Madam Secretary (TV series)
|Created by||Barbara Hall|
|Opening theme||Theme to Madam Secretary|
|Ending theme||Theme to Madam Secretary|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||92 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||42–46 minutes|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original release||September 21, 2014– present|
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 McCord, a former CIA analyst and political science professor turned Secretary of State. The series premiered on September 21, 2014. On October 27, 2014, CBS placed a full season order consisting of 22 episodes for the first season. On March 23, 2017, CBS renewed the series for a fourth season. In 2017, CBS sealed a multi-platform syndication deal worth an estimated $2 million per episode. On April 18, 2018, the series was renewed for a fifth season.
Madam Secretary explores Secretary Elizabeth McCord's life as the determined United States Secretary of State. McCord drives international diplomacy, battles office politics, and circumvents protocol if needed as she negotiates worldwide issues. The show also focuses on the personal lives of the characters.
Cast and characters
- Téa Leoni as 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.
- Tim Daly as Henry McCord, Elizabeth's husband of 25 years. A former Marine captain/aviator during Operation Desert Storm and theology professor, his unique blend of skills are sought by the National Security Agency, which engages him as an operative in combating religious extremism. At the end of season 3, Henry is named the head of the CIA Special Activities Division.
- Bebe Neuwirth as Nadine Tolliver (seasons 1–4), 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 suspicious and resentful of the new Secretary of State, Nadine soon learns to trust Elizabeth, and the two cultivate a strong working relationship. In season 1, Nadine slowly began to date again, romancing the Administrator of NASA, Glenn, and later fell into a relationship with the recurring political consultant Mike Barnow. In season 4, Nadine leaves the State Department to spend more time with her family.
- Željko Ivanek as Russell Jackson, White House Chief of Staff. His primary objective of keeping the President politically secure at home and abroad sets him up for occasional confrontations with Secretary McCord's unorthodox diplomatic maneuvering.
- 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. Daisy dates Matt during season 1 but goes on to date other men following their breakup. In season 3 she dates "Kevin" from Budget and Planning, who turns out to be an undercover operative for the CIA investigating the State Department. He is killed in a weapons-trafficking conspiracy, and Daisy subsequently finds herself pregnant with his child. In the fourth season, Daisy gives birth to a daughter Joanna Grant.
- Geoffrey Arend as Matt Mahoney, Elizabeth's speechwriter. Matt and Daisy dated during season 1, but ended things.
- Wallis Currie-Wood as Stephanie "Stevie" McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's older daughter. Stevie attended Lovell University and later Georgetown University and applied to Harvard Law school. Stevie serves as an intern to Russell Jackson and was, for a time, engaged to Jareth Glover. She has an affair with Dmitri Petrov (then undercover) in season 4 that puts her in danger.
- Kathrine Herzer as Alison McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's younger daughter. Alison planned to attend Rafferty College to pursue her dreams of fashion and design, but later changed her mind.
- Evan Roe as Jason McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's teenage son, a self-proclaimed anarchist. Jason is critical of political systems in general, but in season 1 he was expelled from his school for punching a student who insulted Elizabeth.
- Keith Carradine as Conrad Dalton (seasons 2–present; recurring season 1), the President of the United States. Conrad served in the United States Marine Corps as a second lieutenant during the Vietnam War and was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency during Elizabeth's time at the CIA. In the third season, Dalton secures reelection as an independent after failing to secure his party's nomination, partly due to a controversial change in policy championed by Elizabeth. He offers Elizabeth the role of Vice President during his campaign, but eventually names someone else in order to further his campaign. Elizabeth remains Secretary of State.
- Sebastian Arcelus as Jay Whitman, Elizabeth's current chief of staff and previous senior policy advisor (seasons 3–present; recurring seasons 1–2). In season 3, it is revealed that Jay's busy schedule working for the Secretary has strained his marriage. He is currently separated from his wife Abby, who maintains custody of their daughter Chloe. Jay is promoted to chief of staff in season 4.
- Sara Ramirez as Kat Sandoval, Elizabeth's Policy Advisor and a former Chief of Staff to the UN Ambassador (season 4)
- Johanna Day as Ellen Hill, a retired admiral and the National Security Advisor. She was the first female Chairwoman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff prior to being appointed National Security Advisor.
- Tony Plana as Ed Parker, an admiral and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- Francis Jue as Ming Chen, China's Foreign Minister and Elizabeth's Chinese counterpart.
- Mandy Gonzalez as Lucy Knox, President Dalton's aide.
- Mike Pniewski as Gordon Becker, the United States Secretary of Defense.
- Kevin Rahm as Michael "Mike B." Barnow, a political official who is said to drift between the United States Cabinet departments. It is mentioned that he is a Rhodes Scholar, who turned his brilliant legal career into a promising political career that was cut short by a scandalous divorce six years prior to his first appearance before settling into his current job. He is often seen assisting Secretary McCord. He is also often seen with his dog.
- Jason Ralph as Harrison Dalton (seasons 1–2), son of President Dalton and long-time friend of Stevie McCord. In season 1, it is revealed Harrison has a drug addiction and is color blind. In season 4 it is revealed that he is back in rehab.
- Cotter Smith as Darren Hahn (seasons 1–2), President Dalton's first known National Security Advisor.
- Patrick Breen as Andrew Munsey (season 1), the Director of the CIA and a protégé of President Dalton.
- Nilaja Sun as Juliet Humphrey (season 1; guest season 3), a former CIA analyst, friend and colleague of Elizabeth and Isabelle.
- Usman Ally as Zahed Javani (season 1), Iran's Foreign Minister and Elizabeth's Iranian counterpart.
- Dion Graham as Fred Cole (season 1), the Bureau of Diplomatic Security Head Agent who served as Elizabeth's principal bodyguard.
- Josh Hamilton as Arthur Gilroy (season 1), Stevie's 39-year-old microloan employer and ex-boyfriend.
- Anna Deavere Smith as Mary Campbell (season 1), the United States Attorney General.
- Marin Hinkle as Isabelle Barnes (season 1), a CIA analyst and Elizabeth's close friend, who assists the McCords with the investigation of the death of Secretary of State Vincent Marsh.
- Yorgo Constantine as Anton Gorev (seasons 1–2), Russia's Foreign Minister and a friend of both Secretary and Dr. McCord.
- Clifton Davis as Ephraim Ware (seasons 2–present), Director of National Intelligence.
- Julian Acosta as Craig Sterling (season 2), a former US Department of Defense official, he becomes National Security Advisor in season 2 much to Elizabeth and Russell's dismay, and rival of Elizabeth's.
- Alex Fernandez as Mark Delgado (season 2), the Vice President of the United States.
- Angela Gots as Maria Ostrova (season 2), the President of Russia and widow of late Russian President Pavel Ostrov.
- Leslie Hendrix as Louise Cronenberg (season 2), the United States Attorney General.
- Jill Hennessy as Jane Fellows (season 2), Henry's DIA superior, and a member of Murphy Station; the first Ishbal Jahed task force.
- Kobi Libii as Oliver Shaw (season 2; guest season 3), the Cybersecurity Coordinator. Shaw looked into the attack against Air Force One and is the love interest of Daisy Grant in the second season.
- Chris Petrovski as Dmitri Petrov (seasons 2, 4; guest season 3), a 24-year-old Russian Army captain who studied at the National War College. He was recruited by Professor Henry McCord (on behalf of the DIA) to become an American spy in exchange for getting his sick sister medical care in Stockholm, Sweden. Dmitri is captured by the Russians and eventually exchanged to the Americans for another traitor to the state. Following his capture Dmitri feels abandoned by Henry and is very angry and bitter toward him. He is placed into a witness protection program under the name Alexander (Alex) Mehranov. In season 4, he gets recruited by the CIA as an analyst.
- Masha King as Talia Petrov, Dmitri's sister who was placed into witness protection with her brother and is now his roommate.
- Carlos Gómez as Jose Campos (seasons 2–3), an Ishbal Jahed task force member.
- J. C. MacKenzie as Sam Evans (season 3), the governor of Pennsylvania and the presidential nominee for Dalton's party. Evans is particularly vindictive during the campaign and, following Dalton's victory through a vote in the House of Representatives, threatens to have the vote overturned due to little-known law he claims Elizabeth broke. However, he is manipulated into accepting the terms of the vote after Russel Jackson threatens to expose him for having a gene that makes him likely to develop early-onset Alzheimer's.
- René Auberjonois as Walter Novack (seasons 2–present), a State Department analyst with the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation.
- Christopher O'Shea as Jareth Glover, Stevie's fiance from England. He gave up a fellowship at Oxford to return to America to be with Stevie after she had trouble adjusting to life in England. His family is a member of the upper class and even nobility in England. Stevie and Jareth broke up in season 4.
- Justine Lupe as Ronnie Baker (seasons 3–present), a United States Army captain seconded from United States Cyber Command who assists Elizabeth on several occasions.
- Eric Stoltz as Will Adams, Secretary Elizabeth McCord's younger brother and a member of Doctors Without Borders.
- Jordan Lage as Kohl, a United States Army general.
- Sam Breslin Wright as Dylan Larson, an ex–Army Ranger who has been working for the CIA for seven years as of the start of season 4.
- Christine Garver as Molly Reid, a career CIA agent, starting her career as a field agent in Chechnya. She is pregnant and due in a couple months from the start of season 4.
- Yuval David as Matvey Sokolov (season 4), a Russian special agent.
- Louis Gossett, Jr. as Laurent Vasseur (season 1, episode 6), a Catholic priest and an old friend of Henry's.
- William Allen Young as Steven Cushing (season 1, episode 12), the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State.
- Tom Skerritt as Patrick McCord (season 1, episode 13), Henry's father.
- Bob Schieffer as himself (season 1, episode 17). Schieffer is the former moderator of Face the Nation.
- Morgan Freeman as Frawley, the Chief Justice of the United States (season 2, episode 1; season 3, episode 1; season 4, episode 1).
- Madeleine Albright as herself (season 2, episode 2). Albright was the first female U.S. Secretary of State.
- Kate Burton as Maureen McCord-Ryan (season 2, episode 13), Henry's sister.
- Jane Pauley as herself (season 2, episode 18; season 3, episode 1).
- Shivam Chopra as Sanjay (season 1, episode 7).
- Stephanie J. Block as Abby, Jay's wife. Block is the real-life wife of Sebastian Arcelus. Mirroring real life, Block had previously given birth to their daughter while Arcelus was filming season 1, episode 17, where Jay's wife also gives birth to a daughter.
- Joel de la Fuente as Datu Andrada (season 3, episode 15), the President of the Philippines.
- Christine Ebersole as Lydia Dalton, the First Lady.
- Monna Sabouri as the Interpreter (season 3, episode 9), a Russian- and Persian-speaking agent.
- Elpidia Carrillo as President Daphne Tejeda (season 4, episode 18) The Friendship Game.
Dalton Cabinet and principal advisors
|The Dalton Cabinet|
|President||Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine)||2013–|
|Vice President||Mark Delgado (Alex Fernandez)||2013–2017|
|Teresa Hurst (Jan Maxwell/Jayne Atkinson)||2017–|
|Secretary of State||Vincent Marsh (Brian Stokes Mitchell)||2013–2014|
|Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni)||2014–|
|Secretary of Treasury||Max Quinn (Michael Cumpsty)||2013–2014|
|Secretary of Defense||Gordon Becker (Mike Pniewski)||2013–|
|Attorney General||Mary Campbell (Anna Deavere Smith)||2013–2015|
|Nolan (John Bolton)||2017–|
|Unknown (Shown in "French Revolution")||2016–2017|
|Louise Cronenberg (Leslie Hendrix)||2015–2016|
|Chief of Staff||Russell Jackson (Željko Ivanek)||2013–|
|National Security Advisor||Darren Kahn (Cotter Smith)||2013–2015|
|ADM (Ret.) Ellen Hill (Johanna Day)||2016–|
|Craig Sterling (Julian Acosta)||2015–2015|
|Chairman of the|
Joint Chiefs of Staff
|ADM Ellen Hill, USN (Johanna Day)||2013–2015|
|GEN Kelsey Reeves, US Army (Ralph Byers)||2015–|
|Director of National Intelligence||Ephraim Ware (Clifton Davis)||2013–|
|Director of the|
Central Intelligence Agency
|Andrew Munsey (Patrick Breen)||2013–2015|
|Hugh Haymond (Michael Gaston)||2016–|
|Dennis Ellerman (John Doman)||2015–2016|
|Sean Williams (Larry Pine)||2015–2015|
|Director of the|
Federal Bureau of Investigation
|Neil Hendricks (Wayne Duvall)||2013–2016|
|Keith Doherty (Michael Boatman)||2016–|
|Chief Justice of the United States||Frawley (Morgan Freeman)||2013–|
|Deputy Secretary of State||Steven Cushing (William Allen Young)||2013–|
|Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs||Susan Thompson (Tonya Pinkins)||2014–|
|United States Ambassador to Yemen||Paul Wellington (Tim Guinee)||2013–|
|United States Ambassador to Myanmar||Arlen Maxwell (David Rasche)||2013–2014|
|United States Ambassador to Algeria||Roy Curtis (Dakin Matthews)||2013–2016|
|Deputy Director of the FBI||Marguerite Sanchez (Rosyln Ruff)||2013–|
|Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration||Glenn (John Pankow)||2013–|
|Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board||Humphrey Nelson (Alfredo Narciso)||2013–|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||22||September 21, 2014||May 3, 2015|
|2||23||October 4, 2015||May 8, 2016|
|3||23||October 2, 2016||May 21, 2017|
|4||22||October 8, 2017||May 20, 2018|
|5||20||October 7, 2018||TBA|
In Canada, the series airs on Global at the same time as the original broadcast. In Finland, it premiered January 1, 2016, on MTV3. The series has been popular in Finland: 11% of Finnish people watched the first episode. In Australia, it premiered on October 2, 2014 on Network Ten. 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. The series launched in the United Kingdom on April 23, 2015. It is broadcast on Sony Channel Asia.
|Season||Episodes||Timeslot (ET)||Original airing||Rank||Viewers|
|Season premiere||Season finale||TV season|
|1||22||Sunday 8:00 pm||September 21, 2014||May 3, 2015||2014–2015||No. 10||14.17|
|2||23||October 4, 2015||May 8, 2016||2015–2016||No. 14||12.39|
|3||23||Sunday 9:00 pm||October 2, 2016||May 21, 2017||2016–2017||No. 18||10.92|
|4||22||Sunday 10:00 pm||October 8, 2017||May 20, 2018||2017–2018||No. 37||8.84|
|5||TBA||October 7, 2018||2018–2019|
- Note: During the National Football League season and several weeks through the season, the series airs at 10:30 pm ET/9:30 pm CT to account for game or PGA Tour golf overruns (there are no delays from the Mountain Time Zone westward). Since its move to the last hour of primetime, several new episodes have been delayed a week at the last minute due to games overrunning into the 8:00 pm timeslot to allow local newscasts to start as close to 11:00 pm ET/ 10:00 pm CT as possible; in this case, a repeat of the series airs in the Mountain Time Zone westward instead, with Canada's Global following CBS's scheduling in order to take advantage of simsub opportunities.
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". 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."
Three women have served as Secretary of State to date: Madeleine Albright from 1997 to 2001 under Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice from 2005 to 2009 under George W. Bush, and Hillary Clinton from 2009 to 2013 under Barack Obama. Shortly after the series' debut, Fox News asked if the show therefore served as a campaign ad supporting Hillary Clinton, but quoted the Los Angeles Times saying the lead character was "no Hillary knockoff" and a New York publicist calling the casting of a woman "simple business and smart on CBS' behalf". Conservative activist organization Culture and Media Institute, however, said the connection was clear, citing the women's blond hair and pantsuits.
When the trailer of the fifteenth episode of Season 3 (Break in Diplomacy) was released showing McCord responding to unwanted sexual advances by fictional Philippine president Datu Andrada by punching Andrada in the face, it became controversial in the Philippines due to perceived parallels between Andrada and real-life President Rodrigo Duterte, who was known for making inappropriate and sexist remarks. The Philippine Embassy in Washington even published a statement protesting the negative depiction on its Facebook page.
The first episode of the fourth season, News Cycle, led to a hard protest from East Timor's Minister of State and Nobel Peace Prize laureate José Ramos-Horta. "It's a slander against a country that only shows ignorance and racism," he explained. The TV show used the border dispute between Australia and East Timor in the Timor Sea (The dispute is transferred in the TV show to the South China Sea, although neither Australia nor East Timor is bordering to it) as background story. East Timor is shown as a country controlled by a Mexican drug cartel and used for drug transfer. US Secretary of State McCord is asking China to take measures to prevent the leader of the drug cartel from making a narco-state out of East Timor.
|2014||TV Guide Award||Favorite New Show||Madam Secretary||Nominated|
|2015||American Cinema Editors Awards 2015||Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television||Elena Maganini and Michael D. Ornstein||Nominated|
|41st People's Choice Awards||Favorite Actress in a New TV Series||Téa Leoni||Nominated|
|Favorite New TV Drama||Madam Secretary||Nominated|
|Publicists Guild of America||The Maxwell Weinberg Publicists Showmanship Television Award||CBS Television Studio/Madam Secretary||Nominated|
|2015||Humanitas Prize||60 Minute Network or Syndicated Television||Madam Secretary||Nominated|
|2016||CBS MVP Awards||Best Motivational Speech||Téa Leoni||Nominated|
|2016||Humanitas Prize||60 Minute Network of Syndicated Television||Madam Secretary||Nominated|
- "Page not found – TV By The Numbers by zap2it.com". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on July 23, 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 23, 2017). "CBS Renews 5 Freshman & 11 Returning Series, Including 'MacGyver', 'Superior Donuts', 'Life In Pieces' & 'Hawaii Five-O'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- Littleton, Cynthia (September 28, 2017). "'Madam Secretary' Heads to Netflix, WeTV in Rich Syndication Pacts". variety.com. Variety Media. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
- Otterson, Joe (April 18, 2018). "CBS Renews 11 Series, Including 'Bull,' 'Survivor'". Variety. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- 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.
- 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.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 21, 2014). "Željko Ivanek Upped to Regular on New CBS Drama Series Madam Secretary". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
Emmy-winning character actor Željko Ivanek (Damages) joined the cast of CBS' new drama series Madam Secretary as a regular after guest starring in the pilot.
- "Development Update: Thursday-Friday, July 12-13". The Futon Critic. July 13, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- Wilford, Denette (June 4, 2014). "Global TV Lineup Fall 2014–15: Shaw Media Making Bold Moves". The HuffingtonPost. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
- "MTV3 – Rouva Ministeri" [Mrs. Minister]. mtv.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved June 21, 2016.
- "Finnpanel – TV-mittaritutkimus" [Results From The TV Audience Measurement]. finnpanel.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved June 21, 2016.
- Knox, David (September 28, 2014). "Madam Secretary". TV Tonight. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
- 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 Hollywood. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
- "Sky Living Sets UK Premiere Date Madam Secretary". TVWise. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- de Moraes, Lisa (May 22, 2015). "Full 2014–15 Series Rankings". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
- "Full 2015–16 TV Season Series Rankings". Deadline Hollywood. May 26, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
- "Madam Secretary : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- "Madam Secretary: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- "'Madam Secretary' a campaign ad for Hillary Clinton 2016?". FoxNews.Com. September 22, 2014.
- "People are furious that 'Madam Secretary' will feature a lecherous Filipino president". Mashable. March 7, 2017.
- "Embassy of the Philippines, Washington Facebook page". March 7, 2017.
- Diário de Notícias: Ramos-Horta vai protestar por retrato de Timor-Leste em série norte-americana
- Adam Chitwood (January 2, 2015). "Nightcrawler, Gone Girl, and Boyhood Land ACE Editing Awards Nominations". Collider. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
- "41st People's Choice Awards nominees". People's Choice Awards. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- "Super Bowl 2016 – CBS.com". CBS. Retrieved January 31, 2016.