Carrie Preston made only 13 appearances over the first six seasons of "The Good Wife," but her character Elsbeth Tascioni quickly became a fan favorite, buzzing in for a few episodes each season. Preston makes her final appearance this Sunday before the CBS drama wraps its seventh and final season later this spring.
Due to her starring role on the new NBC comedy "Crowded," the New York-based actress was only allowed to do one episode this season on "The Good Wife." At the time of filming, Preston was unaware the show would be ending.
"I got in under the wire. I was very glad I got to do one [more episode] before they ended their final season," she told Headlines & Global News exclusively. In the episode titled "Targets," Eli (Alan Cumming) hires Elsbeth to uncover why the FBI is targeting Peter (Chris Noth) following his failed presidential campaign.
Preston made her debut on the show at the end of season one, appearing in two episodes. Upon first reading the script, she was overjoyed that creators Robert and Michelle King were letting her play such a fascinating character and said it was one of the best roles she'd ever read.
"On the page it was really exciting and something in me thought, 'I know how to bring this character to life in a way that maybe they haven't thought about," Preston said.
Robert originally described the character as "a female Columbo," a point of reference that made little sense to Preston who had never watched the mystery series starring Peter Falk. They finally came to an understanding about the character and she had a great time filming her episodes, but then a year passed without an invitation to reprise the role. Eventually, the Kings came calling in season three and Elsbeth Tascioni became a recurring character throughout the next four seasons.
"At that point I felt like it really gelled - what I was wanting to do, what the writers saw that I was doing and what they wanted to do. It's probably one of the best roles I've ever had. And I got an Emmy for it, which was such a surprise," said Preston, who won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for "The Good Wife" role in 2013. "It was wonderful that I've been able to touch back down into that character once a year. I'm going to miss being able to do that because I get to go to a place creatively that a lot of times I don't get to do at work. So I really relish the part."
Since CBS announced "The Good Wife" would be ending, many have speculated about a possible spinoff for the show. Possible spinoff candidates include a show revolving around Alicia Florrick's (Julianna Margulies) law partners Cary (Matt Czuchry) and Diane (Christine Baranski) or exploring the life and career of the newest character, Lucca Quinn, played by Cush Jumbo. One of the more popular ideas is centering a new show on Elsbeth, and Preston said she's "honored that everybody from the fans to Robert and Michelle King have thought about that as a hypothetical."
So what would a Elsbeth Tascionic-centric series look like according to the actress who has made her the quirky lawyer everyone loves?
"It seems like it would probably resemble something like 'Columbo' meets 'Monk' or something," she said. "Because he had such an unorthodox way of approaching cases and you never really know where her brain and her particular brand is going to take you and I certainly never know myself. It would be a fun mystery to uncrack by everyone most of all me."
Make it happen, CBS!
Be sure to catch Preston in her final appearance on "The Good Wife" this Sunday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.