Could Michael Emerson make his way to Elsbeth after Evil? Robert King gives his answer

Fans of Elsbeth would love to see Carrie Preston's husband Michael Emerson on the show! Could the pair unite after all?
Champagne Collet & OBC Wines Celebrates The 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards
Champagne Collet & OBC Wines Celebrates The 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards / Michael Kovac/GettyImages

Elsbeth has just been renewed for a second season, and fans are eager to see who can be the fun guest stars for season 2! If the producers have their way, one of the biggest wished-for names might actually appear! Find out more here!

One of the surprising successes of the curtailed 2024 TV season has been Elsbeth. The series has Carrie Preston reprising her Emmy-winning role from The Good Wife and The Good Fight as Elsbeth Tascioni, the brilliant if eccentric attorney. Now working with the NYPD, Elsbeth stumbles onto murder cases where her unique mindset allows her to figure out who did it.

The show is notable as a "reverse whodunnit," where the audience sees from the start who the killer is and how they committed the crime. This leads to the fun in how Elsbeth unravels their plots and ends up busting them. 

So far, the show has been boasting a great guest cast of Stephen Moyer, Jane Krakowski, Retta, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Blair Underwood and Gina Gershon. However, there's one Emmy-winning actor many would love to see on this show for various reasons: Michael Emerson.

Why Michael Emerson has to be on Elsbeth season 2

Emerson made scores of TV appearances before his breakout turn in a 2001 episode of The Practice where he played a twisted serial killer. It earned him an Emmy award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series and made Emerson a major TV face. 

The actor came to prominence as Benjamin Linus on the ABC hit Lost, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Emmy. His credits since have included the acclaimed crime drama Person of Interest, Arrow and currently Evil, which like Elsbeth, is produced by Robert and Michelle King. 

With his record of playing sinister characters, Emerson would be a good addition to Elsbeth. Of course, the real reason fans want him on the show is that Emerson and Preston have been married since 1998. In fact, Preston played Ben's mother in Lost and made a few appearances opposite Emerson in Person of Interest. 

Thus, seeing Emerson as a guest killer hunted by his own wife would be fantastic TV. As to how it could happen, in a piece in TV Line, Matt Webb Mitovich revealed it might be possible!

"When I recently met with Preston and the CBS series' EPs, everyone was very game to have Emerson fill a role — but it won't possibly happen until (the newly ordered!) Season 2. "We've got four more episodes of Evil [to film], and then he'll be available," Robert King, who co-created both shows with wife Michelle, explained in late March. "I think [Evil will wrap at] the end of May, so not this season of Elsbeth."

Evil is set to end with the upcoming fourth season, which was expanded to 16 episodes in order to wrap up the storyline. As Emerson plays the main villain on the show, he will be needed until the end. However, with the second season of Elsbeth ordered, it's clear that Emerson is at the top of the producers' list. 

Will Elsbeth switch up the storytelling formula?

Mitovich also touched on whether Elsbeth will shift its formula in season 2. Each episode opens with the killer, how Elsbeth finds the guest star, and then there's her cat-and-mouse game proving the guilty party. One reader expressed worries that it might become too formulaic, with showrunner Jonathan Tolins adding his thoughts. "We will be experimenting with variations of the form in season 1. You'll have to watch." 

The show did play with it in the second episode as it appeared to be a straight-up case of Krakowski's character killing a building manager only to have a nice twist as to what was really going on with the crime. The show will likely continue with the murderer shown at the start yet possibly play with their motivations and the chances someone else was aiding them. 

The point of the series is always Elsbeth herself and her lovely manner winning over viewers. Given that the show's been a big enough success to earn a second season, the producers aren't likely to break from what works and are already planning to make season 2 even better. 

Elsbeth airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS.