The Good Wife spinoff is officially a go.
CBS used its upfront Wednesday to announce that it has ordered the follow-up, which centers on Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and newer addition Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo), straight-to-series for a spring 2017 debut. Creators Robert and Michelle King are set to co-write the first episode but will not run the CBS Television Studios-produced series. The news, then just in deal stage, was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to Baranski and Jumbo, the new series will introduce new characters and pick up one year after the events of The Good Wife finale.
The Kings will co-create and exec produce with Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams), as well as Ridley Scott, David Zucker, Brooke Kennedy and Liz Glotzer. Like The Good Wife, CBS Television Studios will produce the series with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions. CBS Studios International will distribute the series globally for television and multiple platforms.
“The quality of The Good Wife has always rivaled anything on television and we’re excited to tell more stories with some of the brilliant characters Robert and Michelle King created,” CBS Television Studios president David Stapf said in a statement.
What is most interesting about the franchise’s next iteration is that it’s being done not for CBS but rather for the company’s $5.99-per-month All Access digital subscription service. It marks the SVOD service’s second high-profile order following the November 2015 news of an original Star Trek series, which is slated to premiere on CBS in January 2017, before moving to its more permanent home on All Access. The scale and ambition for the sci-fi SVOD series became that much more apparent with the news that Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) would be put at the creative helm with Alex Kurtzman attached as an executive producer.
“Our original programming strategy for CBS All Access is data-driven and focused on exclusive, premium content that will continue to expand the value of our service to subscribers,” CBS Digital Media exec vp and general manager Marc DeBevoise. “The Good Wife is consistently one of our most-watched series across digital platforms, and this new series, with the incredible storytellers and marquee talent that have signed on, is a perfect addition to CBS All Access’s premium original programming slate.”
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves teased a “wide range of original content” being created for CBS All Access when he announced the spinoff on the upfront stage Wednesday.
To be sure, the Good Wife writing staff left the door wide open for more stories to be told in the series’ May 8 finale. The show concluded with Lockhart slapping Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), which seemingly put an end to their plans for an all-female firm, Lockhart, Florrick & Associates. The finale also put into doubt the future of Diane’s marriage to Kurt McVeigh, played by Veep series regular Gary Cole, after questions arose about his alleged infidelity. When The Good Wife concluded, Diane and Lucca, who joined the series in season seven, were working for the same firm.
When asked in April about a spinoff, Baranski said only that she hoped to be involved in whatever the Kings do next. “I always thought they understood me as an actress and they wrote beautifully for actors and they wrote women very well,” she said. “So, of course I would hope to cross paths with them again.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s television critic Dan Fienberg praised Baranski’s performance in the series finale, noting that she had become “the unironic and unambiguous good wife” whose “walking determinedly out of the courtroom was a spectacular guarantee of another Emmy nod.”