Madam Secretary (TV series)

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Madam Secretary
Madam Secretary (CBS) Logo.png
Created by Barbara Hall
Theme music composer Transcenders
Opening theme Theme to Madam Secretary
Ending theme Theme to Madam Secretary
Composer(s) Transcenders
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 30 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Running time 44 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Original network CBS
Original release 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 Adams McCord, a former CIA analyst and college professor 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]

On January 12, 2015, Madam Secretary was renewed for a second season.[5]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

  • Téa Leoni as Dr. Elizabeth "Bess" Adams McCord, the United States Secretary of State. She spent twenty years as a CIA analyst before becoming a professor of political science at the University of Virginia. She was selected by her old boss, Conrad Dalton, who is now the President of the United States, to replace Secretary of State Vincent Marsh, who died in a plane crash. Not a natural politician, Elizabeth frequently clashes with the White House Chief of Staff Russell Jackson. In "Tamerlane", Elizabeth is in the home of Iranian Foreign Minister Zahed Javani when a coup d'état orchestrated by Secretary Marsh, CIA Director Andrew Munsey, and CIA analyst Juliet Humphrey, is attempted; during the attack, both Minister Javani and her personal bodyguard, DS Agent Fred Cole, were killed. In the aftermath, Elizabeth was left with some post-traumatic stress and has been seeing Russell Jackson's personal therapist. In "The Show Must Go On", Elizabeth is temporarily appointed Acting President of the United States after Air Force One loses communication over the Pacific Ocean and the first three people within the line of succession are unable to take office for health and unavailability reasons.
  • Tim Daly as Dr. Henry McCord; Elizabeth's husband of 25 years, a Georgetown University theology professor and recently reactivated operative for the National Security Agency. In "Spartan Figures", Henry is headhunted by the National War College and is hired as a professor of military ethics, with the understanding that he would also consult for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps and flew F/A-18 Hornets in the Gulf War. His father is Patrick McCord (Tom Skerritt), a lifelong steel worker and union boss in Pittsburgh; his mother died three years prior to the series.
  • Bebe Neuwirth as Nadine Tolliver, Elizabeth's Chief of Staff who had a six-year affair with the deceased Secretary of State, Vincent Marsh, beginning when he was a Senator. Originally extremely resentful of the new Secretary of State, Nadine and Elizabeth have since cultivated a strong working relationship.
  • Željko Ivanek as Russell Jackson, White House Chief of Staff[6] He and the newly-appointed Secretary McCord frequently clash due to her not being a natural politician.
  • Erich Bergen as Blake Moran, Elizabeth's personal assistant, and the only member of her staff that she hired rather than inherited.
  • Patina Miller as Daisy Grant, Elizabeth's press coordinator
  • Geoffrey Arend as Matt Mahoney, Elizabeth's speechwriter
  • Wallis Currie-Wood as Stephanie "Stevie" McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's older daughter. In "Another Benghazi", 20-year-old Stevie returns home after dropping out of college due to her mom's new job. After a few months working as a hostess at a restaurant, Stevie became an intern at Microloan, which, as a job only available to college students, necessitated her application to Georgetown. As of "There But for the Grace of God", she is in a relationship with Harrison Dalton (Jason Ralph), her longtime friend and the son of President Dalton.
  • Kathrine Herzer as Alison McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's younger daughter. In "Tamerlane", Alison celebrates her 16th birthday.
  • Evan Roe as Jason McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's 13-year-old son, a self-proclaimed anarchist. In "The Ninth Circle", Jason is expelled from his prep school for punching a bully and is then enrolled in public school.
  • Keith Carradine as President Conrad Dalton, (recurring season 1, main cast season 2). Before going into politics, Conrad was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.


Guest Stars[edit]

  • Morgan Freeman, the show's executive producer, appears as a Supreme Court Justice (season 2, episode 1).
  • Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. Secretary of State, appears as herself (season 2, episode 2).


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 22 September 21, 2014 (2014-09-21) May 3, 2015 (2015-05-03)
2 22[7] October 4, 2015 (2015-10-04) TBA


In Canada, the series airs on Global at the same time as the original broadcast.[8] In Australia, it premiered on October 2, 2014 on Network Ten.[9] 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.[10] The series launched in the United Kingdom on 23 April 2015.[11] In the Philippines, it premiered on 2nd Avenue on April 28.



Season Time slot (ET) Episodes Premiered Ended TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Date Viewers
(in millions)
Date Viewers
(in millions)
Sunday 8:00 pm
September 21, 2014
May 3, 2015
9.67[13] 2014–2015 #10 14.16[14]
2 22
October 4, 2015
11.79[15] TBA 2015–2016 TBA TBA

Critical reception[edit]

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".[16] 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."[17]


Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2015 American Cinema Editors Awards 2015[18] Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television Elena Maganini and Michael D. Ornstein Nominated
41st People's Choice Awards[19] Favorite Actress in a New TV Series Téa Leoni Nominated
Favorite New TV Drama Madam Secretary Nominated


  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. ^ CBS Renews Madam Secretary, Scorpion, NCIS: New Orleans
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (21 May 2014). "Željko Ivanek Upped To Regular On New CBS Drama Series Madam Secretary". 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. 
  7. ^ "CBS Studios Shows - 2015/16 Season - Episodes Orders Revealed". SpoilerTV. August 17, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  8. ^ Wilford, Denette (June 4, 2014). "Global TV Lineup Fall 2014-15: Shaw Media Making Bold Moves". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2014. 
  9. ^ Knox, David (September 28, 2014). "Madam Secretary". TV Tonight. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ "Sky Living Sets UK Premiere Date Madam Secretary". TVWise. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 5, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Family Guy' & 'Secrets and Lies' Adjusted Up'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  14. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (May 22, 2015). "Full 2014-15 Series Rankings". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  15. ^ Porter, Rick (October 6, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: 'Blood & Oil', 'The Simpsons' Adjusted Up; 'Madam Secretary' Adjusted Down". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Madam Secretary : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Madam Secretary: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  18. ^ Adam Chitwood (January 2, 2015). "Nightcrawler, Gone Girl, and Boyhood Land ACE Editing Awards Nominations". Collider. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  19. ^ "41st People's Choice Awards nominees". People's Choice Awards. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]