Is this week’s The Good Fight picking a fight with a rival network’s hit series?
The CBS All Access legal drama takes aim at Law & Order: SVU this Sunday, basing a case on NBC’s controversial decision not to air an episode of SVU that was modeled on President Donald Trump. In the Good Fight episode, entitled “Stoppable: Requiem for an Airdate,” a TV writer who works for “one of those Chicago shows” leaks an episode he wrote based on Trump after his network refuses to air it, and ends up getting sued by the network. (CBS hasn’t released an official episode description yet, but our sister site Variety has the details.)
The SVU episode in question, starring Gary Cole as a Trump-like politician who’s sued for rape, was originally scheduled to air earlier this season, but was delayed multiple times as NBC executives fretted that they could be painting Trump in a bad light. Then after Trump won the presidential election in November, the episode got shelved and will now probably never see the light of day. (SVU star Ice-T commented this week that the lost episode “wasn’t one of our best.”)
The Good Fight hasn’t been shy about incorporating President Trump into the show: The premiere opened with Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) looking horrified as Trump won the presidency. And this week’s episode title is a sly wink at the lost SVU episode’s title, “Unstoppable.” But the show’s creators insist this isn’t a mean-spirited poke at a competing network. “We didn’t really feel that we were taking shots at NBC,” co-showrunner Michelle King told Variety. “It was very much a generic network, and the fear was that any network or entertainment conglomerate could end up being frightened by this administration.”
To make things even weirder still, Cole is also a cast member on The Good Fight and appears in Sunday’s episode — although not in any scenes connected to the TV writer storyline.
Will you tune in to see The Good Fight take on SVU, or is this all too TV-meta? Drop your thoughts in a comment below.