7 Things You'd Be Surprised to Know About 'The Good Wife' (Including Spinoff Talk)

by Philiana Ng 12:30 AM PST, March 08, 2015
Photo: CBS

The Good Wife took over Hollywood on Saturday evening!

Creators Robert and Michelle King were joined by stars Julianna Margulies, Christine Baranski and Matt Czuchry on Night 2 of PaleyFest and they sure made a splash. Moderated by incoming Late Late Show host James Corden, the hourlong chat – following a screening of Sunday’s uniquely-formatted, past-exploring episode “Mind’s Eye” and a kiss between Robert King and Corden – covered everything from Will’s shocking death (we’re still not over it!) and Archie Panjabi’s impending departure to Alicia’s love life and dream guest stars. (Heck, even Steven Seagal became a talking point!)

ETonline highlights seven things you didn’t know about CBS’ acclaimed drama – and why a spinoff may not be a good thing after all.

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1. Will’s death is still a major point of contention

“We have to talk about Josh Charles. What the f***,” was how Corden first addressed the topic of Will Gardner’s unexpected death in season five, which sent shockwaves across Twitter and the TV universe. It was clear that many of the fans in attendance at the Dolby Theatre were still grieving over the loss of Will. But that moment almost didn’t come to be. It was Margulies who played a key role in securing Charles for that pivotal 15-episode arc to close out Will’s story. “Otherwise we’re going to see you go on the elevator and we’ll never see you again!” Margulies recalled telling Charles, who was on a year-to-year contract so not “to be tied down,” on the phone. 

But for those still wanting more Will on The Good Wife, the character [SPOILER ALERT!] does return in an interesting way in Sunday's episode. We won't spill how or in what capacity, but it's definitely something you'll want to talk about.

2. Not everyone thought Will’s death would be explosive – except one person

It was Czuchry who believed Will’s death, in "Dramatics, Your Honor," would be one of the show’s biggest defining moments. “That season had an incredible feeling from the beginning,” he said. “That episode, when it was written, I knew it was going to be like that.” The fact that the secret didn’t get out until it aired elicited an incredible response from viewers. “That’s why you get that anger [because] people didn’t know about it,” Czuchry said. “The audience goes through the stages of grief.” Added Baranski: “It speaks to the truth of what we do [as actors]… It’s as if it really happened.”

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3. Archie Panjabi’s season-ending departure is the elephant in the room

Surprisingly Panjabi’s exit from The Good Wife at the end of the season wasn’t a topic of discussion, but Czuchry at least made mention of it, promising “closure” for Kalinda with Cary, Alicia and Diane. Apparently some fans didn’t get the memo when Czuchry mentioned Panjabi’s impending departure, with some audible gasps heard throughout the theater. If you’re still wondering whether Alicia and Kalinda will get a goodbye scene in Panjabi’s final episode, we’re still waiting for an answer too. Robert King later joked, “That’s not to say we’re not going to kill Kalinda.” (We think he’s joking.)

4. Julianna Margulies wants Alicia to leave Peter too

If you’re Team Peter, looks like you have an uphill battle. Margulies revealed that she hopes Alicia will leave Peter for good, but at the moment, Alicia – still campaigning for State's Attorney – is somewhat content where she is as one-half of a political “power couple.” “I would truly love to see her leave Peter,” Margulies said to hoots and hollers from the audience, prompting her to remark: “Wow! We have some Peter haters!”

The only way Alicia would divorce Peter would be Alicia finding true love again following Will’s death. “You don’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t matter,” she said of Alicia’s new take on romance post-Will. “[When] she finds the next person, she’s not going to waste time and [she will] let Peter go. That’s what she deserves,” Margulies said. Amen to that. (Speaking of Alicia’s suitors, Finn and Johnny, Margulies hoped for some between-the-sheets action. “Stay tuned,” she hinted.)

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5. Every time there’s something kinky in the script, you’ll know who wrote it

Margulies revealed that every time the crew and cast get the script, if there’s a kinky or particularly raunchy situation or line of dialogue, they all know the culprit. And for the most part, they’re right! “Whenever there’s something weird or kinky… all of us are like, ‘Robert,’” Margulies said, miming reading a script. “Thank god we have them fooled!” joked Michelle King.

6. So you want a Good Wife spinoff, get in line

The Good Wife remains one of the lone broadcast dramas consistently in the awards conversation and with good reason! So why hasn’t there been any serious talk about a possible spinoff? It’s a combination of factors, including business and creative. “[CBS hasn’t] asked yet, but the difficulty we have is we’re micromanagers. It’s very hard to split ourselves off,” Robert King admitted. “The show has a very specific, intelligent audience that isn’t as wide-ranging as CBS wants… They want shows that have wide appeal,” referencing the large viewership NCIS and its two spinoffs receive on a weekly basis. Even so, the Kings didn’t completely close the door on the conversation, so maybe there’s hope for an Elsbeth Tascioni spinoff yet!

7. Ryan Gosling as Cary’s long-lost brother?

The Good Wife has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to its guest stars, but that didn’t stop the stars from aiming high. Baranski has her sights set on Alan Rickman as a dream guest star, while Czuchry appealed to the younger demographic with his choices of Ryan Gosling and Chris Pine. (We spy a potential season-seven arc about Cary’s long-lost relative!) Margulies had a more offbeat pick for a dream guest star: Alfred Molina. Turns out, they almost starred in a miniseries together years ago! 

The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on CBS.

It's been a year since Will Gardner's shocking death. Watch Good Wife star Josh Charles explain his surprising departure.