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Madam Secretary (TV series)

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First episode date
21 September 2014

Madam Secretary (TV series) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbtvbanners13012645p13012

Political dramaThriller

Téa LeoniTim DalyPatina MillerGeoffrey ArendErich BergenEvan RoeŽeljko IvanekBebe NeuwirthWallis Currie-WoodKeith CarradineSebastian Arcelus

Opening theme
Theme to Madam Secretary

Ending theme
Theme to Madam Secretary


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 Dr. Elizabeth McCord. The series primarily describes main character Dr. Elizabeth McCord's fight to balance her family and her work as the US 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 25, 2016, Madam Secretary was renewed for a third season, which premiered on October 2, 2016.


Madam Secretary explores Secretary Elizabeth McCord's life as the shrewd, calculating, and determined newly appointed United States Secretary of State. McCord drives international diplomacy, battles office politics, and circumvents and ignores protocol as she negotiates worldwide issues. The show also focuses on the personal lives of the characters. McCord is also a college professor and a former CIA analyst who left the agency for ethical and personal reasons. The President values her apolitical leanings, deep knowledge of the Middle East, flair for languages, and ability to not just think outside the box, but to not even know there is a box.

Main characters

  • 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.
  • Tim Daly as Dr. Henry McCord, Elizabeth's husband of 25 years. His father is Patrick McCord (Tom Skerritt), and his mother died three years prior to the series. He has a large family in Pittsburgh, including his sister Maureen (Kate Burton), and numerous nieces and nephews. He attended the University of Virginia as a 17-year-old scholarship student, where he first met his future wife, and was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps via the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. He spent five years on active duty, during which time he served as an F/A-18 Hornet aviator during Operation Desert Storm, and retired with the rank of Captain. He is a theology professor with eight published books under his belt; after his wife was appointed Secretary of State, Henry transferred from the University of Virginia to Georgetown University and was 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.
  • 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. In Season 1, Nadine slowly began to date again, romancing the Administrator of NASA, Glenn.
  • Željko Ivanek as Russell Jackson, White House Chief of Staff 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.
  • Kathrine Herzer as Alison McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's younger daughter.
  • Evan Roe as Jason McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's 13-year-old son, a self-proclaimed anarchist.
  • 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 during Elizabeth's time at the CIA. In "Unity Node", he reveals that he served in the United States Army as a 2nd lieutenant during the Vietnam War.
  • Sebastian Arcelus as Jay Whitman, Elizabeth's senior policy advisor (recurring season 1–2, main cast season 3).
  • Recurring

  • Johanna Day as National Security Advisor Admiral Ellen Hill. She was the first female Chairwoman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff prior to being appointed National Security Advisor (Season 1 – present).
  • Tony Plana as Admiral Ed Parker, a member of the Joint Chiefs (Season 1 – present).
  • Francis Jue as Chinese Foreign Minister Chen, Elizabeth's Chinese counterpart (Season 1 – present).
  • Mandy Gonzalez as Lucy Knox, President Dalton's aide (Season 1 – present).
  • Mike Pniewski as United States Secretary of Defense Gordon Becker (Season 1 – present).
  • 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 (Season 1 – present).
  • Jason Ralph as Harrison Dalton, 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 (Seasons 1–2).
  • Cotter Smith as National Security Advisor Darren Hahn (Seasons 1–2).
  • Patrick Breen as CIA Director Andrew Munsey, a protégé of President Dalton whilst he was in the CIA (Season 1).
  • Nilaja Sun as Juliet Humphrey, a former CIA analyst, friend and colleague of Elizabeth and Isabelle (Season 1; guest Season 3).
  • Usman Ally as Iran's Foreign Minister Zahed Javani, Elizabeth's Iranian counterpart (Season 1).
  • Dion Graham as Bureau of Diplomatic Security Head Agent Fred Cole, who served as Elizabeth's principal bodyguard (Season 1).
  • Josh Hamilton as Arthur Gilroy, Stevie's 39-year-old microloan employer and ex-boyfriend (Season 1).
  • Anna Deavere Smith as United States Attorney General Mary Campbell (Season 1).
  • Marin Hinkle as Isabelle Barnes, a CIA analyst and Elizabeth's close friend, who assists the McCords with the investigation of the death of Secretary of State Vincent Marsh (Season 1).
  • Yorgo Constantine as Russian Foreign Minister Anton Gorev, a friend of both Secretary and Dr. McCord (Seasons 1–2).
  • Clifton Davis as Ephraim Ware, Director of National Intelligence (Season 2 – present).
  • Julian Acosta as National Security Advisor Craig Sterling, a former US Department of Defense official and rival of Elizabeth's (Season 2).
  • Alex Fernandez as Vice President of the United States Mark Delgado (Season 2).
  • Angela Gots as President of Russia Maria Ostrova, the widow of the late Russian President Pavel Ostrov (Season 2).
  • Leslie Hendrix as United States Attorney General Louise Cronenberg (Season 2).
  • Jill Hennessy as Jane Fellows, Henry's DIA superior, and a member of Murphy Station; the first Ishbal Jahed task force (Season 2).
  • Kobi Libii as Cyber-security Coordinator Oliver Shaw. Shaw looked into the attack against Air Force One and is the love interest of Daisy Grant (Season 2; Guest Season 3).
  • Chris Petrovski as Captain Dmitri Petrov, a 24-year-old Russian Army officer 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 (Season 2; guest Season 3).
  • Carlos Gómez as Jose Campos, an Ishbal Jahed task force member (Season 2 – present).
  • J. C. MacKenzie as Governor Sam Evans of Pennsylvania, the presidential nominee for Dalton's party (Season 3 – present).
  • René Auberjonois as Walter Nowack, a State Department analyst for nuclear proliferation issues (Season 2 – present).
  • Guest stars

  • Louis Gossett, Jr. appears as Father Laurent Vasseur, an old friend of Henry's (Season 1, Episode 6).
  • William Allen Young appears as Deputy Secretary of State Steven Cushing (Season 1, Episode 12).
  • Tom Skerritt appears as Patrick McCord, Henry's father (Season 1, Episode 13).
  • Bob Schieffer, former moderator of Face the Nation, appears as himself (Season 1, Episode 17).
  • Morgan Freeman, the show's executive producer, appears as Chief Justice of the United States (Season 2, Episode 1; Season 3, Episode 1).
  • Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. Secretary of State, appears as herself (Season 2, Episode 2).
  • Kate Burton appears as Henry's sister, Maureen (Season 2, Episode 13).
  • Jane Pauley appears as herself (Season 2, Episode 18; Season 3, Episode 1).
  • Stephanie J. Block, real-life wife of Sebastian Arcelus, appears as Jay's wife, Abby (Season 3, Episode 13). 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, appears as the President of the Phillipines, Datu Andrada (Season 3, Episode 15).
  • Broadcast

    In Canada, the series airs on Global at the same time as the original broadcast. In Finland, it premiered 1. January, 2014 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 23 April 2015. In the Philippines, it premiered on 2nd Avenue on April 28.

    Critical reception

    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 punching Philippine president Datu Andrada to the face as a response to the latter making sexual advancements to the protagonist, it became controversial in the Philippines due to what was seen as Andrada having parallelism with 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.


    Madam Secretary (TV series) Wikipedia

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