15 items from 2014
Yes, new series follows the appointment and first days in office of a female U.S. Secretary of State (played by Téa Leoni, The Naked Truth). And yes, Leoni’s Elizabeth McCord does, before the hour is up, earn more media attention for her wardrobe choices than for her diplomacy — just like Hil. But that’s where the similarities between the two women end, and what’s left is an intriguing, D.C.-set drama.
In the not great but likable and intelligent Madam Secretary, Téa Leoni’s talent gets a deserving showcase. Throughout the early part of her career, the actress had a knack for playing kooks, and did so brilliantly, most notably on the 1995–98 NBC sitcom The Naked Truth, her most recent starring TV role. This CBS drama about Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA agent and college professor tapped to be secretary of state, gives her a vehicle comparable to Julianna Margulies’s in The Good Wife (only in the sense that she’s asked to act as the calm eye at the center of a storm of more colorful supporting players). Here, Leoni is mostly called on to project empathy, experience, and tactical smarts: to go full Margulies, as it were.A good part of the pilot is about watching Elizabeth learning to function in the West Wing of the White House, »
- Matt Zoller Seitz
CBS has scheduled its new drama "Madam Secretary" to air on Sunday nights before "The Good Wife," which means two things: 1)You should expect its start time to often be interfered with by football (though its regular timeslot is 8 p.m. Eastern, it's tentatively set to debut this weekend at 8:30), and 2)CBS hopes that Téa Leoni and friends can do for political drama what Julianna Margulies and company have done for the law genre: find a way to juggle the formulaic procedural qualities of a broadcast network drama with the narrative and moral complexities of what you can find on cable. "Madam Secretary" — which stars Leoni as Elizabeth Faulkner McCord, a former CIA analyst and college professor appointed to be Secretary of State after her predecessor dies in a plane crash — doesn't lack for talent on either side of the camera. The show was created by Barbara Hall, the »
- Alan Sepinwall
Madam Secretary CBS Premieres: Sept. 21 Airs: Sundays at 8pm Who’s In It? Téa Leoni, Tim Daly, Bebe Neuwirth The Naked Truth’s Leoni returns to series television after a 16-year absence, playing Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst turned college professor (and a married mom) who unexpectedly rises to the role of U.S. secretary of state, in this drama co-executive produced by Morgan Freeman and Judging Amy’s Barbara Hall. “I’ve always really enjoyed a fish out of water — a lively fish out of water — and by about page 2 of the script, I knew that’s what this was going … Continue reading →
- Lori Acken
The broadcast networks have more than two dozen shows debuting this fall, including a new Shondaland drama, and a trip to Gotham, a third NCIS and a Flash-y Arrow offshoot. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.
Next up on our list….
Photos Fall TV Preview: Your Guide to What’s New!
The Show | CBS’ Madam Secretary (Sundays at 8/7c, premiering Sept. 21)
The Competition | NBC’s Sunday Night Football, ABC’s Once Upon a Time and Fox’s The Simpsons/Brooklyn Nine-Nine
It may seem strange that Matthew Weiner's new movie is a comedy, but let's not forget that before "Mad Men" and even "The Sopranos," the king of AMC worked as a writer on "The Naked Truth" and "Becker." Even Betty Draper would have a visibly emotional response to that revelation. But I think you'd be hard-pressed to find traces of any of those shows in the new trailer for "Are You Here," the Weiner-written family-oriented comedy that premiered at Tiff last year to mixed reviews. Costarring Zach Galifiankis, Owen Wilson, and Amy Poehler, the comedy has apparently gone under some renovation since its festival debut. Wilson plays a womanizing weatherman who comforts his best friend (Galifiankis) after his father dies; Poehler plays Galifianakis' weary sister. "Are You Here," which used to be called "You Are Here," is in theaters and on demand August 22. Here's hoping Poehler gets as much »
- Louis VIrtel
Welcome back to TV, Téa Leoni! The Naked Truth star is headlining CBS' new drama Madam Secretary where she plays the newly appointed secretary of state. In the drama, Leoni plays Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst-turned-college professor who gets an offer from the president that she can't refuse. "There was something—I adored her. I adored her by page two, there's no sarcasm to her. Sarcasm is too slow," Leoni told E! News' Kristin Dos Santos about her character. "I want to wake up and be her every day." The show, which hails from Barbara Hall of Judging Amy fame and Morgan Freeman, follows the character as she battles office politics, international »
When I first saw the trailer for CBS' new fall show "Madam Secretary," my first thought was, hey, Tea Leoni! I love Tea Leoni! My second thought was, man, have not been seeing much of her in recent years. Sure, she was just in "Tower Heist" in 2011, but no one saw that, and it's been a whole lotta years since "Flirting with Disaster." There have been many projects in between, but not enough of them have been ideal showcases for Leoni's talent, plus movies like "Jurassic Park III" and "Deep Impact" weren't really about the actors, and plenty of other stars dominated hits like "A League of Their Own." Here are five reasons why I'm really hoping this is the hit Leoni has long deserved. 1) She's smart by any standard Yes, she dropped out of Sarah Lawrence, but let's remember that she got into Sarah Lawrence. Watching her on screen in any role, »
- Liane Bonin Starr
Rtl CBS Asia Entertainment Network and Sony Pictures Television have announced a deal that will bring “House of Cards” to Southeast Asia on May 1 exclusively on the new Rtl CBS Asia Entertainment channel.
Rtl CBS Asia Entertainment Network is a joint-venture formed in August 2013 between German powerhouse Rtl Group and CBS Studios International. Its two new channels, Rtl CBS Entertainment HD and Rtl CBS Extreme HD, will be distributed in more than 20 Asian markets.
Rtl CBS Entertainment HD is currently available in Malaysia on HyppTV, in the Philippines on SKYcable and Cablelink; in Singapore on mio TV and in Thailand on TrueVisions. Other shows they air include “Under the Dome,” “Beauty and the Beast,” The X Factor USA,” and “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Danish Social Experiment Format ‘Married At First Sight’ Goes To Russia
Danish hit format “Married at First Sight” will be adapted for Russia by top Russian »
- Nick Vivarelli
Tim Daly has been cast in the upcoming CBS series “Madam Secretary,” from “Joan of Arcadia” creator Barbara Hall. Daly will play Henry, the wife of Leoni’s Secretary of State Elizabeth McGill and the father of their two children. Henry is described as a professor who’s something of a tweedy academic and an expert on and college professor of medieval religious history. He can talk about St. Thomas Aquinas for hours without repeating himself. The former “Private Practice” actor joins a cast that includes “The Naked Truth” actress Tea Leoni. Also read: Janet McTeer Cast in Vince Gilligan, »
- Tim Kenneally
News and notes from all over TV:
- Cinemax's crime drama "Banshee" has been renewed for a third season, the network announced Thursday (Jan. 30). The show is currently airing Season 2 Friday nights at 10 p.m. Et/Pt, as the net grows ever tighter around the man pretending to be Banshee Sheriff Lucas Hood (Antony Starr). Season 3 is scheduled for a 2015 release.
- Jimmy Fallon has lined up his final guests for his tenure on "Late Night." Following three "Best Of" compilations from Feb. 3-5, on Feb. 6 Fallon will welcome Colin Farrell, Chris Pratt and 2 Chainz performing with The Roots. Fallon's last "Late Night" on Feb. 7 will feature Andy Samberg and The Muppets.
- The finale of "American Horror Story: Coven" earned the best Live+Sameday ratings for a finale in the franchise's history, earning 4.2 million total viewers, which is up 85 percent over last year's "Asylum" finale. It also ranked third »
Earlier this week, we reported that Homeland writer Barbara Hall was developing a political drama for CBS called Madam Secretary that would center on an "maverick" Secretary of State. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Tea Leoni has been cast in the role. With her sporty, no-nonsense appearance and intelligent demeanor, Leoni is a great choice, even though the actress is primarily known as a comedy performer (Spanglish, TV's The Naked Truth). The character has now been given a name (Elizabeth Faulkner McGill) and a brief background sketch (teacher turned national politician). The premise of the show -- a woman balancing high-stakes issues at work and a complicated family back home -- makes it a worthy complement to The Good Wife, another show about an ordinary woman who becomes extraordinary.
- Inkoo Kang
Tea Leoni has found two new gigs at once — one as an an actress, and one as the U.S. Secretary of State. “The Naked Truth” actress Leoni has been cast to star in the drama “Madam Secretary,” which earlier this week received a pilot order from CBS. Also read: CBS Orders Dating Comedy Pilot ‘Save the Date’ The drama will revolve around the personal and professional life of a maverick female Secretary of State as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life. “Joan of Arcadia” creator Barbara Hall is writing and executive producing the project. »
- Tim Kenneally
This is a big casting coup right off the bat this pilot casting season. CBS has set Tea Leoni as the lead in drama pilot Madam Secretary, from Joan Of Arcadia creator Barbara Hall and Oscar winner Morgan Freeman. The drama, written by Hall, explores the personal and professional life of a maverick female Secretary of State (Leoni) as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life. CBS TV Studios is producing with Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment, with the company’s Freeman, Lori McCreary and Tracy Mercer executive producing alongside Hall. Leoni has stayed away from network television since 1998 when her NBC sitcom The Naked Truth ended its run. She has been constantly approached for pilots ever since, but her only TV gig in the past 15 years was the 2011 HBO pilot Spring/Fall. Last year, CBS also started pilot casting season in a big way, »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
Tea Leoni is headed back to TV as the star of a CBS drama pilot.
The Jurassic Park II and Tower Heist actress has landed the title role in the network’s Madam Secretary, playing the U.S. Secretary of State. The logline: “About the personal and professional life of a maverick female Secretary of State as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life..”
Leoni’s last series was the comedy The Naked Truth, which ran on ABC in 1995 and then jumped to NBC through 1998. Madam Secretary is from writer Barbara Hall (Judging Amy) with executive producers Morgan Freeman, »
- James Hibberd
15 items from 2014
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