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‘The Good Wife’ Spinoff to Star Christine Baranski, Cush Jumbo in Negotiations at CBS All Access

Sources say CBS is in final negotiations to set up a spinoff of “The Good Wife” focusing on Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart character that would air on CBS All Access.

Actress Cush Jumbo, who joined the “Good Wife” cast in the show’s seventh and final season, is also expected to star in the spinoff. Sources cautioned that the deal is still in negotiations for a straight-to-series order and may not come to fruition. “Good Wife” co-creators/exec producers Robert and Michelle King would likely co-write the project with another “Good Wife” alum. The pair would be exec producers but not serve as showrunners.

Word that CBS is serious talks for a spinoff surfaced less than a week after “Good Wife” wrapped its Emmy-winning run on May 8. The series closer generated much discussion about the fate of its central characters and the denouement between Baranski’s Lockhart and Julianna Margulies’ Alicia Florrick. Jumbo, a British actress known for her work on stage and in the U.K. series “Torchwood,” signed on at the start of the final season, playing a sharp, no-nonsense attorney who became a friend and confidant of Florrick.

If the project comes to fruition, it would be a significant piece of business for CBS on two fronts. It would extend the “Good Wife” aura that has been a source of prestige for the Eye, and it would mark the second high-profile original series to be developed for the CBS All Access SVOD service.

CBS already has a new rendition of “Star Trek” set to beam up on All Access in January. A “Good Wife” spinoff with Baranski would be another marquee property to help drive subscriptions to the service, which sells for $6 a month. Sending the spinoff to All Access rather than the mothership network is a sign of CBS’ determination to invest in All Access as a distinct programming platform. CBS Corp. chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves has said the goal is to have three to four original series airing on CBS All Access every year.

Discussions for Baranski’s “Good Wife” spinoff are believed to have in the works for some time. Throughout pilot season, Baranski was the first choice for many lead roles in dramas and comedies across multiple broadcast networks, though she turned down all the offers, even one particular project that was extremely high-profile. Her team likely had the spinoff in mind when nixing offers for the newly-available star.

In addition to the “Good Wife” spinoff, the Kings have an offbeat horror dramedy, “BrainDead,” set to bow on June 13. The series stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a young woman who gets a job on Capitol Hill only to discover that zombies are eating the brains of many in Congress.

(Elizabeth Wagmeister contributed to this report.)

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