Several years ago, CBS’ Emmy campaign for “The Good Wife” touted how it pulled off the feat of producing 22 episodes a season, vs. the 13-, 10-, or even 8-episode seasons common on cable and streaming.
But after years in the broadcast network trenches, Robert and Michelle King are now producing 13 episodes a season of their spinoff series “The Good Fight” for CBS All Access — and they’re not going back.
“I don’t think we could ever do 22 episodes a year again,” Robert King told IndieWire’s TURN IT ON podcast.
A spinoff of CBS’ critically acclaimed “The Good Wife,” Robert and Michelle King’s “The Good Fight” helped launch CBS All Access last year when that streaming service furst launched. The show returned this spring for Season 2, with Christine Baranski back as Diane Lockhart, along with co-stars Delroy Lindo, Cush Jumbo, Sarah Steele, Rose Leslie and new cast member Audra McDonald.
In her review, IndieWire TV editor Liz Shannon Miller called “The Good Fight’s” second season fun, writing that “The show retains all of the qualities that made ‘The Good Wife’ so delightfully bingeable during its original CBS run while lobbing oddball choices into the mix, including magic mushrooms, a dancing Delroy Lindo, a terror scare, some fake news about a pot-bellied pig, and plenty of dramatic scotch-drinking.”
Earlier this year, prior to the show’s return, Liz sat down with the Kings to talk about the show and how they’ve adjusted to producing the spinoff for a new platform. And that includes letting Christine Baranski rip a few F-bombs. Listen below!
“The Good Fight” hasn’t been shy about taking on Donald Trump and Trump’s America, although the Kings admit it’s tougher to stay current when viewers often don’t binge their series immediately.
“When you’re doing a show that’s trying to be current, it’s difficult to have a show where audiences are finding it months later,” Robert King said. “If people aren’t finding it until much later, that hurts it. We always thought the advantage of ‘The Good Wife’ was we could write it and have it shown two months later.”
Beyond Trump, “The Good Fight” also tackled #MeToo and the Harvey Weinstein aftermath, but told from the perspective of how Hollywood — and the media — enabled him for so long.
“The worry with this kind of story, if one were to just do a straight up Weinstein-inspired episode, everybody would be doing it and the story would be galloping ahead of you and by the time you’re airing, 17 other shoes have dropped,” Michelle King said. “You want to find a unique way of looking at the issue.”
As for what’s next for the Kings, they’re developing another legal drama set in Chicago, “Your Honor.” But this time, the show — in the works for Showtime — is a thriller. Peter Moffat is the writer, adapting an Israeli format.
“It’s a darker show, a little more ‘The Night Of’ than ‘The Good Wife,'” Robert King said.
“The Good Wife” just completed its second season on CBS All Access.
IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now on TV — no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.
Special thanks to KROQ’s DJ Omar Khan for the new theme song!