'The Good Wife' Team Talks Arnold Schwarzenegger, Move to Sunday
NEW YORK -- Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who last week resigned from his post as managing director of the International Monetary Fund after charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid in New York, got a not-so honorary mention here on Monday during the annual Peabody Awards.
During the luncheon awards show at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, hosted by Larry King, The Good Wife co-executive producers Michelle and Robert King accepted their award, with the latter thanking Schwarzenegger and Strauss-Kahn for helping the show's team write stories for next season.
When King returned to the podium, he quipped: "Arnold will next be seen in the continuing saga of All My Children." ABC recently canceled the soap.
Asked later backstage if they really expect to use the two men's stories, Michelle King said no. "What these real life stories do for us is give us the freedom we are never going too far in our fictional world, because reality is galloping ahead of us," she said. "In terms of using what's happening in real people's lives, no, we're staying clear of that."
"You want to be current in the network universe. You want our show to be playing off the next things," added Robert King. The first episode last year was about WikiLeaks. We want to find the thing that will matter in September. Right now we're in May. What matters now will not matter in September."
He said that a lot of focus will be on "what happens when Alicia finds herself on the opposite side of her husband, especially when she has had this new relationship with her boss." He added: "As much as we want to get romantic about that, that brings up some odd situations, because he is her boss. That will be an odd work space."
Good Wife star Julianna Margulies told reporters about how she feels about the new Sunday time slot for the show. "I am thrilled," she said. "At first, I was taken aback, because you always think a move is a bad sign, and then I started thinking about it, and this was all in the span of five minutes. I was like wait, Sunday nights at 9, that was the Sopranos' spot. That's my favorite time to watch television. Hold on a minute, this opens up a whole door to the kinds of people that we want to attract to our show -- a younger audience and an older audience, because younger people can stay up at 9, and older people can stay up at 9."
She added: "It made me really happy, and then at the upfronts the other day I got to tell Les Moonves and Nina Tassler how thrilled I was and how grateful I was. What it also does is -- you can’t really categorize our show, we are not a procedural, we are not a serial, we are a legal, political, human showŠit allows us not to be pigeonholed."
Asked about the ratings effect on Desperate Housewives, Margulies was interrupted after starting to signal she expects the ABC show will be fine. "I am sure they have such a built-in audience," she said.
Asked how she feels about real people dealing with cheating spouses, she said: "It makes me sad. On one hand, I think oh good, better find out now and get on with your life, and there is a life beyond it. And on the other hand I think: these schmucks, shocking." She added: "But it's the world, and it’s a universal problem. It’s not an American problem or a French problem or a German problem. It's universal," and not just affecting celebrities and politicians.
Margulies continued: "My joke was always when someone asked me why don't you think they made a show about women cheating, I was like: because we don't have time. We are tired."
Asked about storylines for the new season, she said: "I don't know anything."
Among other stars speaking to reporters backstage, King was once again asked about his CNN successor Piers Morgan. "We work very differently," he said. "It’s still an interview show; it's a radio show with pictures. It's hard to be objective; we all have to go to our own style. Whenever I speak at schools, I always tell kids: don't be somebody else. Be what you are."
He added that he will be back on Morgan's show in about two weeks. "I like Piers a lot. I got another book coming out."
Asked about Charlie Sheen and whether he ever thought about teaming up for his touring comedy show with him, King said: "I like Charlie, and I love his father" Martin who was the first person to visit him when he had his heart attack. He said he hasn't seen Charlie Sheen. "I understand addiction," King
said, referencing the cigarette habit that led to his heart attack, which made him quit. "I was lucky enough to be addicted to something that didn't affect my career. You can smoke and work."
Asked about Oprah Winfrey's departure from her syndicated talk show and how she will deal with its end, King said he had a tough time. "You do something for a long time, there is a high in it," he said. But it's not easy. I am glad I am doing things. I knew I'd miss it, but I didn't know how much. I
really miss it -- especially big stories."
Also at the Peabody Awards, Men of a Certain Age star and executive producer Ray Romano was asked by reporters about last week's TBS and TNT upfront event, during which he was asked to do standup while a recurring video problem was being fixed.
"They were very grateful," he said. "They didn't give us a renewal yet" for what he called "five minutes of old material." Romano asked if it wasn't "a little refreshing" to see executives acting "human all of sudden instead of this stilted" act at other events.
Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks who earned high marks from talent and upfront attendees alike for saving the show with impromptu comedy, also got kudos from Romano. "I almost didn’t want to go on because of that," said Romano. "If you rate it on a curve, he wins." Asked if Koonin could make a guest appearance on Men, Romano quipped: "Not so fast."
Asked about this summer's season of Men, he joked: "We don't like to do any gimmicky stuff to get viewers, but one of us could be a vampire."
Also, Justified executive producer Graham Yost said his team is looking at possible new villains for the new season. "We have got no new villains yet," said Yost, but added the team will mine the book by Elmore Leonard. "He has got more in that novel that we will continue to mine. We will see if this works in, but he does have a bad guy who uses three coked up ex-strippers to rob banks."
Meanwhile, CNN's Anderson Cooper, who was supposed to accept a Peabody on the behalf of CNN for its coverage of the Gulf oil spill, wasn't present. His colleague and CNN correspondent David Mattingly picked up the award and told the crowd that Cooper was not in town to cover the tornadoes in Missouri.