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The Good Wife is saying farewell to its creators.
Robert and Michelle King will step down as showrunners of the acclaimed legal drama after its current seventh season, new CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller announced Tuesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
“The Kings did say they would not be returning after this year, but we have a deep bench on the show,” Geller said when asked about the drama’s future. The Kings are preparing to launch a second scripted series, CBS’ BrainDead, this summer.
This year will mark the first time the married writing team will have two series on the air during the same TV season. Before The Good Wife launched in 2009, the Kings had mostly film credits under their belt, in addition to the short-lived 2006 ABC legal drama In Justice.
“We’re doing it like a jigsaw puzzle,” Robert told The Hollywood Reporter in October. “It sort of just fits together. Strangely enough, it’s making us better producers on Good Wife. For the first time, we’re ahead in the scripts.”
Last year, the Kings relaunched their King Size Productions as part of a rich CBS Studios deal. In addition to The Good Wife and BrainDead, the Kings also sold a drama to Amazon in December called Vatican City.
“I think it’s a combination of many things, one of them being they want to also work on new things. Its important to them,” Geller said when asked about the reason behind their departure. “Creators like to keep creating. I think that they’ve really enjoyed working on the show, clearly, for seven years and I think they are ready to move on.”
In addition to turning the Kings into two of the hottest writers on network television, The Good Wife has served as a launching pad for many other scribes, including Power creator Courtney Kemp Agboh and Corinne Brinkerhoff, who is behind CBS’ other new summer series, murder mystery American Gothic.
When asked about the Kings’ successor as showrunner, Geller singled out Craig Turk, who has been with the series since 2012 and will continue on next season if the series is renewed.The Good Wife has not yet formally been renewed for an eighth season.
However, Geller sounded optimistic about the series’ longevity. “We haven’t really discussed, beyond this, what the series would look like what next season could be because they’ve said, ‘This is the last year that we’re going to be on the show.’ But 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 and its still a fantastic show.”
Since The Good Wife’s premiere, the Kings have earned two Emmy nominations for best drama series, in 2010 and 2011, as well as a writing nomination for the series pilot episode. They have also won a Writers Guild Award, a Peabody Award and a Humanitas Prize for their work on the series.
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 star Julianna Margulies and former star Panjabi, among others.
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