Series premieres Sept. 22
Julianna Margulies and the producers of her new show owe Governor Mark Sanford a fruit basket. Her character, Alicia Florrick, returns to practicing law after her politician husband Peter (Chris Noth) is forced to resign following a sex scandal. After CBS picked up the series this past spring, the South Carolina governor's Argentine adultery caper gave new timeliness to this drama, which offers wish-fulfillment for anyone who has gritted her teeth at the tableau of another "good wife" standing by her man after his public disgrace. In the pilot, Margulies makes Alicia determined but human as she tries to recapture her rusty legal skills in a law-firm world where women also often get a raw deal. If The Good Wife can maintain the first episode's tone, it will keep an audience even after political sex scandals fade from the news. Not that that's ever likely to happen.