10:30am PT by Kate Stanhope
Julianna Margulies Teases 'Good Wife' Exit: "I’m Unemployed Come April"
Is The Good Wife losing its leading lady?
It sure sounds like it according to a speech star and producer Julianna Margulies made Thursday at the Casting Society of America’s third annual Artios Awards, where series creators Robert and Michelle King were being honored.
“I surprised Robert and Michelle tonight,” she said, as quoted by Vulture. “They didn’t know I was going to be here. They think I’m here for them, but I’m unemployed come April, and I think you haven’t seen me in a while, at least not in person, so I thought I should show up.”
Margulies' shocking disclosure is much less surprising given the recent announcement that the Kings, the series creators and longtime showrunners, would be leaving after this current seventh season to focus on other projects, namely their CBS summer series BrainDead.
The Kings have been heavily involved with the series from the get-go and the reveal of their impending exit, made by new CBS chief Glenn Geller at the Television Critics Association winter press tour earlier this month, has raised questions about the series' longevity.
However, Geller sounded optimistic that the show could go on without the Kings, pointing to the "deep bench" of writers on staff, including executive producer Craig Turk, whom Geller pointed to as a possible new showrunner.
"It could certainly go on. You can see every year the producers are able to reinvent what the show looks like," Geller said, pointing to recent cast additions (Cush Jumbo, Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and departures (Archie Panjabi, Matthew Goode). "The show looks very different than it did three years ago and it's still a fantastic show."
Other cast departures over the years have included Josh Charles, who left in season five, and Graham Phillips. The Good Wife has not yet been renewed for an eighth season.
A modest ratings performer for the network known best for procedural franchises like NCIS and Criminal Minds, The Good Wife has remained an important part of the network's slate primarily because of its prestige, drawing high-profile guest stars like Michael J. Fox and David Hyde Pierce in addition to winning Emmys for Margulies and former star Panjabi, among others.
The Good Wife marked Margulies' biggest TV role to date since her Emmy-winning breakout turn on ER. It is unclear how the series would continue without her if she does depart after the current seventh season. The Kings, for their part, have spoken about their seven-season plan for the show multiple times over the years.