One of the biggest surprise plays in Sunday’s Super Bowl was CBS’s announcement was that this would be the final season of “The Good Wife.”

In a conference call Monday with reporters, showrunners Michelle and Robert King said it was always their plan to end the show after seven seasons.

“The story of Alicia Florrick could only support seven seasons,” said Robert King. They had previously announced that they would exit the show after this season, and it was only a question of whether CBS would attempt to continue the show without them. As recently as the Television Critics Assn. press tour last month, entertainment president Glenn Geller has hinted at the possibility of another season without them at the helm.

But on Monday’s conference call, the Kings revealed that they learned in the last week of CBS’s plan to announce the final season at the Super Bowl. Michelle King said they knew they could control their own fate by leaving the show, but were thrilled that CBS ultimately decided to end the show with them.

“We felt very fortunate and flattered that we’re being allowed to end the show with the other writers and the other producers the way we hoped it would end,” said Michelle King.

“This isn’t a show that’s ending because anybody hates each other,” said Robert King. “It’s a show that’s ending because it should be ending.”

The Kings were reluctant to offer any spoilers on the remaining episodes of the final season, but did allow that they would like to see certain characters return, including private investigator Robyn Burdine (Jess Weixler) and Kurt McVeigh (Gary Cole). But don’t expect to see Kalinda (Archie Panjabi).

“Kalinda went off deliberately to disappear,” said Michelle King. “It wouldn’t make any sense for her to come back.” And though the ghost of Will Gardner (Josh Charles) will weigh heavily on these final nine episodes, it’s unlikely we’ll see him return.

Now that they know they’re writing towards a series finale, the Kings said their plans for the storyline hasn’t changed, “but it allows us to be a little bit more definitive,” said Michelle King. “We’re writing now in pen instead of pencil.”

Asked about the possibility of a spinoff, Michelle King said “Nothing’s off the table,” and that they weren’t ruling anything out. Robert King brought up ancillary characters like Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston), who won an Emmy for her work. 

The Kings aren’t leaving CBS altogether, despite “The Good Wife” ending — they’re currently working on “BrainDead,” a comic political thriller set for a summer debut.