece says:

    She’s 42! fml
    I haven’t been into this show since season 1 but she was the best part of it back then.