Alan Cumming To Star In CBS' 'Dr. Death,' But What Does That Mean For Eli Gold On The 'Good Wife' Spinoff?

CBS' award-winning legal procedural may have been called The Good Wife , but it was never just a series about Alicia Florrick; it was very much an ensemble show, with supporting characters like Diane Lockhart, Will Gardner, and Kalinda Sharma pulling their own weight every week. One of the most beloved of the show's supporting figures was undoubtedly Alan Cumming's Eli Gold, the political fixer, campaign manager, and master manipulator. He earned himself — and by extension the show and the network — three Emmy nominations for his performance, and now CBS is rewarding him with his own series. As announced by Deadline, Alan Cumming will star in the CBS pilot Dr. Death … but what does that mean for Eli's role in the upcoming Good Wife spinoff?

If CBS picks up the pilot to series, it will be the second show based on a Patterson novel to find a home on the network, after the successful summer series Zoo , which was just renewed for a third season. Patterson himself seems hopeful that the project will make it to air as he enthusiastically champions the idea of Cumming as his leading man. "It's great to imagine Alan in the role," the best-selling author told Deadline. "There aren't many stars who can convincingly play drama and comedy with effortless wit, not to mention a musical savant and crime-solving genius."

Giphy

Dr. Death is based on a forthcoming novel by prolific crime author James Patterson, set for publication in June of 2017. According to Deadline's report, the story is about "a former CIA operative who has since built a 'normal' life as a gifted professor and writer but is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose." (Per the book's official description on Amazon, said serial killer is known as "The Dealer," named after "the playing card left behind at each scene that hints at the next target.")

This is definitely a good news/bad news situation for The Good Wife fans, since Cumming having a starring role on an unrelated show probably decreases his chances of also starring on the Good Wife spinoff. But they don't necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. The premiere date for the still-untitled spinoff was recently pushed up from Spring 2017 to a February premiere, in the face of the network's new Star Trek series being delayed from January to May.

Giphy

That accelerated timeline likely means that the spinoff is already well in production, with its premiere now only a little over four months away. And since the news about Dr. Death was just announced — and it's only filming a pilot so far, not an entire series — then there must still be time for Cumming to stop by the set of the spinoff and film a few episodes. (Deadline's report did mention that, "There are no current plans for him to appear on The Good Wife spinoff series," but I like to think they're just keeping his surprise cameo a secret.)

So far, the familiar faces that Good Wife fans will see when they tune into the spinoff next year include Christine Baranski's Diane Lockhart, Cush Jumbo's Lucca Quinn, Sarah Steele's Marissa Gold — if Eli's daughter is a main character on the show, surely her dad has to stop by for an appearance or two, right? — and perhaps even the Good Wife herself. Hopefully we'll get some happy news about Cumming's involvement in the spinoff as we get closer to its February premiere date; and in the meantime, at least we know we have Dr. Death to look forward to.

Images: Giphy (2)