The Good Wife is heading into Season 7 without popular character Kalinda Sharma, and as such, has some pretty big shoes to fill. Today, it looks as if the series has done just that. On Monday, we learned that the critically-acclaimed CBS drama has added none other than Magic City actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a regular role. That’s right, the new Kalinda is a grizzled-looking, middle-aged dreamboat with sparkling eyes. Something tells me Julianna Margulies will have an easier time dealing with the new actor on set.

The casting news comes just a couple of months after The Good Wife ended its Season 6 run, a season that was pretty tumultuous, even for The Good Wife. Lawyers switched firms, Alicia Florrick ran for State’s Attorney, and Kalinda got caught up with a gangster—all in 22 episodes. And while some plots were tied up by the end of the season, there’s still a lot to unravel when The Good Wife returns to the schedule. What we do know is who Jeffrey Dean Morgan will be playing. Deadline indicates the actor will play Alex, a “calm” and “experienced” investigator who is actually hired by Alicia. What we don’t know is where he will be working.

After Alicia stepped down as State’s Attorney, she had approached her old firm regarding taking her back. However, there was misunderstanding that led to Alicia attempting to start a new firm with Finn. Unfortunately, actor Matthew Goode has also left the series, so that new partnership didn’t exactly work out. Last we saw Alicia, she had been approached by Louis Canning to start a new firm and conquer Cary, Diane, David Lee and her other former co-workers. If that ends up going down, it may mean we won’t get to see Morgan's character really interact with the likes of Diane.

Then, there’s that whole wrinkle where Peter wants to run for Vice President, so goodness knows where Season 7 will take us. What we do know is that Kalinda and Finn are out, Alex is in, and the firms may be split once more next season. On the bright side, if Alex is working for a separate firm, there should be plenty of room for the writers to give us more Erin, who was frequently missing in action during the latter episodes this past TV season. I know she’s less experienced, but she’s amusing, and she has spunk!

If you are wondering why actress Archie Panjabi left the series and is being replaced by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, it's actually kind of a crazy story. The rumor mill caught whiff of problems between Panjabi and Margulies a few months ago, and those rumors were seemingly confirmed after the final scene between the two characters was shot separately and then digitally reworked to make them seem as if they were in the same space. Reportedly, Julianna Margulies even refused to shoot scenes with the other actress, making the writers’ jobs a lot harder than they needed to be. Hopefully, the very capable Panjabi will find a new gig soon, and the very experienced Morgan will be able to capably fill her shoes.

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