Good Wife Alicia Kalinda

Good Wife Season Finale Controversy: CBS Boss Insists CGI'd Alicia-Kalinda Scene Was 'Satisfying'

That controversy surrounding that Alicia-Kalinda “reunion” scene in the Good Wife finale was dredged up Monday at CBS’ portion of the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

Asked to share her thoughts on the decision to shoot Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi separately for the years-in-the-making sequence, network president Nina Tassler said, “I’m not going to reveal movie magic. The ending of the show was a very satisfying ending for the relationship between those two characters. I stand by how [series creators] Robert and Michelle King produce their show.

“The way a producer shoots their show, that’s really all I care about,” Tassler continued, adding that she was unaware that some viewers were frustrated by the trickery. “I haven’t really heard that. They love the show. People are much more invested in Alicia’s journey and that’s where the show is going, forward to the future.”

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As we reported back in May, the season-ending meet-up between Alicia and Kalinda — the onetime gal pals’ first such face-to-face in a lonnnng while — was pulled off using body doubles and computer trickery, with Margulies and Panjabi never actually in the bar scene together.

And Panjabi, when given an opportunity to weigh in on the reported CGI use, didn’t deny that some crafty cobbling was required. “All I can say is this: the decision-making process is not something I’m privy to,” the actress said at the time.

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64 Comments
  1. Concerned says:

    Huh? Movie magic is your excuse? What does that even mean in the context of two people refusing to be in a scene together. UGH.

    • Just one thing says:

      It means they won’t comment on BTS drama, no matter how many different people ask them to do so.
      .
      Of all the networks, CBS seems to have the tightest and most consistent reins on their brands, so her response isn’t shocking.

      • Because that’s how professionals behave. You don’t discuss things like that in public.

        If that’s your cup of tea there are plenty of sites where you can read about the latest Miley Swift and Taylor Cyrus “drama.”

        • Erin B says:

          Or maybe professionals should act in a short scene together without needing all of the CGI. I work with people frequently that I do not like, but I do what I have to do to get the job done & do not treat them any differently than anyone else.

        • Abby says:

          If only the actresses CBS hired could be half as professional as their president then she wouldn’t have to spend her time declining to comment on these matters.

          • You’re continuing to miss the point. Why do you HAVE to know this information? More than enough information has already leaked out to the point where a number of people believe Julianna hates Archie, whether it is true or not. That’s more than fans need.

      • robin says:

        EGO!! CBS is going downhill so fast. I have that sorry excuse of a networks CBS All Acess and it is not all acess. The live streaming falls off constantly, you are told sorry not available to you…? EGO’s always fall. I used to LOVE this network. Not any more.

  2. Angie says:

    This question should be directed at the Kings, not Tassler. She’ll obviously skirt the issue and not talk about how Julianna demanded it this way.

    • Concerned says:

      But thats a really strange side step. If it was a sci fi show and they asked how they made someone explode so realistic and she said “i dont reveal movie magic” then fine. But that is just poor. Critics have pushed execs much harder for smaller things during these panels, I wish someone followed up with exactly what the question is.

      • John NYC says:

        There’s a surpassingly large amounts of post-production work even in “normal” shows.

        • Dude says:

          Not to the extent of this scene if they didn’t have to do it this way. Split screen work is exceedingly difficult to execute and takes about triple the time of filming a normal scene (sometimes days as opposed to a few hours). There are a lot of variables to get right and it overcomplicates things so no one would choose to do it this way if they didn’t have to. The fact that they’d rather add to everyone’s workload instead of putting two actresses in a room together, says a lot.

    • LK says:

      Do we know that Julianna is responsible for this? It makes no sense at all…

      • bluefairy says:

        The only possible reason why they haven’t shot a single scene with those two actresses together in years is because one or both of them refused. And Panjabi hinted in all her interviews that it wasn’t her decision, while Margulies said nothing. Since Margulies is the leading actress, she obviously has a bigger say in it, so it is very likely that she was the one who didn’t want to work with Panjabi. As for the reason why, God knows. Maybe Panjabi slept with Margulies’ husband, like on the show :))

        • Jeri says:

          I agree, this is still one of my favorites but after last seasons boring politics and the fleeing of the original actors I don’t know how long this will be a “must see” for me. I was a big Margulies fan and this has shaken my faith. That she puts herself above the program quality and adds to everyones workload just to satisfy some type of grudge is pretty disappointing. I hope her ego does not kill the show. They must be running out of excuses for actors leaving the show, Well, at this time I still have some hope.

        • Abe Froman says:

          Margulies isn’t just the leading actress, she’s also a producer. She had the clout to make it happen.

          • Patrick says:

            I never watched the show, but I read a lot of articles here and on other sites that discussed the show. It was very obvious to an outsider like me that Panjabi really popped with the fans, based on the amount mentions that she got on line. Their on screen relationship really drove the success of the show. And I’m not sure JM liked that. This was supposed to be her show, and I have a feeling she didn’t like AP’s ascension. There was a brief period where TGW was really the JM and AP show, and it was shortly after that when the estrangement started. AP’s story lines got worse, and her screen time evaporated. TGW was supposed to be all about JM, and she wasn’t going to share.

      • AM68 says:

        No. Just a lot of supposition and innuendo. No real facts.

        • Dmac says:

          She is one of the producers of the show, if she wanted to appear with Panjabi it would have happened regardless of Panjabi wanted it or not. JM has also stated many times in interviews that she was pushing for the two not to remain friends as she felt it didn’t make sense after she found out about the affair. What didn’t make sense is they still were somewhat friendly directly after she found out and than all of a sudden nothing. They were never in the same room, same scene absolutely nothing. Julianna has a lot of pull on that show and the show runners in different interviews admitted their frustration at JM’s hardline stance of their two characters not sharing a scene.

          Panjabi in a interview not to long ago indicated that not sharing a scene wasn’t her choice, nor was her shrinking storyline.

  3. johnhelvete says:

    I thought the most interesting takes about the scene in question, focused on how badly the scene was shot. Putting aside the issues that resulted in why the scene was filmed that way, the scene looked horrible.

  4. Will says:

    Tassler’s lame response is a non-story. We need to corner the Kings on this question directly…

    • Alexa says:

      Indeed. We deserve actual answers. Now the network have allowed themselves to be tainted by the stink of this whole mess by continuing to perpetuate the lies and half truths. We’ll get to the bottom of this….. Some day!

      • Keith says:

        How does ‘we deserve answers’ work? We are VIEWERS of a drama. We are not ‘entitled’ to know what goes on behind the scenes unless the producers/actors have some interest in letting us know. Move on. It’s no one’s business.

  5. Tassler can’t really do anything but defend the Kings. And if the Kings were questioned, they wouldn’t really have any choice but to protect Julianna. And if Julianna were questioned, she’d lay it off on the powers that be. I think the only way we’ll ever get an honest answer about what went on with Archie Punjabi during the last three seasons is if Archie Punjabi spills the beans. And somehow, I don’t see her stooping to that level. Unfortunately for those that want the rest of the story, I’d be money that she’s too much of a class act to ever give up the dirt.

    • Patrick says:

      This will eventually come out. Someone will write a book or there will be a special behind the scenes type of show, or SOMETHING. We will absolutely find out what happened. It might take a decade or so, but we will find out.

      • You’re absolutely right…someone from the crew or staff will ‘tell all’. Maybe once the Kings aren’t forced to work with her, they will throw out some vaguely veiled details about what it was like to work with JM. But as far as hearing the truth directly from either of the actresses, I don’t think it will happen. And Archie might even be telling the truth when she says she doesn’t know a lot. I don’t get the impression that JM would see any reason to be above board with her reasons for the freeze-out. It’s possible Archie never got any honest answers.

    • No professional would ever discuss a situation like that.

      But to further indulge you, you’ve clearly made up your mind regarding what happened and who was at fault based on your slanted post. Why did you need “confirmation” of it? You think you know what happened and have already built a predisposition in your head about it.

  6. Emily says:

    Shouldn’t this question be directed at the two actresses who were unable to behave like adults for an hour?

  7. Bradster says:

    Damn. Julianna’s pimp hand must be way strong if the whole network is scared of her

  8. Dude says:

    Here’s a tip, don’t tell people how they feel or who they’re invested in. If you have to tell someone the scene was “satisfying,” it wasn’t. Also of the reasons I watch The Good Wife (the smart writing, interesting legal battles, great supporting cast, fantastic guest stars…) Alicia isn’t one of them. If anything, I watch The Good Wife in spite of the Ice Queen.

  9. Alexa says:

    Hahahahahaha ‘Movie magic’ hahahahahaha! Please continue to embarrass yourselves CBS, the Kings, Julianna Margukies, et al. What was once ludicrous and insulting to your viewers is now fascinatingly entertaining.

  10. Dude says:

    Some day when The Good Wife is long over, I hope someone writes a tell all about exactly what went down behind the scenes. I can’t imagine any of them actually like Julianna.

  11. Tony says:

    Probably would have been best not to comment on it at all. Its a bit insulting to suggest the ending was satisfying and feign ignorance on the outrage when a quick Google search would say otherwise

  12. Kailani says:

    The level of disrespect to loyal viewers by all involved at the decision level…is why I no longer will watch TGW, after it was my favorite show for a good 3-4 years. Sad.

  13. AM68 says:

    But…why?? What would have been so hard about actually putting the actors in the room together?? Judging from Panjabi’s response that was not something that would have been impossible to do. It just seems like a gimmick and a waste of a lot of money for no real reason. It didn’t add anything to the story or the relationship between these two. If anything it took away from it because instead of people talking about the scene itself and what happened in ti they are talking about this.

  14. Yoki says:

    This pettiness JM has ruined a once great show

  15. Renee says:

    They fail to understand why this is upsetting to loyal viewers.

    It is proof that the demands of JM are driving large portions of the narrative.

    Proof that minus her demands, our pretty great show could have been even greater.

    Proof that her refusal to work with AP prevented some wonderful storytelling (imagine the story arcs that never left idea-mode because of JM’a demands).

    • Imzadi says:

      How is that proof, when you couldn’t possibly know any of this? No one here knows, what happend. If it was JM demands or if AP did something. It’s just gossip of the worst kind. I don’t care about JM, but I don’t like how people are stating facts, without having them.

      • Patrick says:

        Look, no one “knows” what happened. But enough media outlets (of varying reputation) have all hinted at the same thing. JM didn’t like AP, and JM drove the creative narrative of the show. I’m not talking about people who comment on WWW articles. I’m talking about fairly reputable gossip sites. And yes, it is just gossip. But when you hear the same stories from several different sources, you have to acknowledge that there must be some truth to the story.

        • Imzadi says:

          I’m fine with that. But stating it as proof and fact is still something I cannot like.

          • Patrick says:

            We know, for a fact, that they didn’t get along. This is widely reported upon by various outlets. We don’t know why they didn’t get along. However, there are other facts in evidence. JM was a huge star prior to this show, and it was created as a vehicle for her. Ergo, it logically follows that any lasting antagonism has to come from her. I mean, AP might not like JM at all, but the producers wouldn’t care about that at all. She had no leverage over her bosses. If AP didn’t want to film with JM, the producers would ignore it. If JM refused to shoot with AP, the bosses would have to honor that. JM is an award winner on CBS’s flagship drama, and a producer in her own right. So we know that JM was the driver behind them not appearing on screen together. What we don’t know is why. It’s possible that AP “deserved” JM’s wrath through some action. However, given AP’s relatively junior position, if she’d done something sufficiently bad to merit this wrath, she’d have been fired much sooner. AP were an adulterer, or abusive to the crew, or whatever, she’d have been poop canned. She wasn’t that popular with the fans. Not enough to offset truly bad behavior or actions. Instead, her “punishment” seems to have been making the same amount of money while working much less. The horror. So, while we don’t KNOW what happened, there are a lot of very reasonable and logical conclusions that we can assume to be true, with a high degree of certainty. And that is that JM disliked AP for some reason, and prevented any shooting together.

  16. Dmac says:

    This biggest issue I have with their finale scene is that the King’s inferred that they that did indeed shot the scene together. In each and every interview they gave it was all about how wonderful their final scene was and how it closed the chapter on their relationship in a lovely way and how emotional it was shooting that final scene between the two women. It was all a smoke screen.

  17. Jerry says:

    I’m sorry but Nina is either an idiot or lying – adding that she was unaware that some viewers were frustrated by the trickery. “I haven’t really heard that.” What a joke. Go on any tv website that covers the Good Wife and you’ll find plenty of viewers that were frustrated and disgusted. Unreal.

  18. Jared says:

    Last season of The Good Wife was probably its worst, atleast in my opinion. Since when do “cast mates” who have worked on a series for 6 years need to be CGI’d together??? As a fan since S1 I would hardly call that satisfying.

  19. bill says:

    Last season was terrible. Now that Kalinda and Will are both gone, there really is no reason for me to keep watching this show.

    • Patrick says:

      Hence the producer’s fear, and CBS’s consternation. They don’t want the fans to leave. That kills the show. The producers make hundreds of thousands of dollars an ep. Millions per year. Maybe its not 10s of millions, but its still a lot of money. They aren’t eager for that to go away.

    • french5851 says:

      I haven’t even finished watching last season yet… I can’t seem to get into it anymore, sigh. Ever since Will left, there’s a big sucking hole in the storyline.

  20. Doug says:

    Since they’re doing CGI anyway, just fire both actresses and gave Tatiana Maslany play both characters.

  21. liame says:

    I more invested in the show’s journey, not Alicia’s. If it’s anything like last season, I’ll invest in recaps.

  22. JB says:

    “The way a producer shoots their show, that’s really all I care about,” Tassler continued, adding that she was unaware that some viewers were frustrated by the trickery. “I haven’t really heard that.”

    It sounds like she doesn’t know what’s going on with her own shows.

  23. Oh, please let this go! Enough already. A new season starts next month. Let’s move ahead and if it bothers you that much, simply don’t watch the show!

  24. dioxinblues says:

    Tap, tap, tap…. That’s the sound of a network executive dancing around an awkward subject.

  25. herman1959 says:

    Nina Tassler didn’t know the viewers were upset…PLEASE!

  26. Renee says:

    Can we all just ponder for a moment all the delicious Alicia/Kalinda scenes and storylines had Elisabeth Shue said “yes” to TGW?

    Evil… I know.

  27. Ginger Snap says:

    Honestly, who cares if Juliana hates Archie?

    The show itself is becoming such an incestuous bore.

  28. Knope says:

    No professional actors? No Emmys nominations

  29. Mandie says:

    Oh, the irony of the two of them being professional actors and yet they couldn’t even pretend to be civil enough to do a scene together. Whatever went down must’ve been pretty epic.

  30. dee123 says:

    She sounds like a moron to be honest.

  31. I really think that this is one of the sillier things that people seem to care about. Things like this are done all the time in movies and TV, and we never even know. Sometimes it’s personal issues, sometimes it’s scheduling (Arrested Development anyone?) Just because you give into your lesser selves and perpetuate the tabloid notion of two people who don’t care for each other causing “drama” working together, and the rather old-fashioned notion of a “cat-fight” is insulting and disrespectful to women, period. I think she’s right, it’s a very small, albeit vocal, group of fans who care about this, but it’s over, Kalinda’s gone. If it’s too much for your delicate sensibility then may I suggest you simply stop watching the show and let the rest of us carry on.

  32. robin says:

    We, the fans, as network president Nina Tassler puts it are NOT ok with the tacky way that The Alicia/ Kahlinda parting of ways was handled. It was awkward and just plain did not ring true. This is why the show will be ending because you have a hit when the TEAM is there, but when they start leaving, for what ever reason, so do the fans. Ms. Tassler sounded as if she really did not care what we, the fans thought, she should, the FANS is what keeps the show on the air. Lose them and what does Ms. Tassler , the producers and directors and the actors that can not be professional enough to do the show and leave their egos in the trailor have? No show…..

  33. Bonnie Quick says:

    I miss Panjabi on the show wish she was still on she was one of my favorites!