With just nine episodes of The Good Wife left, co-creators and executive producers Robert and Michelle King have a lot on their plate. But, they've been planning the end of Alicia Florrick since the beginning.
"We started the show back in 2009 with the idea that it would only go 13 episodes because that was the only thing we had ever done before that. So we really had no thought beyond what those 13 episodes would do. And if you go back to the first season...and watch the first 13 episodes it kind of tells a complete story of a husband who goes to jail, the wife who moves on and then him coming back again," Robert recently told press during a conference call. Once they got their back episode order, the Kings got to work.
"Having come from screen writing and movies before this it was always thinking in terms of what is the beginning, the middle and the end of a show that could go on years. And we pretty quickly thought that the show could only really support, and the story of Alicia Florrick, could only support seven years, so we started to build towards that," he explained.
However, their ending almost wasn't the end for Alicia (Julianna Margulies). CBS' Glenn Geller announced the Kings would depart at the end of season seven and the network was looking at the possibility of the show continuing without them.
"I think [Margulies] was kind of up in the air because the difficulty with a series coming to an end is there's a lot of livelihoods attached to it. So I think she was torn and she made that joke at the casting event …and I kind of saw it as a joke when she said it...We've had discussions about how we wanted to end the show and our fate isn't necessarily attached to what she would want to do. She has been an amazing kind of leader for the crew and the production…We're heartless people who don't care about anyone but ourselves—that's a joke. But [Margulies] cares about people and wanted to make sure everything ended correctly," Robert said.
But Michelle noted talks about continuing with an eighth season didn't go that far formally, as far as she knows. "There was conversation with the network, with the studio, with Julianna and really everybody came to the same decision—end with us. That to be able to go all together is really what we all wanted," she said.
Now that the endings for all are set in stone, the Kings are continuing to plot. They wouldn't reveal if Alicia and Peter finally divorce, once and for all, but Michelle did admit things are staying on course.
"I would say that the story won't change from what we were intending, but it allows us to be a little more definitive. So, we'll be writing the same thing, but perhaps now in pen instead of pencil," she said.
Whether Alicia gets a happy ending remains to be seen. The creators revealed their favorite TV endings, in generalities, so read into them as you will.
"I like [shows] that end with some resonance. I think some of the best endings of series television [are] Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under...a lot of these shows that I would put as happy and sad at the same time. I mean there's a mixture, but that doesn't necessarily have any impact on what we're doing. We're just talking in general about series we like," Robert said.
"Yes, I was going to say in terms of what I admire is when an ending is both—feels inevitable and surprising," Michelle added.
The Good Wife airs Sundays 9 p.m. on CBS. The series finale will air May 8.