Hollywood Flashback: ‘The Good Wife’ Won Showrunners Robert and Michelle King Their First Case

Showrunners Michelle and Robert King have been in the Emmy conversation for 13 consecutive years: The past six for The Good Fight, starring Christine Baranski in a role she originated on their OG legal drama, The Good Wife, which was an awards contender for each of its seven seasons.

The creative and married partners first teamed in 2006 on a police procedural called In Justice for ABC, which lasted one season. In 2009, CBS picked up Good Wife, which starred Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, the wife of a state attorney (Chris Noth) who is forced to return to her law career after her husband becomes embroiled in a sex and political corruption scandal. It was judged an instant hit, with THR‘s review declaring, “There could not be a better choice for the title role of Alicia Florrick than Margulies. Through words spoken and unspoken, she paints a detailed, moving portrait of a woman whose largely private, well-ordered life is publicly shattered.”

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The show would go on to rack up 43 Emmy nominations, winning five times, all in acting categories: twice for Margulies, once for supporting actress for Archie Panjabi, and once each for guest actresses Carrie Preston and Martha Plimpton. For Margulies, who played Carol Hathaway on NBC’s ER (for which she won a supporting actress Emmy), the role of Florrick demanded her full attention for seven years.

“I love the role I play, and I work 10 months out of the year, so the 10 weeks I have off — it’s just not worth it to me to do another project,” she told THR in 2011, adding: “We’re so lucky as TV actresses because we get an intimate relationship with 150 people — our crewmembers — pretty much daily. When you do a movie, you get introduced to so many people … then in two months, it’s over. … With us, we actually have this family.”

Baranski took the mantle from Margulies, reprising her role as attorney Diane Lockhart on The Good Fight. A six-time nominee for Wife and a nominee last year for Fight, Baranski is sure to be part of this year’s Emmy conversation.

This story first appeared in a May stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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