'Madam Secretary': Introducing Tea Leoni's New Political Thriller
'Madam Secretary': Introducing Tea Leoni's New Political Thriller
Carla Day
Carla Day
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Madam Secretary follows the journey of Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni) when she unexpectedly is asked to be Secretary of State. She's not a politician, but a former CIA analyst and friend of the President.

Stars Leoni and Tim Daly (Henry McCord) along with Executive Producers Barbara Hall, Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman were on stage for the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour to talk about their new political drama.

Highlights from the panel:

  • The show will examine global international issues, inner-office politics, Elizabeth's home life.
  • The idea from the show was sparked from news coverage of the Benghazi investigation
  • "One never knows, do one?" - Morgan Freeman on whether he will appear on the show. He's an executive producer of the show.
  • Leoni enjoys playing "lively fish out of water" characters and after reading the script she was in.
  • There is an underlying conspiracy that Elizabeth will explore and try to uncover throughout the season.
  • Elizabeth has a "young, aggressive staff." Since the Secretary of State doesn't work in the White House, she will spend most of her time with her staff. 
  • The show won't recreate specific events like Benghazi, but they may use actual global political events as inspiration for stories. They may use what was learned from previous events to inform decisions.
  • Hall wants "to create a successful marriage." She doesn't want Elizabeth to be a woman who excels at her job,  and "whose life is not broken everywhere else." Instead, Hall plans to "give her a home life that also works."
  • The series may heighten reality slightly, but Hall wants to pull back the curtain and show what really happens in the State Department.
  • The series will have flashback to Elizabeth's time at the CIA and perhaps also of her confirmation hearing.
  • "There's more there than meets the eye." says Daly about his role as Elizabeth's husband.
  • Henry's a Professor of Religion and his knowledge of that arena will be pertinent to what Elizabeth is doing.
Madam Secretary premieres Sunday, September 21 at 8pm on CBS.

(Image courtesy of CBS.)