The Good Wife was one of the most successful series to launch last year. The legal drama, starring ER’s Julianna Marguiles and Sex and The City’s Chris Noth, was warmly received when it launched last year on CBS. The show, which was created by Robert and Michelle King and produced by Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Television, has subsequently been sold around the world by CBS Studios International to broadcasters including UK’s Channel 4, Australia’s Network Ten, Brazil’s Universal Channel and Germany’s Prosieben.
We talk to The Kings about the show ahead of its second season launch.
Where are you currently at with The Good Wife?
Michelle: We’re currently filming the sixth episode of season two and writing the seventh episode and editing the fourth episode.
Robert: I’ve got to say that I’m extremely happy; it feels like everyone’s working at the top of their game.
How did the show come about?
Michelle: There have been a number of sexual political stories including Clinton and Elliot Spitzer, there was certainly a pattern. A number of the women were standing by their man and a number of them were even attorneys and we wondered what it was like for them.
We pitched it to Scott Free Television and they went with us to CBS Television Studios and then we all went to the network. All the way people continued to say yes.
Is the show a procedural?
Robert: In our minds we wanted each show to be able to be watched individually and to be pleased with the outcome and also for the whole season to [work together]. I want people to be able to tune in to every fourth episode and still be able to enjoy it and watch it. This comes from our own watching experience when you have other commitments.
Were you surprised with the success of the first season?
Robert: I was very much surprised. You’re just in your own world but we knew we had a great base with Julianna Marguiles and there was a lot of love for her. CBS was very excited by it and seemed to grow in excitement with each episode and that helped us get a good place in the schedule.
Are you aware of the international success of the show?
Michelle: The closest I get to international awareness is when my mother tells me that my family in Holland are enjoying the show.
Robert: I’m an Internet junkie so I know how well it’s doing and how it’s received internationally.
Why do you think it’s resonated overseas?
Robert: Even though it’s very specifically got Chicago issues, it translates around the States and that also plays out internationally.
Can you tell me a bit more about season two?
Law firms are being hit economically for the first time and as a way out [Lockhart & Gardner] merges with a small boutique Washington firm. This comes because Obama has put Chicago on the national scene. This firm is flush because of a lawsuit with BP and brings in a new culture.
Michael J Fox plays an attorney, similar to the role that Martha Plimpton played last year. The character uses his handicap to get the jury to sympathise with him. We want him to be a recurring character.
Robert: When we started we thought we’d only get 13 episodes so when we knew that we were doing 23 we slide events depending on what actors we can get. We have a direction for a third and a fourth year.