Madam Secretary may be subtitled “Tea Leoni goes to Washington”. Leoni plays Elizabeth McCord, the newly appointed Secretary of State of the United States of America. McCord is a former CIA agent, a mother of two, a wife to husband Henry and a very strong personality. Those looking for a drama this fall that casts a woman in the lead and celebrates her strengths, this is the show you’ve been looking for.
McCord takes the office at the request of the President after her predecessor dies under mysterious circumstances. She is a strong willed and opinionated character. The show’s description lays out future conflict with the President’s Chief of Staff, Russell Jackson. The same description lays out a loving and supportive husband, who will be played by veteran actor Tim Daly. Daly got his start on Wings, which seems light years ago to his fans.
Daly and Leoni are just the beginning of a strong cast. Bebe Neuwirth, most famous for her role as Lilith Sterning-Crane on Cheers and Frasier, will take the reigns of McCord’s Chief of Staff. The aforementioned protagonist Jackson will be portrayed by Zeljko Ivanek. Fans will remember him from various projects, including Heroes, True Blood, Oz and 24.
CBS is obviously looking to capitalize on the success of The Good Wife, which will follow Madam Secretary on Sunday Nights. In addition, the wild success of Netflix’s House of Cards has opened the genre to take a look at both the inside of politics and the underbelly of Washington D.C.
Leoni is a talented actress and will carry the show a good distance on her shoulders. The strong cast surrounding her will help the show succeed for a while. Now the only question left is whether or not the writers can provide enough depth for the cast to propel the show forward.
There is little competition on Sunday nights with the exception of the NFL. The show is put into a decent time slot and has enough star power to give it a good run. Expect to see Madam Secretary throughout this season, at the very least.
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