The Good Wife fans, get excited: The spinoff is almost here!
The Good Fight, set to premiere Sunday on CBS All Access, picks up one year after the events of The Good Wife‘s final episode — though the new storyline has nothing to do with Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) and her husband Peter (Chris Noth).
In the new series, an enormous financial scam causes Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) to lose all her savings, simultaneously destroying the reputation of her goddaughter Maia Rindell, a young lawyer played by Game of Thrones‘ Rose Leslie. The two are subsequently forced out of Lockhart & Lee and join Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) at another law firm.
“I think if you loved The Good Wife you’ll be excited about The Good Fight,” Baranski, 64, told PEOPLE at the show’s premiere party in New York City last week. “You’ve lived with Diane for seven years. In the first episode, you see her, at the beginning, being very much Diane — at the top of her game, a woman in power, comfortable in a man’s world.”
“She’s about to retire because, in her own words, ‘There are no more glass ceilings to break,’ — and not even a third of the way into the first episode she loses all her money in a Ponzi scheme,” explained the actress. “She just takes a spectacular fall and has to start again. There’s a tremendous amount of drama.”
And, unsurprisingly, the sequence of events will bring out a side of Diane that viewers haven’t seen before.
“I’ve never been taken to that place as Diane before,” admitted Baranski. “You’re going to see a vulnerable Diane, a Diane who is estranged from her husband — she had such a great relationship, and that relationship is strained.”
“You see her having to be in position of asking for work,” she continued. “You see her at her own law firm that she created asking to be let back in and they won’t let her back in. She’s eating a lot of humble pie. And yet, in that Diane way, she doesn’t give up — I love the character for her grace and her dignity and her ability to just keep fighting.”
And if you haven’t watched The Good Wife, that’s perfectly alright — viewers don’t have to have seen the original to enjoy the new spinoff.
“The one thing brilliant that [creators Michelle and Robert King] did is that the storyline is completely severed,” star Justin Bartha, 38, told PEOPLE. “And what’s really great about The Good Fight and also what differentiates it from The Good Wife is that it delves a little more into the personal lives. It’s a lot less procedural, and it’s more of a rounded drama.”
“If the fan base likes their Good Wife even more grounded in reality, then I think that they’ll like this,” added the actor, who plays Collin Morrello, a young lawyer in the State Attorney’s office. “This will make you think — it wants you to engage as viewer.”
And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that there’s plenty of steamy love scenes, too.
“There’s butt! My ass will be on there,” Bartha said with a laugh. “I don’t know if you’re going to get full crack, but you’ll see an outline of it.”
The Good Fight premieres Sunday on CBS All Access.