Popular The Good Wife spin-off, The Good Fight has received a pick-up for season 5 from CBS' streamer, CBS All Access. The renewal comes on the heels of the news that the show's 4th season will be truncated to only 7 episodes (down from the planned 10) due to the production halt caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The mid-March production halt is a common fate for many spring projects, as several major series across the broadcast networks also experienced shortened seasons.
The Good Fight showrunners, Robert and Michelle King told Variety that, "It's been weird to not be able to finish the fourth season. It left the story in even more absurd a place than usual. So we're thrilled that CBS All Access wants to bring The Good Fight back for an additional season, and we know what story we're planning to tell. It's like getting the answers to the SAT ahead of time."
In season 4, the law firm of Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart lost their largest client and was forced to accept a buy-out offer by a massive global law firm, STR Laurie. When Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart join their new parent firm, they lose their independence and find all their actions second-guessed. They begin an investigation of something known as Memo 618 as the season dims into the 7th episode. The Good Fight is a co-producing project of Scott Free Productions, which just signed a first-look deal with Apple. CBS Television Studios also produces with King Size Productions.
The series stars Christine Baranski, Delroy Lindo, Cush Jumbo, Sarah Steele, Nyambi Nyambi, Michael Boatman, Zach Grenier, John Larroquette, Audra McDonald and Hugh Dancy. Lindo will depart after the current season as he heads to an ABC pilot called Harlem's Kitchen. Dancy was a new addition in season 4, and recently told Entertainment Tonight that he had never seen an episode of The Good Fight or of its predecessor, The Good Wife before. He was enticed to the show by the writing of showrunners Robert and Michelle King. He also liked that his character, attorney Caleb Garlin, would spend less time in the 'gray areas' than his prior character in Homeland, who seemed to spend most of the time in the 'dark'. Speaking to the difficulty in shortening the 4th season, Julie McNamara, EVP of CBS All Access said:
"The Good Fight remains one of the most beloved and critically acclaimed original series on CBS All Access, and we've seen a tremendous response from fans this season. While we all had hoped to provide audiences with a 10-episode 4th season, we, among many others, have had to adapt to the pandemic. Although it's a shortened season, the incredible cast and crew, helmed by the incomparable Robert and Michelle King, have produced a phenomenal 7 episodes. We can't wait for viewers to see the remainder of the season and are excited to bring subscribers even more of the timely, gripping storylines the Kings bring to life next in season 5."
While the pandemic has upended production (of The Good Fight and almost all other spring, summer and fall series), producers are finding challenges in how to deal with related storylines. For instance, NBC's hit New Amsterdam shortened its own season, skipping an episode related to the spread and impact of a pandemic that it had filmed before the coronavirus crisis. Other shows are weaving the topic into their story arcs. Christine Baranski, the star of The Good Fight recently revealed on an Los Angeles Times podcast that she expected the series to eventually tackle the pandemic, saying, "I've not heard anything. I don't know how, in the future, we are going to be able to ignore what has just happened to us. I think they've got a lot of great material ahead if they're going to address this. And it's a pity we didn't get to finish Season 4 because I just absolutely loved where we were going with the whole arc of Season 4; I thought it was so interesting."