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Carrie Preston is a multi-tasking sleuth in ‘Good Wife’ spinoff

Carrie Preston is a multi-tasking sleuth in ‘Good Wife’ spinoff

Carrie Preston is a multi-tasking sleuth in ‘Good Wife’ spinoff

Carra Patterson stars as Officer Kaya and Carrie Preston stars as Elsbeth Tascioni in Elsbeth. Photo: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS.


A modern day Columbo is coming to Global TV.

The Good Wife’s unconventional attorney Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston) is starring in her own solo sleuth series: Elsbeth.

In the new show, Elsbeth has left Chicago for the Big Apple to assist the NYPD in solving crimes, whether they want her help or not.

Inspired by Columbo, each week viewers will see how a crime committed and follow Elsbeth as she puts all the clues together and cleverly solves the case bringing the perp(s) to justice.

Producer Robert King wasn’t shy in discussing Columbo’s influence on Elsbeth.

“It’s a very witty build. It’s not about whodunnit in that Agatha Christie way. It’s a ‘howdunnit’! Which seems just as fascinating, if not even more fascinating, because it takes a wittier approach to puzzle-solving, problem-solving because the audience knows where the mystery is headed,” he said explaining the show’s format.

Carrie Preston stars as Elsbeth Tascioni and Wendell Pierce stars as Captain C.W. Wagner in Elsbeth. Photo: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS.

Joining Preston in the weekly ‘howdunnit’ is stalwart, reliable heavy Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Suits, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) as the show’s looming authority figure Captain C. Wagner, Kara Patterson as police officer Kaya Blanke and Gloria Rubin (ER) as Claudia Payne, Wagner’s wife.

Preston is excited about reprising her ‘Good Wife’ role.

“Oh, my gosh! I love her mind! This is a brilliant woman who is so mercurial, so fast, she’s like quicksilver! She can be saying one thing, thinking another and her body is doing a third thing! That is really fun to navigate, to map out. I have spent more time in preparation for this character than almost anything else I’ve ever played because of that. I am really enjoying finding out how fast she is with everything,” she said.

As the series progresses Elsbeth’s relationship with Officer Blanke grows as they both realize that as investigators and professionals they share a special relationship and support system. Each of them brings to the table qualities the other lacks and different perspectives that makes them the perfect crime-fighting team.

Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni. Photo: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS.

“Our relationship evolves pretty quickly. I think Kaya finds this unique bond that develops right away in Elsbeth. The way I look at it is she is a fun breath of fresh air that Kaya didn’t know that she needed. Kaya is a very dedicated by-the-book NYPD police officer hoping to get the approval of her superiors…She realizes that Elsbeth sees something in her and she respects that because she’s been trying to work her way up for a while. I think a lot of people can relate to that. I know I’ve been in those positions where I think like if I just do the right thing people will notice,” said Patterson.

According to Pierce, Wagner is not sure at first of what to make of Elsbeth’s unorthodox methods.

“I see this thorn in my side. This woman who gives me anxiety. Then, there’s these moments of epiphany where I ultimately see how she is having an impact on this young officer that I have,” he said. “I see their relationship evolve and that kind of softens my edges and eases my concerns about who this woman is that’s investigating my department. I see the brilliance in her and I love that epiphany and that observation.”

The series will also feature some very high-profile guests such as Stephen Moyer (True Blood), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Jane Krakowski (Ally McBeal, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Linda Lavin (Alice) and Blair Underwood (L.A. Law).

Preston, who played waitress Arlene Fowler on True Blood, was surprised and thrilled to be working alongside Stephen Moyer again in Elsbeth’s first episode.

True Blood holds a special special place in my heart. I mean my career sort of took off in a way that it hadn’t before that show and so we all bonded. We made True Blood kind of in a vacuum and then it started airing and we weren’t even together so we all bonded over that show,” she said.

Like Columbo, there is a lot of wry humour mixed in with all the criminal skullduggery in Elsbeth. Preston hopes viewers appreciate the humour as much as they appreciate Officer Kaya and Elsbeth’s deductive skills.

“The Elsbeth character is plopped down into the middle of a very serious police procedural so you have this dichotomy between the black, white and grey tones of New York City and then this very bright character who is put down into the middle of all that. I think that creates a really fun tension between the drama and the comedy,” she said.

Elsbeth premieres Thursday, February 29th on Global TV.