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How The Good Wife’s upcoming spinoff will handle President Trump

The Good Wife was about law and order during the Obama years. The Good Fight will do the same for Trump.

Throughout its seven-season run, The Good Wife — which aired from 2009 to 2016 — embraced its status as a legal drama airing specifically under Barack Obama’s presidency, exploring issues of national security, increasingly precarious privacy, and the potential for local politics to have a national impact.

So it’s fitting that the series’ upcoming spinoff The Good Fight, which premieres February 19, will nod to the fact that it’s debuting shortly after a dramatically different president takes office ... even if that wasn’t always the plan.

Christine Baranski — whose Good Wife character Diane Lockhart anchors the new show — revealed during The Good Fight’s preview panel at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that the show filmed its first episode in November, during the week of the election.

The night before the election, in fact, Baranski filmed a scene in which Diane packed up the contents of her office, including a Hillary Clinton photograph. Baranski recalled playing the moment as Diane drawing strength from the first woman president. “When the audience sees it,” she added wryly, “it’s going to have a very different resonance.”

Yes, the election results turned out differently than The Good Fight cast and crew expected. But series creators Michelle and Robert King said during the panel that they’ve always viewed The Good Wife — and now The Good Fight — as having politics in their DNA, and explained how the new administration will help drive the new show.

“I think this election gave us a spine,” said Michael King. “What was good, the world changed on us. The Good Wife was a little bit about the Obama years. This gives shape to a new show.” What’s more, he added, The Good Fight will directly explore the disoriented “liberal reaction” to Trump’s win.

Baranski elaborated: “The interesting thing is you have a lead character who is in a moral kind of practical free fall in a similar way to what the country is feeling right now. How do you take the next step up when there’s no foundation? Where are we morally?”

And not for nothing, she continued, the series — which focuses on ardent feminist Diane, Cush Jumbo’s sharp attorney Lucca Quinn, and a new protégé played by Game of Thrones Rose Leslie — is called The Good Fight for a reason. “[The Good Fight] is about the passing of power from one generation to another in terms of female power,” Baranski said. “I’m hoping that the show has a positive message about women having to continue the good fight."

Given the timing of the show’s debut, this feminist focus may well take on an extra layer of relevance as President Trump enters the White House.

The Good Fight will air its first episode on Sunday, February 19, at 8 pm on both CBS and CBS All Access. The series will then continue to air new episodes on Sunday nights, exclusively on CBS All Access.

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