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, tapping Anna Faris for the Chuck Lorre comedy pilot Mom and Oscar winner Halle Berry for the summer sci-fi series Extant.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.