"The Good Wife" hasn't had an easy go of it this season. Low ratings, unfavorable fan reaction to stories, large gaps between new episodes and football overruns have plagued the show, but Robert and Michelle King don't see this as the end of the critically acclaimed legal drama.
"We have every reason to to anticipate coming back," series co-creator and executive producer Michelle King said during a conference call with press.
"We're writing as if we're coming back," series co-creator and executive producer Robert King said. "If you hear anything from [CBS honcho Les Moonves], tell us."
"The Good Wife" is back with four new episodes in a row, something the Kings said CBS is heavily promoting. The Kings said the network is behind the show and only focuses on the creative, saying they're fans of the show and don't look at football overruns as being "The Good Wife's" fault.
Earlier this season "The Good Wife" introduced Kalinda's estranged husband, Nick, played by Marc Warren. Fan response was pretty bad. After the outcry, the Kings ended the storyline early.
"We cut three episodes," Robert said. "What we did was a difficult little process on our part. We accelerated some of the plot that was already shot ... We accelerated the story to finish it off before our December break where we were basically off for three weeks, so that we would come back and reengage on the new plots that were going. The fan reaction obviously had something to do with it. I think our feeling is that we probably ... bent the character towards some thematic things we were pursuing with seeing a parallel between Kalinda's life and Alicia's life. As writers, we spanked ourselves on the backs saying, 'Don't let theme lead plot again.'"
Viewers won't see Nick again, but the Kings hinted at some possible issues bubbling up for Kalinda with regards to his character.
"The Good Wife" has fallen to new lows in the ratings, specifically the 18-49 demographics, but the Kings said they aren't looking to shake things up in an effort to get new, younger eyeballs on the show.
"I would say we're really -- at this stage of the game, in Season 4 -- focusing only on being true to the characters and telling the most interesting version of 'The Good Wife' we can," Michelle said. "Unless we went to Alicia cooking meth or something, we're really not trying to pander or go outside what makes sense for the show."
Yep, don't expect "melodramatic" stunts like gunmen in the law office or helicopter crashes. Robert said the youthful draw is in the storylines, like the ones about social networking and breaking rules. Many of the cases involve some big-name guest stars, including Amanda Peet, Carrie Preston and Matthew Perry. Look for Mamie Gummer to reprise her role as Nancy Crozier later this year.
As "The Good Wife" continues the second half of Season 4, the gubernatorial election will finally take place, with a winner being crowned. Another ongoing story will be Alicia's new role as equity partner at Lockhart/Gardner. Alicia is now the boss of her former colleagues.
"The Alicia/Cary is a very difficult situation because it's about management vs. labor," Robert said. "Some of the issues that are going to swirly around it are can a friendship survive when one friend is kind of your boss in a sense ... Will that strain the relationship?"
Alicia and Cary's relationship won't be the only one changing now that Alicia has a new position at the firm. "Diane really was supposed to be Alicia's mentor and now as she said at the end of the last episode, or the episode before, 'We're peers now.' And Alicia's going to slowly venture into a place where she can challenge these name partners more and more."
Just because the characters seem to be in a good place now doesn't mean that it's going to last.
"If we were to sum up the second half of the year for us, it's be careful what you wish for because you're not going to like it," Robert said. "I think that's what happens with the characters, they kind of get a lot of their dreams and yet their dreams are not always what they may appear."
"The Good Wife" airs Sundays, 9 p.m. on CBS.