I fell out of love with The Good Wife when Josh Charles left the show, and after that season, I just stopped watching. I still haven’t watched the season after that, which is when Archie Panjabi left (after her contract ran out). Part of it was that Will and Kalinda were two of the biggest reasons to watch the show, and part of it was that Julianna Margulies – who is the producer and star – had forced the show to become all about her character, Alicia, and The Alicia Show is boring. There were long-standing rumors about Julianna’s unprofessional behavior towards Archie in particular – rumors which Archie confirmed after she left the show, directly contradicting the bulls—t excuse Julianna tried to throw at fans.
While I no longer watch the show, I have kept up with the gossip around the show. Most Good Wife fans believe that the quality of the storytelling has fallen off a cliff, and some have even theorized that the writers are not only phoning it in, but that everyone involved with TGW kind of hates Julianna. Guest stars keep coming in, only to back out at the last minute (the second they work with Julianna for a day?). Plot lines go nowhere. Nothing is ever resolved. Christina Baranski is desperately underutilized. You get the idea. Most people believed this season, the seventh season, would be the last (and SHOULD be the last). Then, more than a week ago, the creators and executive producers announced that they were leaving the show. Julianna is literally the last person standing.
CBS dropped a bombshell at TCA last week, revealing that The Good Wife creators/executive producers/showrunners Robert and Michelle King will be departing the series after the current seventh season. While not completely unexpected — the duo had publicly discussed a plan to do the show for 7 seasons — the move compounds the uncertain future of the series, which also faces the fact that the contracts of most of its original cast members, including star Julianna Margulies, are up.
CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller was pretty confident that The Good Wife “can certainly continue” beyond the current seventh season, and producing studio CBS TV Studios has been working on a succession plan, with The Good Wife executive producer Craig Turk tipped to take over showrunner duties from the Kings after working under them for the past few seasons. But the confluence of the two things — cast’s contracts expiring and the Kings’ exit — certainly complicates plans for continuing the series. Robert and Michelle King have written every pivotal episode of The Good Wife and have earned all but one of the show’s major writing awards nominations.
I hear Margulies was joking when she told a room full of casting directors last night at the Artios Awards’ tribute to the Kings that “I’m unemployed come April, and I think you haven’t seen me in a while, at least not in person, so I thought I should show up.”
Margulies was not lying — she does not have a contract beyond Season 7 after only adding one extra year at a previous renegotiation. Alan Cumming also is said to have a one-year-deal as he has been doing short-term contracts, while Matt Czuchry is believed to be the only major Good Wife cast member signed for Season 8.
There hasn’t been much movement on negotiating new contracts with the actors that I’ve heard of but things are supposed to start moving soon, and a decision on whether the series will continue or not is expected to be made in the next few weeks so the show — the last broadcast drama to get major awards recognition — can get a proper sendoff. The decision will likely hinge on whether Emmy winner Margulies, who also is a producer on the show, would want to return, something that she certainly raised doubts about with her comments last night, jest or not.
So Julianna is joking around with people about being unemployed after this season? Ugh. Honestly, it seems like CBS is fine doing another season, but it’s my sincere hope that they finish it quickly, in the next few months. I don’t know of any original fans still watching, and at this point, I would be willing to bet that there are few people who want to work on TGW for one more whole season. Put this show out its misery.
Photos courtesy of WENN.