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Matthew Perry's legal career will continue on 'The Good Wife'

Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry is set to join CBS' successful lawyer drama "The Good Wife" in a recurring role, beginning with the March 25 episode.

Though Perry isn't joining the main cast of the series, his role as a Chicago attorney investigating a police shooting will extend beyond just one episode, according to Entertainment Weekly.

While Perry's starring roles beyond the world of Chandler Bing and "Friends" have been varied -- he played a comedy writer in the one-season drama "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and he headlined  the short-lived ABC comedy "Mr. Sunshine" as the operations manager of a concert and sports arena -- -- he apparently has a nice sideline playing lawyers in guest roles on other high-profile dramas.

The trend began in 2002 with a guest appearance during the fifth and final season of the Fox comedy-drama "Ally McBeal." In the special two-hour episode "Love Is All Around," Perry played cocky, hot-shot attorney Todd Merrick, simultaneously vying for a job at Ally McBeal's law firm and possibly for Ally's heart as well. (Since it was a guest spot, he got neither).

While the special episode did nothing to revive the show's chances (it was canceled at the end of the season), Perry was back the next year on a different network (NBC) on another popular hour-long, "The West Wing," again playing an attorney. This time he was Joe Quincy, the associate White House counsel responsible for the resignation of the series' troubled vice president (played by Tim Matheson).

Perry appeared in two episodes of the show's fourth season -- which turned out to be creator Aaron Sorkin's final season -- and returned the next season for one more episode. Perhaps practice made perfect, as Perry's lawyer character earned the actor two Emmy nominations (one from each season) for outstanding guest actor in a drama series. He didn't win.

But maybe the third time is the charm, as Perry slips into those well-worn wingtip shoes once again for "The Good Wife."

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How did prime-time TV become an adulterer's paradise?

-- Patrick Kevin Day

 Photo: Matthew Perry. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images

 
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