A 'Good Wife' Spinoff Is A Real Possibility & Here Are 11 Characters Who Must Be In It
The Super Bowl is supposed to be a time of celebration and festivity — so it came as something of a rude shock when CBS took advantage of the opportunity to declare that their legal drama The Good Wife would be ending in May after seven award-winning seasons. Caught off guard as we all may have been by this sudden announcement, it's hard to say we didn't see it coming. There's the 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 pattern of the episode titles; there's the fact that creators Robert and Michelle King are leaving to run to a new show, the comedy/thriller BrainDead; and there's Julianna Margulies' recent bombshell that she would be "unemployed come April." But before you get too deep into your mourning process, I have some potentially exciting news for you: according to Deadline, CBS is considering a Good Wife spinoff!
"Nothing's off the table," Michelle King cagily told the publication, adding that she and her husband were not ruling anything out "at this point." While that's far from official confirmation of a spinoff by itself, it does help make sense of some other recent news. Even when the Kings announced they were departing their own show, CBS still seemed intent on continuing it in some fashion. "The bottom line is CBS is trying to make deals for an eighth season, so we would be there in a supervisory role, but the storytelling we have will finish in the seventh year," Robert King told TVLine.
What if the deals CBS was trying to make weren't actually for an eighth season, but for the first season of a secret spinoff? If that's the case, then which actors were they approaching? There are several characters we know won't return for a hypothetical spinoff: Alicia Florrick, obviously, which means we can also probably count out Peter; Kalinda already left the show (and her portrayer, Archie Panjabi, already booked a new job); and Will can sadly never return from the grave. But fortunately, The Good Wife has always had such a strong supporting cast that it's still easy to imagine it continuing even without Alicia.
If this Good Wife spinoff does end up happening, then here's a list of the characters that *have* to return. Of course, popular recurring characters like Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox), Patti Nyholm (Martha Plimpton), Colin Sweeney (Dylan Baker), and Nancy Crozier (Mamie Gummer) can continue making occasional guest appearances. But these are the 11 characters I'd like to see in the spinoff's main cast:
1. Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski)
Who run the world? Diane Lockhart! Christine Baranski is so freakin' talented, it would be great to finally see her get to play to her full potential in an Alicia-less show. Perhaps she'll get that judgeship she passed up a while back? Then she could preside over her former partners' cases in court. We'll call it The Good Judge.
2. Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry)
Cary and Alicia came into the show together, a mismatched pair of first-year associates that fought and bonded and struggled with and against each other before forming a friendship — and, ultimately, a partnership. It's crazy to think of him without his unlikely foil, but it would also be exciting to watch Cary finally come into his own.
3. David Lee (Zach Grenier)
Of course, if Lockhart/Agos/Lee is going to remain the focal point of a Good Wife spinoff, then that comes with some strings attached… namely, in the form of David Lee. Despite recurring since the first season, Grenier wasn't made a full-fledged series regular until Season 5. Since then, he's provided a great contrast to the nobility and optimism of Diane and Cary.
4. Eli Gold (Alan Cumming)
I literally can't imagine The Good Wife continuing to exist in *any* form without Cumming's scheming strategist. Hopefully the spinoff isn't an either/or choice between the continued adventures of Eli Gold and the continued adventures of Lockhart/Agos/Lee. Maybe the firm can hire him as a crisis manager and they can all work together!
5. Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo)
Introducing a new character to a long-established show can easily backfire; no such troubles with Jumbo, who so seamlessly integrated with the cast that it's almost hard to remember a time when Lucca Quinn wasn't there. Of course, 99% of her storyline in Season 7 has revolved around her friendship with Alicia, so I'm not sure what she would do in a spinoff without Alicia. But I'm sure the writers could think of something for her to do.
6. Robyn Burdine (Jess Weixler)
Perhaps forgetting that they already had a second investigator on deck, the writers filled Kalinda's absence this season with Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Jason Crouse. But he has thus far proved to be hard to pin down with anything resembling an employment contract, his storyline (like Lucca's) is so closely tied to Alicia, and he's just been cast in a major role on The Walking Dead — so it's hard to imagine him returning for a spinoff. So who will the new investigator be...? Paging Robyn!
7. Grace Florrick (Makenzie Vega)
Although Alicia's son Zach was demoted from regular to recurring two seasons ago after he was shipped off to college, Vega's Grace has remained steadfastly by her mother's side. Season 7 has been sure to show us Grace's burgeoning legal talents and her eagerness to help her mom's growing firm. Perhaps that was a hint of things to come? Having Lockhart/Agos/Lee hire Grace as an intern would be a great way to keep a little Florrick in The Good Wife even after Alicia herself is long gone.
8. Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston)
Of all The Good Wife's terrific recurring characters, Preston's Elsbeth is perhaps the most beloved. The deceptively flighty attorney is definitely the most memorable. She has appeared on every season except the second (she'll be popping up for the first time in Season 7 in a couple of weeks) and she won an Emmy for her performance in 2013. Isn't it about time to make things official and make her a full-fledged series regular? Elsbeth would be a terrifically wacky addition to Lockhart/Agos/Lee.
9. Finn Polmar (Matthew Goode)
Goode left The Good Wife after only a season and a half to go and star in the final season of Downton Abbey . Well, now that that show is over, can he come back to The Good Wife please?? I know, I know — we wouldn't get to see him flirt with Alicia anymore. But Goode is so charismatic, he has chemistry with anything that moves. I can see the Finn/Lucca shipping already...
10. Monica Timmons (Nikki M. James)
The Broadway star (she won a Tony for The Book Of Mormon) has been a welcome addition to a show that hasn't always been the most diverse. It feels like her storyline is really only just beginning; I'd love to see what a full-fledged arc for Monica might look off on a spinoff that had more time to devote to her.
11. Marissa Gold (Sarah Steele)
Eli is often at his best when he's bouncing off his acerbic daughter, Marissa. Surely the spinoff could find some way for her to stick around on a permanent basis? Perhaps she could get hired for the same intern program as Grace so that she can keep an eye on her frequently flustered father.
Hopefully more news about the potential spinoff will be forthcoming in the following weeks. In the meantime, raise a glass of red wine (or tequila, your choice) to the final nine episodes of The Good Wife. The series finale will air on May 8.
Images: CBS, Jeff Neumann (5), Michael Parmelee (2), Best Possible Screengrab, Paul Sarkis (2), David M. Russell/CBS