From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage:

Julianna Margulies told a roomful of TV critics at TCA in Pasadena this morning that she continues to feel like she’s hit the jackpot with her CBS drama The Good Wife, presently navigating through its second season as the rare broadcast hour that’s compared favorably with the cable guys in terms of critical success. It’s the only non-cable drama to land a Golden Globes nod for series, and Margulies exulted, “I was looking to do a cable show and landed on a network instead. But the fact is I got my cable show. It just happens to be on CBS. “What I’m most proud of is being part of a team that’s taken a network drama and truly made it its own. Nina Tassler and Les Moonves don’t tell us we have to be this kind of show or that kind of show. In the beginning they just saw us as a procedural, but we’ve never really been that. It’s got a procedural backdrop. But I’m incredibly proud of the fact that this show is allowing other network shows at 10 to be more daring and different and take more chances on substantial material.”

Added co-creator and co-showrunner Robert King: “CBS Studios pushes us to make the show more chancey and meatier, not less.” And is there anything that CBS won’t let him do? “We can pretty much do it all,” co-creator/co-showrunner Michelle King replied, “except say fuck. And shit.”

To be sure, Good Wife isn’t having any trouble attracting name talent for guest-starring roles. During February sweeps alone, the show will feature either arcs or one-shots with America Ferrara, Jerry Stiller, Michael J. Fox, Jane Alexander, Gary Cole, Rita Wilson, F. Murray Abraham and and rapper/actor Method Man. But Robert King maintained that he hopes it doesn’t feel like stunt casting but more ”character roles that just seem to make sense for us. We hope everyone’s fitting into the show fabric.”

The show also landed an appearance from lomgtime Washington figure Vernon Jordan and “we’re trying to get (ex-Defense Secretary) Donald Rumsfeld and maybe (attorney) Barry Scheck,” Robert King said.

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