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TCA: CBS’ ‘Madam Secretary’ Sprang From Hillary Clinton And Benghazi, Exec Producer Says

TCA: CBS’ ‘Madam Secretary’ Sprang From Hillary Clinton And Benghazi, Exec Producer SaysCBS‘ new drama series Madam Secretary, in which Tea Leoni plays the Secretary of State, came about because of Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, exec producer Lori McCreary told TV critics today at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014.

McCreary said she and Morgan Freeman had lunch with CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler about producing a scripted series for the network, after which, McCreary says, they set about “trying to come up with a great character…And then, guess what happened — the Benghazi hearings,” McCreary said. They went back to Tassler with the idea of a series about what it’s like to be the female Secretary of State, “and how it translates overseas when rights for women are not what they are here,” she said. Tassler introduced them to Joan Of Arcadia creator Barbara Hall, who “took that kernel of an idea” and ran with it.
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Željko Ivanek Upped To Regular On New CBS Drama Series ‘Madam Secretary’

By | Wednesday May 21, 2014 @ 5:12pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

zeljko_ivanek_color_headshotEXCLUSIVE: 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. Written by Barbara Hall and exec produced by Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary, Madam Secretary, from CBS Studios, stars Téa Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, the shrewd, determined, newly appointed Secretary of State who drives international diplomacy, battles office politics and circumvents protocol as she negotiates global and domestic issues, both at the White House and at home. Ivanek, repped by SMS Talent and Leading Artists, plays the President’s intimidating and opinionated Chief of Staff Russell Jackson. He also has a potentially recurring role on new Syfy series 12 Monkeys.

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CBS Picks Up ‘NCIS’ Spinoff, ‘Scorpion’, Kevin Williamson Drama, ‘Madam Secretary’, ‘The Odd Couple’, ‘The McCarthys’ To Series

By | Friday May 9, 2014 @ 2:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

cbs-logo__120711164808__121116195436__130108233101__130716162250__130926192712__131121001522CBS has made the bulk of its new series orders for next season with pickups for a whopping four dramas, NCIS: New Orleans, Madam Secretary, Stalker (formerly untitled Kevin Williamson) and Scorpion. They join previously ordered straight to series Battle Creek. On the comedy side the picks went to Matthew Perry’s The Odd Couple reboot, to be run by Bob Daily, who has closed a new deal with CBS Studios, and multi-generational family comedy The McCarthys.

Related: 2014 CBS Pilots

csi_crime_scene_investigation_logo__140218204850-275x206Besides the large number of dramas (CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves had told investors the network would pick up two new hourlong series for next season), what’s remarkable about the list is the pilots that did not make it — most notably the planted CSI spinoff starring Patricia Arquette and the How I Met Your Mother spinoff How I Met Your Dad. I hear talks on the CSI spinoff, which would be a big moneymaker for CBS’ sibling CBS Studios, are ongoing and are expected to result in a pickup (UPDATECBS Picks Up ‘CSI: Cyber’ To Series). Things are more complicated with 20th Century Fox TV-produced How I Met Your Dad. Just as those false pickup rumors began circulating yesterday, we started to to hear that CBS may not go forward with the high-profile project. It is unclear yet if that is genuine disinterest in the show or a negotiating tactic to get a piece of it. CBS is known to drop bombs before, like last year’s pass on The Beverly Hills Cop pilot. And the network and HIMYD producer 20th TV had a rough negotiations for Friends With Better Lives last May. CBS owns or co-owns (with Sony TV) all newly picked up comedy series and all but one (Warner Bros. TV’s Stalker) drama. With Stalker, WBTV saw all seven of its drama pilots go to series. (Its eight one, which didn’t go, was a planted spinoff, Bloodlines, which aired as an episode of Supernatural.)

Related: Les Moonves: CBS Could Go Directly To Consumers If Court Sides With Aereo

 

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Nick Jandl, Cameron Scoggins Join CBS’ David Marshall Grant Drama Pilot; Katherine Herzer In ‘Madam Secretary’

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 4:50pm PDT

Nick Jandl (Green Lantern) and jandlcameronscoggins2Cameron Scoggins (The Happy Sad) have signed on to CBS’ untitled David Marshall Grant drama pilot, from CBS TV Studios and Timberman-Beverly. The soapy medical show, based on an Israeli format, revolves around quadruplets – three brothers and a sister – who grew up on a reality show. Jandl, repped by Greater Vision Artists, will play Jonathan, the oldest of the quadruplets who’s fresh out of his residency and new to Easton Hospital, an eminent institution headed by his mother (Jamie Lee Curtis). Scoggins, repped by Gersh and Perennial Entertainment, will play Michael, another one of the quadruplets who runs an inner-city clinic.
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Bebe Neuwirth & Erich Bergen To Co-Star In CBS Pilot ‘Madam Secretary’

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 6:15pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

bergenbebeBebe Neuwirth and Erich Bergen are set to co-star opposite Tia Leoni in CBS drama pilot Madam Secretary, from CBS Studios and Revelation Entertainment. Written by Barbara Hall and directed by Dave Semel, the project explores the personal and professional life of maverick female Secretary of State Elizabeth McGill (Leoni) as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life. Emmy and Tony winner Neuwirth, repped by ICM Partners, plays Elizabeth’s Chief Of Staff. Up-and-comer Bergen, who co-stars in Clint Eastwood’s roeJersey Boys, plays Elizabeth’s young, loyal assistant, and the only person on her staff she actually hired. Also cast in the pilot is Evan Roe as Adam, Elizabeth’s teenage son, a budding anarchist. Bergen is with DBA and Anonymous; Roe with House of Representatives and Trilogy Talent. Hall is exec producing the pilot with Semel and Revelation’s Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman and Tracey Mercer.

Related: 2014 CBS Pilots

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Patina Miller Joins CBS Drama Pilot ‘Madam Secretary’; Fox’s ‘Red Band Society’ Adds 2

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 4:57pm PST

patina4Patina Miller (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) has been cast in CBS drama pilot Madam Secretary, from CBS Studios and Revelation Entertainment. Written by Barbara Hall and directed by Dave Semel, the series explores the personal and professional life of maverick female Secretary of State Elizabeth McGill (Tea Leoni) as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life. Miller, repped by UTA and The Katz Co, will play Daisy, McGill’s press coordinator. Hall is exec producing with Semel and Revelation’s Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman and Tracey Mercer.

Related: 2014 CBS Pilots

soltilloCiara Bravo (Big Time Rush) and Nolan Sotillociara (Prom) have booked lead roles on Fox’s pilot Red Band Society, from Amblin TV and ABC Studios. It is a coming-of-age drama that explores with dark humor the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. Bravo, repped by The Savage Agency, Management 101 and attorney Bob Myman, will play Emma, a beautiful patient on the pediatric ward struggling with anorexia. CESD-repped Sotillo will play Jordi Palacios, a very smart and resourceful young man who refuses to take “No” for an answer. Bravo is repped by Authentic, Management 101 and Savage; Sotillo is with Cunningham Escott Slevin & Doherty.

Related: 2014 Fox Pilots

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Geoffrey Arend Joins CBS Drama Pilot ‘Madam Secretary’; Matt Lauria In ‘Navy St.’

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 5:42pm PST

arend1Body of Proof alum Geoffrey Arend has signed on as a series regular opposite Tea Leoni and Tim Daly in CBS’ drama pilot Madam Secretary, from creator/ep Barbara Hall, ep Morgan Freeman and CBS Studios. Written by Hall, the series 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. Arend, repped by UTA and TGE, will play Matt, a speechwriter for Secretary of State McGill (Leoni). Lori McCreary and Tracy Mercer also exec produce.

Related: 2014 CBS Pilots

Friday Night Lights alum Matt Lauria has been tappedlauria2 for a starring role opposite Frank Grillo in DirecTV’s gritty drama series Navy St., returning to the satcaster where FNL ended its run. From Byron Balasco and Endemol Studios, the dark family drama is set against the backdrop of Navy Street, a Venice, CA-based mixed martial arts (MMA) gym owned by Alvey Henderson (Grillo), a former fighter who never made it big due to a drug addiction but is now sober. Lauria will play Ryan Revis, a world class athlete and UFC light heavyweight champion who is returning to the gym that made him a star from time in prison. Lauria, repped by WME and Gotham/Principal, recently recurred on Parenthood.

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David Semel To Direct ‘Madam Secretary’; Jeff Reiner To Helm ‘Salvation’

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 1:31pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

david-semel-lgSought-after pilot director David Semel is spoken for this season, as he has been tapped to helm CBS’ drama pilot Madam Secretary, starring Tea Leoni. The project, from creator/exec producer Barbara Hall and exec producer Morgan Freeman, 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. WME-repped Semel has directed the pilots for such series as American Dreams, Heroes, No Ordinary Family, Person Of Interest and most recently TNT’s Legends and CBS’ Intelligence.

Related: Tea Leoni To Star In CBS Drama Pilot ‘Madam Secretary’

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Tea Leoni To Play U.S. Secretary Of State In CBS Drama Pilot ‘Madam Secretary’

By | Wednesday January 29, 2014 @ 3:16pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Tea Leoni Secretary Of State CBS PilotThis 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.

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CBS’ Female Secretary Of State Drama From Barbara Hall & Morgan Freeman Gets Pilot Order

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 5:45pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

freemanbarbarahallCBS has given a pilot green light to 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 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. While NBC, ABC and Fox are pretty much done with their drama pilot orders, CBS is just starting. This marks the network’s first drama pilot pickup. CBS also has straight-to-series drama Battle Creek.

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