CBS’s streaming-only spinoff of its hit show The Good Wife is finally coming to TV. The network will Season 1 of the drama — which just wrapped up its third season — on Sunday nights beginning June 16. But fans who tune in hoping to see more of The Good Wife star Juliana Margulies will be disappointed. The actress chose not to appear on The Good Fight. And she’s not likely to do so in the future, she recently told Deadline.
Margulies said the network wasn’t willing to pay her what she’s worth
Margulies has been noticeably absent from The Good Fight since it premiered on CBS All Access in 2017. But it wasn’t because she wasn’t interested in being part of the show, the actress explained. She says she’d be happy to appear on the spinoff, which stars The Good Wife’s Christine Baranski, if the network would open up its pocketbook.
“If they were to ask me to go back on The Good Fight, paying me what my salary is, of course [I would], in a heartbeat,” she told Deadline. “But you have to value your worth.”
Margulies explained that the network offered her a role on The Good Fight as a guest star. But that meant a lower salary. She wouldn’t accept the pay cut.
“I’m not a guest star,” the actress said. “You don’t pay me a guest-star salary. I would get a guest-star salary if I went and did [Law & Order] SVU — it’s not my show. I wouldn’t ask for what I got paid as Alicia Florrick. I also know for a fact that any male star who got asked to go on a spinoff of their show would have been offered at least $500,000. I know that for a fact.”
Margulies said she decided to speak up about why she isn’t on The Good Fight because, “I need to pave the way for the next [actress] coming up.”
According to Margulies, she was in talks with the network to appear in a three-episode arc on Season 3 of The Good Fight. But the deal fell apart. “I was really excited about the idea, but CBS refused to pay my (ask),” she reportedly said at the Series Mania festival in France in April.
Alan Cumming has a similar complaint
After Margulies shared the story of her pay dispute with CBS, her Good Wife co-star Alan Cumming, who played Eli Gold, said he had a similar experience with the network.
“Both of us were going to go back,” the actor told US Weekly at the Life Ball in Vienna, Austria, on June 9.
“They were not going to pay us,” Cumming went on to say. “What’s the reason to take us back? Because we’re big parts of the story, and obviously, it was also going to be a big cache for the show. That costs. Why should we do it for a guest star thing when the last time we were working on this show we got much more?”
The Good Fight Season 1 begins airing Sunday, June 16 at 9/8c on CBS.
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