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CBS drama The Good Wife concluded on Sunday, but the jury is still out on what the future holds for many of the series’ biggest stars. While many of the show’s leading men (Chris Noth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan) have already lined up new series-regular roles, many of the cast are still figuring out their next moves. As star Christine Baranski told The Hollywood Reporter last month, finding a follow-up to the acclaimed series is no easy feat.
“We’re all like, “Oh God, what’s next? Is it ever going to be as good as The Good Wife?” she said.
Following the show’s swan song, THR looks ahead to what’s next for the cast of the dearly departed series.
Julianna Margulies (Alicia)
The three-time Emmy winner, who also was a producer on the legal drama for five of its seven seasons, is taking the summer off before she picks her next project. Because of the show’s demanding 22-episode season schedules, combined with Margulies‘ large amount of screen time, the actress has appeared in just a handful of indie movies since the series began (2012’s Stand Up Guys and 2009’s City Island). The last time Margulies left a long-running TV role, when she checked out of ER in 2000, it was to focus on theater roles, TV minis and guest roles on series ranging from the single-camera comedy Scrubs to the award-winning HBO drama The Sopranos.
Christine Baranski (Diane)
Fans will barely have a chance to miss the actress, who returns to CBS on Thursday to reprise her Emmy-winning performance as Leonard’s mother on The Big Bang Theory in the season finale. The theater vet, who juggled The Good Wife production with a role in the 2014 movie musical Into the Woods, will once again put her pipes to good use in DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming Trolls, which hits theaters Nov. 4. Beyond that, Baranski says she would love to return to the stage. “I bet a fabulous comedy in the theater would be a wonderful antidote to doing seven years of a network drama,” she told THR in April.
Matt Czuchry (Cary)
Onscreen, Cary segued from firm partner to guest lecturer. Offscreen, Czuschy will return to a familiar role — that of Rory’s mischievous but charismatic former boyfriend Logan Huntzberger in Netflix’s highly anticipated Gilmore Girls revival. The actor will reportedly figure heavily into the reboot, which will be split into four 90-minute movies.
Alan Cumming (Eli)
The Good Wife marked Cumming’s first series-regular role, but it may not be his last. The actor is developing a dark restaurant comedy at Showtime in which he would star. Set in the Meatpacking District in the 1980s, Florent centers on colorful New York restaurateur Florent Morellet. Upcoming films include the indie Hurricane Bianca and Battle of the Sexes, the upcoming pic about Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs’ famous tennis match from the filmmakers behind Little Miss Sunshine. The theater vet also is currently touring the U.S. and and the globe with his cabaret show, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs.
Chris Noth (Peter)
After seven seasons of playing State’s Attorney turned Governor Peter Florrick, Noth is planning a return to office on the upcoming third season of FX drama Tyrant. Unlike Good Wife, where the actor was a frequent recurring character but never a series regular, he will be a full-time cast member on the Howard Gordon drama. Noth will play American general William Cogswell, who shares a romantic history with Leila (Moran Atias). The actor, also known his roles on Sex and the City and Law & Order, also stars in the forthcoming film Chronically Metropolitan.
Josh Charles (Will)
With the exception of the series finale, in which Charles played a large role as a figment of a conflicted and lost Alicia’s imagination, the actor has not appeared on Good Wife since 2014, when his character was killed off midway through the fifth season. Since then, Charles has appeared on Masters of Sex, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In addition to upcoming films including The Drowning and Oppenheimer Strategies, sources say he is mulling a return to the small screen.
Archie Panjabi (Kalinda)
Unlike Charles, Panjabi did not return for the series finale. After breaking out in the first season of the drama, for which she would go on to win an Emmy, the actress exited when her contract ended in season six for a talent deal at 20th Century Fox. In addition to the big-screen blockbuster San Andreas, Panjabi has kept busy on the small screen with roles in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the U.K. series Shetland and the ABC courtroom pilot The Jury.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Jason)
So that’s what happened to Kalinda’s old baseball bat! Morgan, who entered Good Wife’s seventh and final season as a series regular straight after a full-time gig on season two of CBS’ Halle Berry sci-fi drama Extant, has had his next job lined up for months. The busy actor even appeared, albeit briefly, in the season-six finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead where his character, Negan, made quite the impression by killing off a still-not-yet-known member of the zombie drama’s ensemble. Morgan, and baseball bat Lucille, will be a full-time presence come season seven.
Cush Jumbo (Lucca)
Creators Robert and Michelle King recruited the British transplant to play Alicia’s colleague and friend Lucca Quinn after seeing her in the one-woman play Josephine and I, which Jumbo also wrote. Now that the series is wrapped, Jumbo will return to the stage, starring in an all-female production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew in Central Park opposite Oscar nominee Janet McTeer. She also will appear in the British crime thriller City of Tiny Lights from BBC Films.
Zach Grenier (David)
Although the character actor was able to turn his fan-favorite recurring role into a full-time gig back in season five, Grenier did not make into the final episode of the series. Up next, he’ll appear opposite fellow Good Wife grads Gbenga Akinnagbe and Nestor Carbonell in the film drama Untitled Colin Warner Project.
Makenzie Vega (Grace)
A series regular for six of the show’s seven seasons, the younger (fictional) Florrick child still played an important role in the finale as Alicia sacrificed everything — namely her friendship with Diane — to save Peter and get Grace to leave for college. The actress will next topline Fender Bender, the Chiller network’s first original horror film, which debuts in June.
Graham Phillips (Zach)
Phillips stepped down as a series regular at the end of season five as his focus turned toward his undergraduate studies at Princeton University and right as his character went off to Georgetown. The actor, who is nearing graduation, has still kept a foot in Hollywood, reprising his role on Good Wife for several episodes, appearing in the upcoming Netflix film XOXO and also writing and directing a short film, The Mediator, with his brother.
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