Madam Secretary (TV series)

US television series starring Téa Leoni
Madam Secretary
Madam Secretary (CBS) Logo.png
Genre Political drama
Created by Barbara Hall
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 3
No. of episodes 62 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Running time 42–46 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 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.[1]

On March 25, 2016, Madam Secretary was renewed for a third season, which premiered on October 2, 2016.[2][3]

On March 23, 2017, CBS renewed the series for a fourth season.[4]



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.[5][6][7]

Cast and charactersEdit

Main castEdit

Actor Character Season
1 2 3
Téa Leoni Dr. Elizabeth "Bess" Adams McCord Main
Tim Daly Dr. Henry McCord Main
Bebe Neuwirth Nadine Tolliver Main
Željko Ivanek Russell Jackson Main
Erich Bergen Blake Moran Main
Patina Miller Daisy Grant Main
Geoffrey Arend Matt Mahoney Main
Wallis Currie-Wood Stephanie "Stevie" McCord Main
Kathrine Herzer Alison McCord Main
Evan Roe Jason McCord Main
Keith Carradine Conrad Dalton Recurring Main
Sebastian Arcelus Jay Whitman Recurring Main

Main charactersEdit


Guest starsEdit

  • 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 Philippines, Datu Andrada (Season 3, Episode 15).

Dalton Cabinet & principal advisorsEdit

The Dalton Cabinet
Office Name Term
President Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine) 2013–
Vice President Mark Delgado (Alex Fernandez) 2013–2017
Teresa Hurst (Jan Maxwell) 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
Louise Cronenberg (Leslie Hendrix) 2015–2017
Nolan (John Bolton) 2017–
Chief of Staff Russell Jackson (Željko Ivanek) 2013–
National Security Advisor Darren Kahn (Cotter Smith) 2013–2015
Craig Sterling (Julian Acosta) 2015–2015
Ellen Hill (Johanna Day) 2016–
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
Sean Williams (Larry Pine) 2015–2015
Dennis Ellerman (John Doman) 2015–2017
Hugh Haymond (Michael Gaston) 2017–
Director of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Neil Hendricks (Wayne Duvall) 2013–2016
Keith Doherty (Michael Boatman) 2016–

Other officialsEdit

Office Name Term
Chief Justice of the United States Frawley (Morgan Freeman) 2013–
Deputy Secretary of State Steven Cushing (William Allen Young) 2013–2017
Suasan Thompson (Tonya Pinkins) 2017–
Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board Humphrey Nelson (Alfredo Narciso) 2013–


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 22 September 21, 2014 (2014-09-21) May 3, 2015 (2015-05-03)
2 23 October 4, 2015 (2015-10-04) May 8, 2016 (2016-05-08)
3 23[9] October 2, 2016 (2016-10-02) TBA


In Canada, the series airs on Global at the same time as the original broadcast.[10] In Finland, it premiered 1. January, 2014 on MTV3.[11] The series has been popular in Finland: 11% of Finnish people watched the first episode.[12] In Australia, it premiered on October 2, 2014 on Network Ten.[13] 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.[14] The series launched in the United Kingdom on 23 April 2015.[15] It is broadcast on Sony Channel Asia.



Season Episodes Timeslot (ET) Original airing Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Season premiere Season finale TV season
1 22 Sunday 8:00 pm September 21, 2014 May 3, 2015 2014–2015 No. 10 14.17[16]
2 23 October 4, 2015 May 8, 2016 2015–2016 No. 14 12.39[17]
3 Sunday 9:00 pm October 2, 2016[3] 2016–2017

Critical receptionEdit

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".[18] 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."[19]


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.[20]

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. [21] The Philippine Embassy in Washington even published a statement protesting the negative depiction on its Facebook page.[22]


Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2014 TV Guide Award [23] Favorite New Show Madam Secretary Nominated
2015 American Cinema Editors Awards 2015[24] Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television Elena Maganini and Michael D. Ornstein Nominated
41st People's Choice Awards[25] Favorite Actress in a New TV Series Téa Leoni Nominated
Favorite New TV Drama Madam Secretary Nominated
Publicists Guild of America[26] The Maxwell Weinberg Publicists Showmanship Television Award CBS Television Studio/Madam Secretary Nominated
2016 CBS MVP Awards[27] Best Motivational Speech Téa Leoni Nominated


  1. ^ "Page not found – TV By The Numbers by". 
  2. ^ Ausiello, Michael (May 11, 2015). "CBS Renews Person of Interest, NCIS, Five-0, Good Wife and 11 More Shows". TVLine. Retrieved May 11, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (June 21, 2016). "CBS Sets Fall 2016 Premiere Dates, Slates JonBenet Ramsey Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 17, 2014). "'Smash's' Katharine McPhee to Star in CBS Genius Drama (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "Shows A-Z - Madam Secretary on cbs". The Futon Critic. Retrieved December 29, 2016. 
  10. ^ Wilford, Denette (June 4, 2014). "Global TV Lineup Fall 2014-15: Shaw Media Making Bold Moves". The HuffingtonPost. Retrieved November 19, 2014. 
  11. ^ "MTV3 - Rouva Ministeri" [Mrs. Minister]. (in Finnish). Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  12. ^ "Finnpanel - TV-mittaritutkimus" [Results From The TV Audience Measurement]. (in Finnish). Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  13. ^ Knox, David (September 28, 2014). "Madam Secretary". TV Tonight. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Sky Living Sets UK Premiere Date Madam Secretary". TVWise. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  16. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (May 22, 2015). "Full 2014-15 Series Rankings". Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Full 2015–16 TV Season Series Rankings". May 26, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Madam Secretary : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Madam Secretary: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  20. ^ "'Madam Secretary' a campaign ad for Hillary Clinton 2016?". FoxNews.Com. 22 September 2014. 
  21. ^ "People are furious that 'Madam Secretary' will feature a lecherous Filipino president". Mashable. 7 March 2017. 
  22. ^ "Embassy of the Philippines, Washington Facebook page". 7 March 2017. 
  23. ^ "TV Guide Awards (2014)". Retrieved 2016-01-31. 
  24. ^ Adam Chitwood (January 2, 2015). "Nightcrawler, Gone Girl, and Boyhood Land ACE Editing Awards Nominations". Collider. Retrieved January 18, 2015. 
  25. ^ "41st People's Choice Awards nominees". People's Choice Awards. Retrieved November 12, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Publicists Guild of America (2015)". Retrieved 2016-01-31. 
  27. ^ "Super Bowl 2016 –". CBS. Retrieved 2016-01-31. 

External linksEdit