You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Good Fight’ to Tackle Trump Impeachment, Sexual Harassment in Season 2

The Good Fight” is taking on the provocative subject of a possible Trump impeachment in its second season, but in a way that skewers the fever among some Democrats to flip the House and Senate to the blue column and bring down the President.

The CBS All Access drama, which returns March 4, also plans an episode inspired by the sexual assault allegations leveled against now-disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein. The show will examine a reporter’s struggle to find an outlet to publish explosive charges — a nod to the criticism against NBC News for failing get behind the story that Ronan Farrow ultimately published in the New Yorker.

The episode revolves around “sexual charges against a liberal star that you wouldn’t expect to be charged. The lawsuits start to fly even before they broadcast it,” “Good Fight” exec producer Robert King told reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Robert King was among a group of showrunners featured on a panel about tackling politics, gender concerns and social issues in TV. King’s partner, in life and on “Good Fight,” Michelle King was a panelist along with Jermaine Fowler of comedy “Superior Donuts,” Barbara Hall of “Madam Secretary,” Shawn Ryan of “SWAT,” and Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts of CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Discovery.” 

On impeachment, the predominantly African-American law firm at the center of the show will be among the firms vying with Democrats in Congress for the job of helping to prepare for an impeachment process. The aim is not to hammer Trump as much as it is to satirize the gung-ho determination of some Democrats and the possible over-confidence of winning big in November’s mid-term elections.

“We were satirizing the Democrats licking their chops at the possibility of turning the House over and impeachment,” King said. “It’s a satire of Democrats wanting to impeach a sitting president in a way that would make them angry if it were Republicans going after President Obama.”

More drama ensues when one of the African-American lawyers at the firm is “outed” as a Trump supporter, King added.

The showrunners on the panel said they never felt pressure from the network, whether CBS or CBS All Access, to shy away from political issues despite the polarization in the country at present. Hall said she made the creative decision to not identify a political party for the administration in power on the show that revolves around a female Secretary of State, played by Tea Leoni.

“We didn’t want to preach to the choir,” she said. The show’s meat and potatoes is “problem-solving” and understanding differences in culture and socioeconomic issues influence geopolitical conflicts. “Madam Secretary” was ahead of the curve two seasons ago in doing a storyline about Leoni’s Elizabeth McCord character being groped by a world leader. McCord struggles with the decision to publicly challenge him on the offense but opts not to in order to achieve her bigger-picture agenda.

“The episode did include the line ‘When do we get to be the bigger picture,’ ” Hall noted. “I guess we have our answer.”

On the subject of sexual harassment in Hollywood, Ryan said he has made a point of explicitly telling staffers on his shows, which at present include the NBC drama “Timeless,” that the need to ensure safety at all times on the set extends beyond stunts and elaborate shoots to the workplace culture.

“Safety includes a safe space for people to not feel harassed,” Ryan said. “I’ve felt in the last three to four months that it’s important for them to know that the person in charge deems it wholly unacceptable for the workplace environment to be hostile in any way.”

The discussion also turned to the question of diversity, in front of and behind the camera. CBS has come in for criticism that it has lagged other networks in bringing diversity to its lineup. Fowler, the only person of color on the panel, said he has made an effort to populate the “Superior Donuts” writers room with “some of the dopest writers from different walks of life. It has helped the show tremendously — it’s the best thing we’ve done for the show.”

Ryan said he saw an “opportunity” to bring “SWAT,” toplined by African-American actor Shemar Moore, to CBS. He is running the show with creator Aaron Thomas, who is African-American. (Thomas was scheduled to be on the panel but was unable to travel back from Ghana in time.)

“I knew they were thirsting to put this kind of material on the air,” Ryan said. He added that telling stories from the perspective of persons of color on CBS is a bigger opportunity than working on a niche cable or streaming outlet. “When you make a show for CBS you’re aiming to appeal to the entire breadth and width of the country,” he said.

Berg and Harberts pointed to the breakthrough on “Discovery” with the portrayal of the first gay relationship in the “Star Trek” universe. It was particularly meaningful that the two characters were not first defined for the audience as gay but rather as competent pros — a doctor and a scientist — with key positions on the starship. Their relationship was introduced matter-of-factly with little fanfare when the two were shown brushing their teeth together in the morning.

“We had them lead with competence,” Harberts said. “It was surprising the way the audience embraced them so quickly — it obviously touched a nerve in how people felt gay characters have been presented” in the past, he said.

More TV

  • BETTER THINGS "Chicago" Episode 1 (Airs

    TV Review: 'Better Things' Season 3

    A few episodes into the new season of “Better Things,” fed-up mother Sam (creator Pamela Adlon) tries a new tactic to break up one of the countless petty fights between her daughters. Instead of forcing them apart and hoping for the best, she throws up her hands and decides to just let them go at it, [...]

  • Anna Paquin, Sophie Okonedo in Flack

    TV Review: 'Flack' Starring Anna Paquin

    There’s a familiar, acrid aftertaste to “Flack,” Pop’s new drama about the controlled chaos of the publicity industry. The grim behind-the-scenes machinations of the glossy entertainment industry have always been one of TV’s favorite subjects, as are the people tasked with pulling the strings without anyone ever realizing. Over just six episodes, the show manages [...]

  • Jee Young Han

    NBC Comedy Pilot 'Like Magic' Casts Jee Young Han in Lead Role

    Jee Young Han has been cast in the lead role of the NBC single-camera comedy pilot “Like Magic,” Variety has learned. The project is a workplace comedy that follows an optimistic young woman (Jee) pursuing her dream to be a headlining magician in the eccentric and ego-driven world of the Magic Palace. Jee will play Holly. [...]

  • Sharon Case from The Young and

    NATAS Announces 2019 Daytime Emmys Pre-Nominations for Drama Performer Categories

    The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences have announced the pre-nominations for all of the drama performer categories ahead of the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. “The Young and the Restless” lead the pre-nominations with 21 candidates, but “General Hospital” and “Days of Our Lives” are close behind with 20 and 19 candidates, respectively. [...]

  • Childrens Hospital

    'Childrens Hospital' Team Reunites at Netflix for Comedy Series 'Medical Police'

    The team behind the Adult Swim series “Childrens Hospital” has come back together at Netflix. The streamer has ordered 10 thirty-minute episodes of a new scripted series called “Medical Police,” which is written and executive produced by Rob Corddry, Krister Johnson, Jonathan Stern, David Wain. In addition to his onscreen role, Corddry created “Childrens Hospital,” [...]

  • mike colter luke cage portrait

    'Luke Cage' Alum Mike Colter Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'Evil'

    Mike Colter has been cast in a lead role in the CBS drama pilot “Evil” from Robert and Michelle King, Variety has learned. Colter will play David DaCosta, a Catholic priest in training, tasked by the Church to assess unexplained phenomena to see if there is a supernatural or scientific explanation. He joins previously announced [...]

  • Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue

    Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue Biopic 'The Dirt'

    Netflix has dropped the first trailer for its Motley Crue biopic “The Dirt” — based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling history of the legendarily bad-behaved ‘80s metal icons — and it looks like the film pulls no punches in terms of the band’s famously sordid history. In this two-minute trailer, we get glimpses of singer Vince [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content