Sometimes you have to rewrite for history, “The Good Fight” creators Michelle and Robert King have learned.
The upcoming spinoff to CBS’s successful Julianna Margulies vehicle “The Good Wife” was eight days into shooting when Donald Trump won the presidency – prompting a “funny and awful” script change.
A scene in the pilot had originally depicted Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart basking in the inaugural glow of President-Elect Hillary Clinton, an event many inside and outside of Hollywood anticipated seeing and one that will not come to fruition in January.
“Like most pollsters, we thought Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency, so we wrote scenes about Diane retiring from the law because she ‘broke every glass ceiling,'” the Kings said in the latest print issue of Entertainment Weekly. “Obviously we needed to rewrite — on the 8th day of shooting.”
“The Good Fight” sees Lockhart step away from her legal career just as Lockhart’s goddaughter, played by “Game of Thrones” star Rose Leslie, begins hers. The pilot was meant to be a culmination of female power under the reign of a second Clinton White House.
“The show tends to be a satire of the liberal mindset, so it felt funny and awful to play off Diane’s stunned reaction to the [Trump] inauguration,” the couple continued.
The showrunners demand their work be “as current as possible, so it’s important to anticipate events that haven’t happened yet. I think it’s safe to anticipate the Trump inauguration,” Robert said of the rewrites.
“The Good Fight” is not the only 2017 series that will have to contend with bets on actual events to ground their fictional worlds.
Showtime’s Claire Danes thriller “Homeland” cast Elizabeth Marvel as its female President-Elect for its upcoming sixth season. The Alex Gansa series, directed frequently by Lesli Linka Glatter, has long been praised for its uncanny parallels to real life terror and intelligence events.
Marvel also played Democratic presidential hopeful Heather Dunbar on” House of Cards.” Before November, a fictional female president seemed like a safe bet — now it could just skew as escapist fantasy.
“The Good Fight” premieres Feb. 19, 2017 (8:00 PM, ET) on-demand on CBS All Access and with a special broadcast of the premiere episode on CBS (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT). After premiere night, episodes will be available weekly on Sundays exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers.
“Homeland” premieres Sunday January 15 on Showtime.