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‘Elsbeth’: Will That ‘Good Wife’ Character Appear? Plus, Inside Fun ‘True Blood’ Reunion

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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Elsbeth series premiere.]

The newest series from Robert and Michelle King puts a character we’ve gotten just a taste of (or, as they put it, has been the “spice” versus the main course) on The Good Wife and The Good Fight front and center, and at least with the first episode, it does so successfully. Carrie Preston‘s Elsbeth Tascioni is in New York ostensibly to observe the police, but as the ending reveals, she has a much different mission: figure out if Captain Wagner (Wendell Pierce) is corrupt.

Since Wagner’s obviously being kept in the dark about that, while he may want Elsbeth gone simply because of the way she interferes in (i.e., investigates) the NYPD’s case in the premiere, it’s not like he’d like the lawyer who would replace her, he’s told. Wagner wanted a get-along lawyer, but the other person up for the job is none other than Cary Agos (played by Matt Czuchry on The Good Wife), and as the Department of Justice agent tells the captain, he wouldn’t like him much. That doesn’t stop him from holding that over Elsbeth’s head later in the episode. But why did the Kings choose Cary to set up as Elsbeth’s opposition, even without him there?

“Cary seemed logical because, remember, his dad had connections to New York,” Robert King tells TV Insider before asking Michelle why they chose him. “He seemed like he was of the level where he might be up for that job as opposed to someone that was running a law firm,” she adds.

Carrie Preston as Elsbeth and Wendell Pierce as Wagner in 'Elsbeth'

Elizabeth Fisher/CBS

Yes, Wagner will continue to remind Elsbeth that there is another option out there, but “nothing is slated,” according to Michelle, when it comes to seeing Czuchry reprising his role onscreen.

But Elsbeth won’t like just hearing about that because, the investigation into Wagner aside, “she does want to hang on to this new job,” Preston says. “I think it’s this wonderful new opportunity for her. It’s a reboot for her. It’s putting her in a totally different scenario and context than she’s been in before. She gets to actually be on the crime scene and not defending somebody afterward. So I think that the stakes are high for her.”

While there are no plans to have Czuchry appear, what about other Good Wife or Good Fight characters?

“It really isn’t meant to focus on that universe. It’s in a different city, so she’s going to be running into different people,” Michelle explains.

“But I will say this: You may find some actors from The Good Wife and The Good Fight given new characters because we’re in New York,” shares Robert. “It was amazing how much of the acting pool had been spoiled—I’ll use that word as a euphemism—by The Good Wife and The Good Fight. So we’re already now talking, ‘Wait a minute, we can’t give up on this great actor. We now need to repurpose them in this new role.’” Having Preston only recur on the other two shows rather than be at the center of their worlds allows them to do that now.

The premiere did feature a reunion for Preston, though not from her days on the Kings’ previous shows. Rather, Stephen Moyer, with whom she starred on True Blood, played the killer with whom Elsbeth had a bit of a cat-and-mouse game going, which was just fantastic to watch.

“Wasn’t that wonderful?” Preston raves. “The writing was so great in the pilot. Obviously, Robert and Michelle King are brilliant writers. I don’t know how they do it time after time after time, episode after episode, for going on 15 years, creating these kinds of scripts that are so layered and so fun to play as an actor.”

She continues, “Stephen and I had these wonderful, very dialogue-heavy scenes. One day, we did a seven-page scene—that’s unheard of in television. It ended up needing to be edited down a bit, but it was so fun to do that. You don’t get that kind of opportunity in television that much. And then to work with someone who I know and love and have known for 15 years, to have him there by my side for this pilot that I was so wanting to be as good as we could get it, really made me feel confident and secure and in a great place to make something exciting and wonderful. And I feel like we certainly did our best, and we had a great time doing it.”

The Kings loved having him there, too. “We were so fortunate,” says Michelle. “He brought a deliciousness to their cat and mouse, and the two actors like each other, which, of course, makes it even more fun.”

Adds Robert, “I think that is the key. The connection between Carrie Preston and Stephen helped because we were a little worried about the one-noteness of a cat and mouse where someone is just villainous. But what was always fun about what Hannibal Lecter had with Clarice was as evil as Hannibal Lecter was, there was just an attraction there, too. They were kind of drawn to each other, and I think that is the same thing we want to do continuing forward, but even now, between Carrie and Stephen Moyer’s character.”

So, could Moyer be back to see what future interactions between Elsbeth and Alex could look like? “Michelle and I talked about that in the first episode because we loved him so much,” Robert admits. “We were thinking we’d visit him in prison.”

Says Michelle, “never say never. But thus far, not yet.”

What did you think of the premiere? Let us know in the comments below.

Elsbeth, Thursdays, 10/9c, CBS

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