With ratings that have dipped to series-low averages, CBS’ The Good Wife was already theoretically in danger of cancellation even before the drama’s creators and showrunners Robert and Michelle King recently announced they were leaving. And now lead actress Julianna Margulies, who plays the titular spouse, has publically come out and said she won’t be with the show anymore after April. But how serious was she?
Margulies showed up at the Casting Society of America’s Artios Awards, where the Kings were being honored, and here’s what she said.
I surprised Robert and Michelle tonight. They didn’t know I was going to be here. They think I’m here for them, but 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.
Seems like a strange place to make such an important declaration, whether it would be in reference to Margulies choosing to leave the show or CBS privately making the decision to not renew it for Season 8. Without any kind of tonal justification to know how serious she was, it’s entirely possible that Margulies was just being a goof.
According to EW, that’s exactly what was happening. Their insider sources are saying that Margulies was just joking when she said that, and that no concrete decisions about the future of Alicia Florrick or The Good Wife have been made. I mean, the actress did say that there were no problems between her and former star Archie Panjabi, despite there being reports saying otherwise, with some of them from Panjabi herself. So maybe she’s not always so trustworthy.
Perhaps just as telling as anything else is that Margulies making that comment extracted zero surprise from me, and probably many others. In the past couple of years, the show has hemorrhaged main characters, losing Panjabi and Matthew Goode most recently. Sure, Jeffrey Dean Morgan signed on for the current season, which automatically makes things better, but that’s probably not enough to secure a future season if everything else is still in flux.
Talks about The Good Wife’s potentially limited future were definitely kicked into high gear when Robert and Michelle King backed out of the drama. (They’re still sticking with CBS in developing a comical drama about aliens taking over Washington D.C. citizens and government workers.) Producers and CBS execs downplayed everyone’s worry, saying that there are still more than enough original members of the creative team to keep things going without the Kings. So we’ll presumably be waiting just a little longer to hear about whether or not The Good Wife will return to CBS in the fall, and if there will be someone besides Margulies front and center.
The Good Wife returned for the second batch of Season 7 episodes earlier this month, and you can find it next on Sunday, January 31, on CBS.