‘The Good Fight’ Star Julianna Margulies Likely Won’t Return for Final Season

by Taylor Cunningham

When The Good Fight returns this fall for its sixth and final season, Julianna Margulies likely won’t make an appearance.

Last week, co-creator Michelle King announced that the upcoming year will serve as the close for the Emmy nominated story. And she added that she’ll have to wrap it up without Margulies’ Alicia Florrick.

“It’s not our expectation that she is going to come back,” she admitted.

The Good franchise began in 2009 when Michelle King and her husband Robert introduced The Good Wife, which stars Margulies as the lead. The original TV series concluded in 2016 and the sequel picked up one year later.

While Julianna Margulies has never made a cameo in The Good Fight, her character still plays a pivotal role in the story and success of the show. The Kings attempted to bring Margulies aboard for a three-episode arc during season 3. But the actress declined.

Margulies told Deadline in 2019 that CBS All Access “refused to pay” her the salary she earned on The Good Wife. Instead, they only offered a guest star rate. And because Margulies helmed the franchise, she didn’t believe the offer was fair.

“I’m not a guest star; I started the whole thing with The Good Wife,” she said at the time. “I wanted to be paid my worth and stand up for equal pay. If Jon Hamm came back for a Mad Men spinoff or Kiefer Sutherland wanted to do a 24 spinoff, they would be paid.”

‘The Good Fight’ Returns in September Without Julianna Margulies

Other Good Wife stars will return to the screen for the final wrap. Two of the most notable will be Alan Cummin (Eli Gold) and Carrie Preston (Elsbeth Tascioni). But there appears to be no way that the franchise can work out an agreement between Julianna Margulies and The Good Wife that will appeal to all parties.

“We did want to bring [Margulies] to guest on The Good Fight,” former EVP of Orginal Content Julie McNamara confirmed. “[But] there was a different [financial] expectation of what that meant, and it didn’t work out… It was just a deal that didn’t work out.”

As for the final season, it will pick up on Thursday, Sept. 8 on Paramount+. And the closure will bring an end to the 13-year reign that the Kings had over the world of legal dramas.

“We got tired,” Robert said about retiring the Good franchise. “And we looked at how we were building Season 6 and felt that if there was ever a time to end the show it was [now], given the cataclysmic nature of the season. And as much as the show was great in reacting to the zeitgeist, it felt like it would have a certain repetition if we kept going.”