‘The Good Wife’ Showrunners on Season 7: How They’re Including Hillary Clinton, And That Final Archie Panjabi Scene

Duo behind CBS hit drama talks to TheWrap about show’s return and why Democratic frontrunner will be a character on the series … kinda

the good wife kings

Everything is about to change on “The Good Wife” when its Season 7 premiere hits the airwaves on Sunday.

Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) is running for president, Eli Gold (Alan Cumming) is drinking smoothies, and Alicia (Julianna Margulies) is a free agent, mainly because no one will hire her.

Oh yeah, there’s a new investigator in town — following actress Archie Panjabi‘s exit at the end of last season — and not only does he not wear knee-high boots, he’s all up in Alicia’s cookies.

“I would say the biggest difference is that last year Alicia’s ambitions got away from her humility,” series co-creator Robert King told TheWrap. “This year is all about humility and how she has to start over.”

Viewers will also get their 2016 political fix this season, as Peter Florrick sets his sights on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in an effort to become Hillary Clinton’s running mate. Her name is dropped so often, you’d think she was getting residual payments.

Robert and Michelle King, the married duo behind the CBS hit show, talked to TheWrap about Alicia’s latest love interest, whether Donald Trump might make an appearance, and that awkward final scene between Alicia and Kalinda.

TheWrap: We finally get to meet Kalinda’s (Panjabi) replacement, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. How is his character different?
Robert King: Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a very warm smiling person. What you don’t know is whether he’s like that with everyone or just Alicia. What we wanted to do is have someone who was a bit mysterious in a different way than Archie was. And you’re never quite sure.

It seems as though they’re hitting it off. Is Morgan’s character, Jason, Alicia’s next love interest?
Michelle King: I think what we can say is: Stay tuned. Alicia’s life is complicated romantically in the best way. As we’ve seen throughout, she is a sexual person. She has an awkward relationship with her husband. They’re certainly not completely divorced. And yet she does desire other men as well. It will be fun to play with it and see how it works with Jason.

What’s it like writing an actual presidential campaign into a script, especially this cycle when it seems like every day anything could happen?
Robert King: One of the more exciting things we’re doing this year is play in the real world of politics. Peter Florrick is trying to run for President. But his real goal is really to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. The difficulty is that things change constantly. For example we didn’t know Joe Biden might enter the race so as in the first couple of episodes, Biden isn’t mentioned.

Hillary Clinton is mentioned often in the first couple of episodes. Are we going to see Donald Trump make an appearance?
Michelle King: Peter is more of a Democrat and the folks around him are Democrats, so I don’t think Mr. Trump will make an appearance.
Robert King: They all make references to Trump but it’s more on the level of the workers who make an election work, the campaign operatives.

Much has been made of Archie Panjabi‘s exit last season with several theories suggesting she and Julianna Margulies hated each other. So much so, that you were forced to shoot their final scene separately. Is that true?
Robert King: The only thing I’ll say is that people should keep an eye on Jeffrey Dean Morgan. We didn’t want to replace one woman with another woman and say oh, that’s the one that’s supposed to be like Archie. One of the things we liked is the idea of bringing in such a highly-sexual presence which I think Morgan brings that. So, as much as we miss Archie, I do think we’re venturing out into a whole different area that I think everybody will like.

“The Good Wife” Season 7 premieres Sunday at 9 p.m.