CBS’ critical darling, The Good Wife, is already rocking a solid set of TV and film vets. The former half of ER’s greatest love story, Julianna Margulies, leads the cast that includes Michael J. Fox (Alex P. Keaton in the house!), former Sports Night faux-anchor Josh Charles, and Sex and the City’s knight in a Lincoln town car, Chris Noth. Now, the series is adding Broadway vet Nathan Lane as a recurring character, after previously announcing that Broadway and TV star Kristin Chenoweth and ER star Maura Tierney are signed on in a similar capacity this season as well. This legal drama is taking a page out of another classic courtroom romp’s playbook: Boston Legal should be hollering “copy cat!” right about now.
Alright, so both series are legal dramas (one with a little more comedy than the other, thanks to William Shatner) with a level of discourse and character development that raises each program above its formulaic legal drama cohorts like Law & Order. They’re obviously not the same show — Boston Legal centered on Denny Crane (Shatner) and Alan Shore (James Spader), two chauvantistic and often unethical lawyers, and The Good Wife centers on Alicia Florrick (Margulies) a woman escaping the shadow of her famous husband’s sex scandal and regaining her own legal career — but they’re clearly pulling items from the same bag of tricks.
In addition to Boston Legal’s set of leading TV vets like Shatner, Spader, and Candice Bergen, the series saw plenty of recurring characters including Fox, Betty White, Delta Burke, Katey Sagal, and Parker Posey. The series also added Julie Bowen (Modern Family), fresh off of four years on Ed and a stint as Jack Shepherd’s ex-wife on Lost, as a series regular in 2005.
Clearly, CBS’ Sunday night drama is playing the Boston Legal card, but as long as the series continues to throw out Aces like Lane and Chenoweth, you won’t hear us complaining.
Details of Lane’s character have yet to be released, and while The Good Wife is set to air Sunday nights at 9 PM ET on CBS, its premiere date has yet to be announced.
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