Madam Secretary (TV series)

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Madam Secretary
Madam Secretary (CBS) Logo.png
Created by Barbara Hall
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 11 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Running time 44 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Original channel CBS
Original run September 21, 2014 (2014-09-21) – present
External links

Madam Secretary is an American political drama television series created by Barbara Hall and executive produced by Lori McCreary and Morgan Freeman. It stars Téa Leoni as Elizabeth Faulkner McCord, a CIA analyst who is promoted to United States Secretary of State. The series premiered on CBS on September 21, 2014.[1][2][3] On October 27, 2014, CBS placed a full season order consisting of 22 episodes for the first season.[4]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]


Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 22 September 21, 2014 (2014-09-21) TBA


No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
1 "Pilot" David Semel Barbara Hall September 21, 2014 (2014-09-21) 14.75[6]
Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst, gets recruited and trained by the current POTUS. Due to the death of the current Secretary of State in a plane crash, the President asks her to become the new Secretary of State, because she can think outside the box. Two months later, McCord is faced by an issue of two American kids held hostage in Syria. The POTUS's Chief of Staff plays a game to damage her reputation and then advises the President to not do anything about the kidnapping. But McCord convinces the President to get the boys out through back-channel sources. Meanwhile, one of her former CIA colleagues warns her that her predecessor may have been killed by the CIA. He is later found dead in a car crash, which McCord believes was not an accident.
2 "Another Benghazi" David Semel Barbara Hall September 28, 2014 (2014-09-28) 12.72[7]
When crowds surround the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, the Secretary, using her CIA analyst skills, believes it will be another Benghazi incident. She asks her ambassador to leave, but he refuses citing the political need of his presence. Her requests for additional security troops are rejected, and ultimately she uses her discretionary funds to avail of a private military security detail, of whom she was critical of earlier. Ultimately, her fears are realized when the embassy is bombed. However, the PMC security detail was successfully able to get the ambassador out, losing one of their own in the process.
3 "The Operative" Jeremy Webb David Grae October 5, 2014 (2014-10-05) 12.18[8]
When a former INR agent leaks diplomatic cables to a reporter, it causes a lot of embarrassment for the Secretary. However, when he also releases details of covert operatives and it causes the arrest of a spy in Pakistan, the problem escalates. But the Secretary, using some 'unusual' and off-the-record negotiations, brokers a deal between Russia and Pakistan in return for releasing the operative.
4 "Just Another Normal Day" Eric Stoltz Joan Rater & Tony Phelan October 12, 2014 (2014-10-12) 11.45[9]
The Secretary is able to finalize a treaty between China and Japan over some disputed islands. However, within a few minutes before signing the treaty, China refuses, unless the U.S. deports a Chinese girl who had applied for asylum.
5 "Blame Canada" Eriq La Salle Paul Redford October 19, 2014 (2014-10-19) 12.28[10]

The Canadian ambassador asks the Secretary to read, approve and release an environmental report that will allow a joint Canada-U.S. pipeline to be built. She reads the report and finds out that it has been prepared by a lobby group that supports the pipeline and contains falsified data. The Canadian ambassador tries to pressure her to approve the report but she counters with her own pressure tactics.

The ongoing talks with Iran over dismantling their nuclear processing plants are deadlocked. Despite the Secretary's instructions, with the President's approval, to offer some trade ban relaxations in exchange, the Chief Negotiator only threatens military action during the talks which causes Iran to back-out completely. So she goes behind his back to talk to a member of Iran's negotiation team and makes the offer which Iran accepts, resolving the crisis. And then she fires the Chief Negotiator for lying to the President and herself. She later asks Blake to conduct a confidential investigation on Nadine, her Chief of Staff.
6 "The Call" Mark Piznarski Matt Ward October 26, 2014 (2014-10-26) 11.71[11]
When a former teacher of Henry McCord reaches out and warns of a possible genocide in his home country, Elizabeth asks the President to intervene. Though he initially refuses, hearing her speech that the world should have guts to intervene in this, he relents and authorizes logistical and air support. But when it is revealed that the former teacher's charity was allowing refugees to carry drugs for the warlords, complications arise in the coalition. Meanwhile, Nadine is cleared in the investigation, and she is informed by Elizabeth.
7 "Passage" Martha Coolidge Alex Cooley November 2, 2014 (2014-11-02) 13.21[12]
The President 'suggests' that Elizabeth's first foreign trip should be to India, to help one of his biggest supporters. She brings her younger children with her. A massive earthquake hits that causes an explosion at an American-owned factory, and she is separated from Alison during the chaos. Meanwhile, Stevie sees her father with a young woman and suspects that he is having an affair, causing her to get drunk. But it turns out that he has been reactivated by the NSA and the young woman is actually Henry's handler.
8 "Need to Know" Dennie Gordon Alexander Maggio November 9, 2014 (2014-11-09) 12.54[13]
The Moldovan prime minister's airplane disappears from the radar. The Secretary is concerned for him and for a U.S. agent with the prime minister. She plans a rescue mission to free them from the leader of a separatist movement in Moldova. Meanwhile, Henry is asked to plant a bug at the home of a scholar who is believed by the NSA to be connected to a terrorist.
9 "So It Goes" James Whitmore, Jr. David Grae November 16, 2014 (2014-11-16) 12.77[14]
Elizabeth, Henry, and Isabelle conduct their own investigation into the plane crash that killed former Secretary of State Vincent Marsh. The investigation leads to a very grave conclusion. Russell asks Matt to spy on the Secretary. And Nadine is asked out on a dinner by the NASA Administrator.
10 "Collateral Damage" Eric Stoltz Matt Ward November 23, 2014 (2014-11-23) 12.41[15]
Threat from a deranged gunman causes a lock-down at the State Department. Elizabeth talks to Stevie about her CIA past. Matt tells Daisy's fiance about their affair.
11 "Game On" Randy Zisk Paul Redford November 30, 2014 (2014-11-30) 13.24[16]
Elizabeth, Henry, and Isabelle search for a hidden bank account that belongs to Vincent Marsh. Elizabeth and Henry visit Venezula in search for a hidden bank account that belongs to Vincent Marsh. Stevie covers for Alison. Russel Jackson confronts Elizabeth about her investigation.
12 "Standoff" Gloria Muzio Joseph C. Muscat January 4, 2015 (2015-01-04)
13 "Chains of Command" Michael Waxman Alex Cooley January 11, 2015 (2015-01-11)


Madam Secretary has been met with generally positive reviews from TV critics. On Metacritic, the show has a score of 66 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[17] On Rotten Tomatoes, the show holds a rating of 66%, based on 50 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site's consensus reads, "Bolstered by Tea Leoni's strong central performance, Madam Secretary is a solid but unspectacular political drama."[18]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2015 41st People's Choice Awards[19] Favorite Actress in a New TV Series Téa Leoni Pending
Favorite New TV Drama Madam Secretary Pending


In Canada, the series airs on Global at the same time as the original broadcast.[20] In Australia, it premiered on October 2, 2014 on Network Ten.[21] On October 23, 2014, it was announced that it will air on Sky Living in the United Kingdom, along with new formats to air TV3 in Ireland, and other international channels.[22]


  1. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 17, 2014). "'Smash's' Katharine McPhee to Star in CBS Genius Drama (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 9, 2014). "CBS Orders 'CSI: Cyber', 'NCIS: New Orleans', 'The Odd Couple', 'Stalker', 'Madam Secretary', 'Scorpion' & 'The McCarthys'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ Swift, Andy (May 9, 2014). "Fall TV: CBS Orders NCIS and CSI Spin-Offs, Odd Couple, Kevin Williamson's Stalker and 4 More to Series (But Not How I Met Your Dad?)". TVLine. Retrieved May 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ CBS Gives Full Season Orders to 'Scorpion', 'Madam Secretary', 'NCIS: New Orleans' & 'Stalker'
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (21 May 2014). "Željko Ivanek Upped To Regular On New CBS Drama Series Madam Secretary". Deadline. Retrieved 26 August 2014. Emmy-winning character actor Željko Ivanek (Damages) has joined the cast of CBS' new drama series Madam Secretary as a regular after guest starring in the pilot. 
  6. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (September 23, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Good Wife' & 'American Dad' Adjusted Up; '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ Bibel, Sara (September 30, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon A Time', 'Resurrection' & 'Revenge' Adjusted Up; 'CSI' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  8. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 7, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon a Time', 'Resurrection' & 'Revenge' Adjusted Up; 'Madam Secretary' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  9. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 14, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon A Time', 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' & 'Resurrection' Adjusted Up; 'Madam Secretary' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  10. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 21, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Simpsons' & 'Madam Secretary' Adjusted Up; 'Mulaney' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ Bibel, Sara (October 28, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon A Time' & 'The Good Wife' Adjusted Up; '60 Minutes' Adjusted Down & Final Sports Numbers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (November 4, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Good Wife', 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine', 'Once Upon a Time' & '60 Minutes' Adjusted Up + Final Football Ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ Bibel, Sara (November 11, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Simpsons' & 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  14. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (November 18, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'The Simpsons' & 'America's Funniest Home Videos' Adjusted Up + Final Football Numbers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ Bibel, Sara (November 25, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Madam Secretary', 'The Simpsons', '60 Minutes' & 'America's Funniest Home Videos' Adjusted Down & Final Football Numbers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  16. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (December 3, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'America's Funniest Home Videos', Resurrection' & 'Once Upon a Time' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Madam Secretary : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Madam Secretary: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  19. ^ "41st People's Choice Awards nominees". People's Choice Awards. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  20. ^ Wilford, Denette (June 4, 2014). "Global TV Lineup Fall 2014-15: Shaw Media Making Bold Moves". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2014. 
  21. ^ Knox, David (September 28, 2014). "Madam Secretary". TV Tonight. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  22. ^ The Deadline Team (October 23, 2014). "‘Madam Secretary’ Coming To U.K. On Sky Living; NBCUniversal International Television Production Pacts With TV3 Group Ireland: Global Briefs". Deadline. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 

External links[edit]