Exclusive: Josh Charles Inks New Good Wife Deal

Josh Charles Season 5 The Good WifeThe Good Wife just very quietly dodged a big bullet.

CBS has successfully concluded contract negotiations with Josh Charles, whose unique four-year deal was set to expire in May, TVLine has learned exclusively.

According to sources, the Emmy-nominated actor agreed to extend his pact by a year, thereby ensuring that Will Gardner will be around at least through Season 5. (Although The Good Wife has yet to be renewed by CBS, a fifth season is a foregone conclusion, per TVLine’s trusty Renewal Scorecard.)

RELATED | Good Wife Exclusive: Look Who’s Returning!

The relatively short length of Charles’ initial deal is somewhat unusual in TV circles, where six- or-seven year commitments are the norm. It’s believed that his Good Wife co-stars (with the exception of Chris Noth, who has his own special arrangement with the show) all signed six-year contracts when they joined the show.

News that Charles re-upped no doubt comes as a relief to Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King, who likely would’ve had to rework the show’s remaining Season 4 episodes to set the stage for Will’s departure.

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  1. Given the amount of promoting CBS did for The Good Wife during the Super Bowl, I don’t really think the show’s renewal is a foregone conclusion anymore.

    • Danyelle says:

      Hmm, do we believe Marin, or someone who reports on T.V. for a living and owns a web site about T.V.?

      • martina says:

        Ratings this season are really low, though. I wouldn’t say that the renewal is “a safe bet”. It could go either way!

        • missy says:

          i think the good wife will be back they need 2 give them at least 4 mores years the shows really good

        • Kim Rosa says:

          Well, I love this show. I think the rating would have been much higher if it was actually showed in the timeslot advertised, “8pm CST for me”. Many times this past season, I set my DVR to record the show. Unfortunately what recorded was most of The Amazing Race. The only way to watch what I missed was online, which poses a huge problem for me since access to a PC with teenagers in the house is almost impossible. It also makes me upset when I have to wait 3-4 weeks for the next episopde to air. This series has a great cast. I dont feel it’s the shows fault that their not getting the ratings they deserve. I would say it is the programming department at CBS. Also CBS is the only major station that is not working with the cable companies with On Demand programming. ABC and NBC do. Even Fox does.

      • Steven says:

        I would look at TV By The Numbers. I love Michael, but he’s not usually very accurate when it comes to predicting renewal.

        • Christy says:

          Been following Ausiello since TVGuide – he’s always been pretty spot-on about renewals.

          • Josh says:

            The Good Wife is CBS’s only drama which gets Emmy love…The ratings are decent for it’s timeslot(which this whole season has been a mess..9:00PM, 9:12, 9:30, 9:40), the critics and CBS loves it…It isn’t going anywhere.

    • ScrubsGuy says:

      Not really sure if TGW really hits the same target demographic as the Super Bowl, so advertising it then would probably be a waste of ad time. It’s a prestige project – I don’t think CBS would let that go – it’s not like they have many of those.

      • Rrrrrr says:

        A prestige project that is now underperforming and is in no way getting the amount of good press or awards recognition it used to. TGW may likely get a 5th season, but it’s not so obvious at the moment.

        • ScrubsGuy says:

          True, but it would be hard to launch a new property which fills the same niche. Also, if most of the cast is locked in for 6 years, then it probably won’t get much more expensive until that ends, so it might be worthwhile for them to keep it going until then.

        • meleliot says:

          It did much much better in the ratings when it was NOT on Sunday night!

    • big cheddar says:

      True, but I dont know if that matters since SB spots hasn’t boosted any show’s ratings so far.

    • Alex says:

      This season’s demos stink, and the show will have over 80 episodes by the end of it, which is enough for syndication (100 is probably still preferred, but fewer can make it too). Apparently, no network has been clamoring to buy this show in syndication. So how much longer will CBS want to keep around an underperformer with low syndication prospects?

  2. Britta Unfiltered says:

    That is a great picture of Josh Charles. It’s very Mad Men.

  3. nic says:

    Why renew for only a year when the others sign on for 6? This tells me they are planning to either write him out next season or end the show next season. I love the show but someone need to tell the Kings to lay off on the guest stars. Every TGW article is about which guest star they got. How about focusing on the main characters for once? Cary, Will and Diane don’t have much to do this season. I think even Michael j Fox have more lines than Cary. You have one of the best ensamble on TV and you waste time on guest star, come on!

    • morly says:

      nic, it’s pretty clear this was not the network’s decision – it was josh charles’ decision. I totally agree that they need to get rid of guest stars, but josh charles is the one deciding things here. and next year is a LOCK.

  4. Paul says:

    I think next season will be the last. In fact, it may only get 13 episodes. CBS canceled Made In Jersey, and they will definitely cancel Las Vegas. The most likely third cancellation comes down to CSI NY or The Good Wife. The Good Wife gets awards and isn’t on Friday. Therefore, The Good Wife is a safer bet out of the two for a final season. Especially if this year ends with Alicia starting her own firm. It will probably move to Fridays and take over for CSI NY.

    • SJ says:

      The Mentalist is likely going before either of CSI: NY/The Good Wife.

      • JEst says:

        What is so likely about it? The longer something is on the more expensive it is to produce, which could indicate CSI NY being the one to go.

        • Alex says:

          But CBS owns the other two shows, while it does not own The Mentalist and therefore has fewer ways of making money off of it.

    • valezza says:

      Sunday is a second Friday for CBS. A stockhouse for lackluster (from rating standpoint) shows that already in or awaiting for syndication deals. TGW airs on Sundays and, Im pretty sure, it will end its path there regardless of renewal decision.

  5. James says:

    I wish CBS would move it back to Tuesdays at 10

    • Megan says:

      I do think they’ll move it again, CBS has to be aware that having it pushed back for the majority of the the season due to football didn’t help ratings. Whether it will be back on Tuesdays is another story

      • JEst says:

        They also are likely aware of the obvious fact that something has to air in that spot and that, even with ratings being lower on Sundays, shows are more likely to be viewed on cbs on that night that have existent fanbases, as opposed to something new.

    • Steven says:

      If it gets renewed I could see them moving it to Fridays. Definitely not back to Tuesdays.

    • Clifton says:

      A lot of people are saying that Tuesdays are the better bet for this show NOT Sundays. BTW if Good Wife IS continuing, why did MJFox jump ship to NBC to be the main star of a 30 rock replacement show all about NBC NY? How will Good Wife continue without him???

  6. A says:

    I don’t think the low ratings are the problem. Its the stupid timeslot that its been moved to. Its constantly being delayed because of sports and cancelled on weeks when award show are on. Of course the ratings will be affected. I still the show is great. Yes the guest stars have been gathering up a little extra this season but nevertheless, I’ve still enjoyed almost every episode thus far. They just need to move it to a better timeslot.

  7. Lucy says:

    Guys, you’re wrong: not everyone signed a six years contract when they joined the show. Matt Czuchry didn’t have one. He signed a two years contract at end of season 1. And then another one at end of season 3.
    Too bad he signed another contract with them to get no screentime, no storyline and no media exposure.

  8. Lauren says:

    Yay!!!! I would like TGW significantly less without Josh Charles. Can they please give him more to do, I feel like we’ve barely seen him this year. And have they just completely dropped Will and Alicia?

  9. Tracy says:

    I stopped watching the Good Wife when they dropped the Will/Alicia plotline but I’m happy for Josh Charles if this is what he wanted.

    • guest says:

      I also find my interest in GW dwindled significantly when Alicia/Will plot core line diminished. The authenticy of a woman following her true heart attraction (Will) with complications is heavy reality. Hopefully A/W’s unfinished business and smooth fit will again become highlighted with Josh’s contract signing. This missing 4th season core relationship as well as the Sunday irratic schedule both affected the ratings.

  10. MaryAnn says:

    Does the Josh Charles deal mean “The Good Wife” is sure to be renewed? Does anyone know?

    I sure hope not because that lowers the chances “CSI: NY” and “The Mentalist have of renewal.

    • Alice says:

      You came to the post on TGW to cheer against him … lol … Think of twists FOR what you like, not against what others also like … TGW be renewed? twist that yes, love the show …. The mentalist CSI NY or be canceled? I hope not, their fans would be sad, just like I would if TGW was canceled ….

  11. Shuayb says:

    The Good Wife will be renewed for a fifth season. Its ratings have slipped but that is mostly due to pre empting because of football. Julliana Margulies is always nominated at Emmys or Golden Globes (and has won a few times), the stories are good and the writing is still good. CBS was just ridiculous to not give the show more ads during the super bowl.
    I am not a fan of Will/Alicia and I am glad that they are not going down that road again, or just yet. Peter and Alicia have a greater pull to each other.

    • guest says:

      This ex husband Peter character slept with too many known others and there are therefore other unknowns. Trust and respect can not hit a standard that an Alicia type character would need in a partner once the children are in college. Peter’s pull is then mostly political power advantages. Will has historical significance, intense chemistry-sensuality, and professional acuem with Alicia. Perhaps she’ll need to go down the A/W road differently in the future as his trust support is solid.

  12. roberto says:

    I was an avid follower of this good wife series. Until. Alecia came out as an atheist. Tricky but clever for the agenda. Thanks but no thanks. Promoting values based on nothingness equals nothingness. Some will comprehend but I doubt this show will make it. Shame on them and their agenda. Its easy and convenient to doubt, it takes a lifetime to understand. Atheism a true killer!

    • Luxie says:

      oh, but can’t you see the message? Alicia is an atheist, therefore she’s an adulterer! Peter is christian, so he sinned but repented and is being rewarded by becoming governor! In the series finale, he’ll convert his fallen wife, don’t worry.

  13. L says:

    Prediction – since Will and Alicia has decided to end their romantic partnership, and love triangle, they will begin a professional partnership. Diane will leave the firm, Will and Alicia will become partners, Peter will be jealous, and the fight ensues over Alicia’s attention. OR, a better story will be if Cary and Alicia open their own firm and compete with Lockhart Gardner.

    • guest says:

      I ‘d like eventually to see Alicia and Cary needing and thus asking skilled Will to join their firm as a name partner………This move would also help Will’s overload worry when Diane departs and as well free Will from those other most difficult cynical partners, Season 5 could be most enticing for me then………As is, I ‘m uneasy with Will’s deep sadness and rejected feelings negatively impacting his future reach out for life relationships and trust. Also I’m uneasy with Alicia sensing and flexing more her power/control skills in using and manipulating men with a coldness development costing some of her heart’s compassion for others. Peter has The Win. Shades of grey can grow too dark/too much.

  14. Perhaps I’m a minority opinion BUT the Alicia character Lost my admiration when they dressed her in Very Designer Suits. She was always dressed appropriately; but now I find myself spending too much time analyzing her clothes and deciding that I don’t like them (often too skimpy or too high-fashion for the location) which dilutes my pleasure in Alicia and, therefore, in the show.
    comment by Mary

  15. paula says:

    I am very excited with the new law firm but I think that Alicia´s choice is more in favor of her relationship with Will, I hope she picks him…He truly loves her, you can see the pain in his eyes every time they hook up.
    I think that shes leaving lockhart and gardner to have a normal relationship with Will, separate work, better life.

  16. guest says:

    I also wish Will to have a real chance in a loving relationship with Alicia. However, Alicia’s self development progress needs to deserve him and help rather than hinder his growing also to thus enable her heart’s fulfillment. I don’t know if the writers are up for this challenge bent to be more inclusive of the relationship growth with two characters. The good wife title focus always has been about her becoming. For me Will’s character image supersedes Peter’s character image and Alicia’s growth path challenges therefore lie and parallel much more with Will. Additionally Will awakened her sensuality realization levels and this connection is forever imprinted…To be authentically living and following one’s heart enrichment as well as a thoughtful processing mind is such a beautiful goal for the good in all of us.