Diane Lockhart's journey continues!
"It began for me with "The Good Wife" seven years ago and now, here we are again eight years later and we're continuing the dream," star Christine Baranski dished exclusively to ET at "The Good Fight"'s red carpet premiere in New York City last week. "It's different, and yet it's a continuation of something that is so special. I think people were sad to see "The Good Wife" end, and so hopefully they will be very surprised and delighted by its continuation."
And if you're not already convinced, Baranski spilled six reasons why "The Good Wife" fans absolutely cannot miss this next chapter.
1. Diane Is Back and Better Than Ever! Although Diane will be faced with a financially crippling disaster, she's still the wonderfully classy and fiercely formidable woman that we came to know, love and -- at times -- fear over "The Good Wife"'s 156 episodes. "She's such a wonderful, dignified, intelligent, powerful woman who weathers the ups and downs with terrific aplomb and grace -- like a lot of powerful women out there. Many of whom are saying, 'Thank God we're seeing a woman like Diane out there on television," Baranski said. "How wonderful to put that out into the world -- that there are women like that still fighting the good fight."
2. Reunite With Your Good Wife Favorites: Not only are we going to get reacquainted with Diane and Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo), many of "The Good Wife"'s most beloved courtroom characters will once again be popping up in The Good Fight's universe. "So many amazing people who were on the show before [are back] as well as many new people," Baranksi said of the series' "phenomenal" ensemble cast. Marissa Gould (Sarah Steele), Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston), David Lee (Zach Grenier) and Howard Lyman (Jerry Adler) are just a few of the familiar faces we'll reunite with, as well as many of your favorite judges and opposing lawyers.
3. Meet Fantastic Franchise Newbies: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, prepare to meet (and fall in love with!) "The Good Fight"'s newest protagonist: Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie). Much like Alicia Florrick, Maia finds herself in the center of a highly publicized family scandal and now she must juggle managing her disgraced reputation and being a first-year lawyer. Additionally, audiences will be introduced to Maia's girlfriend, Amy (Helene Yorke), Colin (Justin Bartha), a rising star in the State's Attorney's office and all the members of the new law firm that Diane and Maia move to.
4. No More Network Limits: Unlike "The Good Wife," which aired exclusively on CBS, "The Good Fight" will live on CBS All Access, meaning it does not have to follow the strict profanity and nudity guidelines of network television. "I think it's great!" Baranski gushed of the streaming network's on-screen freedom. "Actually, I do utter the F-word several times, but only alone, discreetly and in a ladylike way -- in a Diane kind of way. But yeah, we get to let it rip a little. I always say it's like being unplugged."
5. New Relationships Will Bloom: In addition to character dynamics previously established in "The Good Wife," Baranski confessed that with "The Good Fight"'s "compelling" new cast will create new friendships you'll root for and relationships you'll swoon over. "As we're establishing the show in the first 10 episodes, we have a lot of characters to introduce," she explained. "One of the pleasures for the viewers was that Diane did indeed have a personal life -- she wasn't just this older woman who drank because she was lonely. She had a love life, she had a sexy husband, and she had actually various love interests over the course of "The Good Wife." Let's see that! Women want to see it and men want to see it and I think it's great."
6. The Story Is Worth the Small Fee: While many "Good Wife" fans have expressed irritation about CBS All Access' $5.99/month fee, Baranski promised it's a bargain for the series' ultra-rich storylines. "Good Wife" fans, please stay with us and give us a chance! I think you will be delighted. It's much of what you know, and much of what lies in store will be a delightful surprise," she vowed. "At CBS.com you'll find out how you can all access it. It's easy and if you can do all of those other Netflix shows, you can do this. Don't be intimidated!"
"The Good Fight" premieres Sunday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS, before new episodes debut weekly on CBS All Access.