Real-life lawyers just have to get used to TV's 42-minute rule. And Julianna Margulies includes her husband in that group.
"Well, it's only a 42-minute show, and my husband is a lawyer," said Margulies, star of The Good Wife. "He wasn't a big television watcher, but of course, he has to watch it now.
"When he saw the first episode, he was like, 'Well, that would have taken months, that case.' And I said, 'You're absolutely right. And then again, we have 42 minutes.' Sadly, we don't have the luxury of time."
The truth is, most real-life legal proceedings could do without "the luxury of time." So maybe The Good Wife is on to something there.
Regardless, The Good Wife -- which is in its second season and airs Tuesdays on CBS and Global -- does enough with its weekly allotment of 42 minutes to attract significant ratings on both sides of the border.
Of course, audiences for The Good Wife tend to skew a bit older than the traditional group that advertisers covet. But mathematically and anecdotally, Margulies doesn't see what the problem is.
"Honestly, I'm just so happy to be working on a good show, so it never really has crossed my mind," she said. "I live in New York City and the people who watch the show, who approach me on the streets, aren't that old, to be honest. I've had a lot of kids -- 13, 14, 15 -- who watch the show with their parents.
"I know it's all demographics and numbers, but from my perspective, it seems to be reaching a much wider audience this year. To me, as long as the content is something I'm proud of and the work is satisfying, whoever wants to watch it, God bless, and whoever doesn't, that's their prerogative.
"It doesn't affect me, but I'm not paying the bills that CBS is, so I don't know."
Well, new hits of any description are hard to come by on TV these days, so we're sure CBS and Global will take what they can get.
The Good Wife is a legal drama starring Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a wife and mother who sets aside her humiliation and re-enters the workforce after her husband's very public sex and political-corruption scandal.
Margulies -- previously known primarily for her work on ER as Nurse Carol Hathaway -- said that even though she believed The Good Wife was a quality project from the beginning, she has been taken aback by the show's success.
"I think I've been doing this long enough never to assume anything, and then you'll be pleasantly surprised," said Margulies, 44.
"When I saw the pilot, I really knew it was something special. But I truly didn't have an inkling of whether people would gravitate to it."
Well, they have. Even Margulies' lawyer husband.
"That's our artistic licence as story-tellers on television," Margulies said of the afore-mentioned 42-minute rule. "But for the most part, once you get used to that, you allow for it.
"Now it doesn't bother him any more."