EXCLUSIVE: The Good Fight co-star Delroy Lindo is in negotiations to headline Harlem’s Kitchen, ABC’s Harlem family restaurant drama pilot from writer Zahir McGhee, Mandeville Television and ABC Studios. As a result, he will be leaving the CBS All Access legal drama The Good Fight as a series regular after the upcoming fourth season, which debuts April 9.
Lindo’s contract for The good Wife spinoff The Good Fight, where he plays Adrian Boseman, a name partner at Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart, is up after Season 4. According to sources, he was offered a new deal to stay and may have taken it as he loves being on the show but Harlem’s Kitchen came along, a project he became passionate about. I hear the possibility of him doing both series was explored but the potential production overlap was too great to overcome. However, The Goof Fight creators/showrunners Robert and Michelle King are leaving the door open, and Lindo could return in some capacity if Harlem’s Kitchen does not go to series and The Good Fight is renewed for a fifth season.
“We will miss Delroy dreadfully. He was both a figurehead for the show, but also a figurehead for the fictional firm,” the Kings said in a statement to Deadline. “He combined comedy and Shakespearian drama in a perfect balance. We know he wanted to try different things, and although we’ll miss him, we hope we can get him back occasionally as a guest star. So SPOLIER ALERT: we won’t be killing Adrian Boseman.”
The Good Fight producers have been supportive of Lindo’s decision, adjusting production of Season 4, which is currently underway so he can film the Harlem’s Kitchen pilot.
In a statement to Deadline, Lindo spoke fondly of his four years on The Good Fight, acknowledging executive producers/showrunners Michelle and Robert King and executive producer/sirector Brooke Kennedy.
“My time working on The Good Fight has been a rich and rewarding collaboration with Robert and Michelle King. The lines of communication between us have always been open and respectful, and that’s made the journey of creating Adrian Boseman deeply gratifying,” he said. “A heartfelt thank you to Robert and Michelle, Brooke Kennedy and the formidable and stellar ensemble of actors, who have also contributed deeply to my joy working on The Good Fight.”
Written by McGhee and to be directed by Stephen Williams (Watchmen), Harlem’s Kitchen is set in a fine dining restaurant in Harlem and centers on Ellis Rice (the role Lindo in negotiations for), Executive Chef and patriarch, who runs a successful restaurant with his wife and three daughters. But an unexpected death thrusts the family into turmoil and puts the restaurant’s future in jeopardy as long-buried secrets are revealed.
Lindo, who loved the premise of Harlem’s Kitchen, committed to the pilot after meeting with showrunner McGhee and director Williams who spoke of the project’s commitment to parity and inclusivity on set. He felt this was an important project and one he wanted to support. Lindo also loosely knows Marcus Samuelsson, famed head chef of Red Rooster in Harlem, New York, who informs Lindo’s character and who executive produces Harlem’s Kitchen alongside McGhee and Mandeville’s Laurie Zaks, Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman.
Lindo next stars opposite Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee’s movie for Netflix. He is repped by APA.
Williams is coming off a DGA Award nomination for HBO’s Watchmen. Shondaland alum McGhee came out of the Disney writers workshop.