There They Go Again: CBS Tries a 'Maverick' Female Secretary of State Drama

Back in 2005, ABC started the second Bush term by creating a drama called “Commander In Chief” starring Geena Davis as Mackenzie Allen, the first female president. USA Today reported actress Sara Rue summed “up the opinions of the mostly Democratic Hollywood crowd” when she declared: “We all thought of Hillary Clinton when we heard they were making this show. I hope it takes off!" It didn’t. It only lasted one season.

Nine years, later CBS has approved a pilot for “Madam Secretary,” starring Tea Leoni as a “maverick female Secretary of State” who “balances a complex family life.” There’s no word on whether “complex” means wildly adulterous husband. The Hollywood Reporter elaborated:

From Homeland's Barbara Hall, Madam Secretary centers on 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 will play Elizabeth Faulkner McGill, a teacher turned secretary of state who is described as striking in every way and full of passion for everything she does.

"Maverick" would seem to rule out Condi Rice, a woman Hollywood and other liberals saw as a Bush doormat. TV scribes see "Madam Secretary" as another version of the CBS hit "The Good Wife," in which the lead character was married to an....adulterous politician. That fits.

Madeleine Albright had a memoir by the name "Madam Secretary," but Tea Leoni looks more like a Hillaryesque figure. Hollywood is more likely to think of Mrs. Clinton as "striking in every way."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis