Good Wife spin-off set for Trump years

The Good Fight star Christine Baranski.
The Good Fight star Christine Baranski.PHOTO: CBS

PASADENA (California) • The Good Fight, the spin-off drama from CBS' much-loved The Good Wife, was shooting its pilot episode on Election Night.

Christine Baranski, returning in her role as attorney Diane Lockhart, remembers filming a scene in which she was packing up her office and putting away a photograph of Diane and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, which was just the sort of thing Diane would proudly display.

Baranski believed that Mrs Clinton would win the election. It was not to be.

Now the show - its 10-episode run premieres on CBS on Feb 19 with additional episodes released each Sunday on CBS All Access, the network's subscription streaming service - is eager to portray life for its characters in a Donald Trump political sphere.

The pilot was re-jiggered slightly to include Mr Trump's Jan 20 inauguration in the background.

"It's a different era," co-creator and executive producer Robert King told reporters on Monday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour.

The Good Wife, said Mr King, who ran the show with his wife and collaborator Michelle King, was very much a show of the Obama era - "a satire, sort of, if you look at it, of the liberal mindset".

The new show, he said, will look at "how liberals are reacting... the confusion between what's real and not real", as well as the kind of "overall cultural shifts" that The Good Wife was so good at weaving into its overall storylines.

The Good Fight, in the words of CBS Interactive president Marc DeBevoise, will avail itself of "a premium cable sensibility" - which means steamier sex scenes and a sprinkling of foul language - "the way people talk", Mr King said.

Baranski's Diane gets a chance to blurt out the f-word fairly soon in the pilot episode, when the character, who is retiring at the top of her game from the law firm bearing her name, learns that her entire investment portfolio and life savings have vanished in a Bernard Madoff-style swindle. When her former partners, including David Lee (Zach Grenier), reject Diane's request to return to her job, she has to start from scratch - which leads her to an all-African-American law firm.

Cush Jumbo, who played attorney Lucca Quinn in The Good Wife, returns as The Good Fight's co-star. Sarah Steele, as Marissa Gold, also returns. Other cast members include Justin Bartha, Delroy Lindo, Erica Tazel and Rose Leslie.

Good Wife fans will notice lots of cameos from characters in the old show (some names include Jane Alexander, John Benjamin Hickey and Matthew Perry). However, two big names, Alicia Florrick and her ex-husband, Peter, will be mentioned in passing only once in a while.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2017, with the headline 'Good Wife spin-off set for Trump years'. Print Edition | Subscribe