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Greg Berlanti On ‘Political Animals’ Posthumous Award Nominations

By | Thursday December 13, 2012 @ 2:54pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Save for USA Network‘s decision last month not to extend Political Animals beyond its original run, it has been a great last few weeks for Greg Berlanti‘s political drama. He landed a WGA nomination for writing the pilot, star Sigourney Weaver got a SAG nomination, and today the show received two Golden Globe nominations — for best movie/miniseries and best actress in a movie/mini (Weaver).

Related: Golden Globes TV Analysis Read More »

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‘Political Animals’ Won’t Continue On USA

By | Friday November 2, 2012 @ 9:02am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It was introduced as a limited series and will stay that way. Greg Berlanti’s Political Animals won’t become a regular series for USA Network as originally envisioned. The mini was a modest performer, premiering to 3.8 million total viewers and averaging 3.2 million total viewers in Live+7 over its summer run. The ratings were not bad given that Political Animals aired with little support on Sunday — a night USA had not programmed for a while — but ultimately they weren’t strong enough to justify the show’s high cost. The political/family drama from Berlanti and Laurence Mark boasted a top-notch cast led by Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino, James Wolk and Ellen Burstyn.

“We are proud of Political Animals, our miniseries that attracted critical acclaim and impacted the cultural conversation this summer,” USA said in a statement. “It was a pleasure to work with Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark and a powerful cast led by Sigourney Weaver. We look forward to collaborating again with these immensely talented creatives.” Meanwhile, Berlanti is busy with breakout CW hit Arrow, midseason CBS drama Golden Boy and several projects he has in development for next season.

Related: USA’s ‘Fairly Legal’ Cancelled, ‘Burn Notice’ Nears 13-Episode Seventh-Season Renewal Read More »

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‘Political Animals’ Debuts To Modest 2.6M

By | Monday July 16, 2012 @ 3:18pm PDT

Political Animals RatingsThe six-miniseries Political Animals starring Sigourney Weaver as the former First Lady who divorces the president and becomes Secretary of State debuted with 2.6 million viewers Sunday night on USA Network. It’s a fairly soft start for Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark’s political drama, which USA is pushing out on alternate platforms (Hulu, iTunes and USANetwork.com, among others) so more can sample the story of how Weaver’s character navigates her new job, keeping her family together and taking on a DC journalist bent on taking her down. Sunday’s debut included 675,000 adults 18-49 and 834,000 adults 25-54.

Related:
AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad’ Season 5 Premiere Is Series’ Most Watched Episode
TV Teaser: USA’s ‘Political Animals’

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‘The Newsroom’ & ‘Political Animals’ Among Critics’ Choice TV Awards’ New Series Picks

By | Tuesday June 12, 2012 @ 11:32am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Along with TV programs from the past season, the Critics’ Choice Television Awards — an offshoot of the Critics’ Choice Awards for movies — recognizes new shows that premiere after June 1. This year’s five Most Exciting New Series honorees include three broadcast and two cable series: The Following (Fox/Warner Bros), The Mindy Project (Fox/Universal), Nashville (ABC/Lionsgate), The Newsroom (HBO) and Political Animals (USA/Warner Bros). The inaugural Critics’ Choice TV Awards last year honored eight shows in the category, half of them coming back and half gone after one season: Alcatraz, Apartment 23, Awake, Falling Skies, New Girl, Ringer, Smash and Terra Nova.

Related: Critics’ Choice TV Awards Noms: ‘Community’ At Top Of List

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Vanessa Redgrave To Play Lesbian Supreme Court Justice On USA’s ‘Political Animals’

By | Friday June 1, 2012 @ 2:37pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: USA Network’s upcoming political/family drama series Political Animals has tapped Vanessa Redgrave for a provocative guest stint. The Oscar-winning actress will play Diane Nash, a lesbian Supreme Court Justice, the first openly gay member of the Court who is friend and mentor to Elaine Barrish (Sigourney Weaver). Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark’s six-episode series centers on divorced former First Lady and newly appointed Secretary of State Elaine Barrish who throws herself into the job after recovering from the dissolution of her marriage to ex-President Bud Hammond (Ciaran Hinds) and losing the presidential nomination. The character, who is certain to draw comparisons to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, tries to keep her family together, while simultaneously dealing with crises of the State Department and a hungry DC journalist (Carla Gugino) bent on destroying her career. In addition to Weaver, Redgrave joins fellow Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn on Political Animals for a tour de force acting trio that has 15 Academy Award nominations among them. The series, from Warner Horizon, is slated to debut July 15 and air in the Sunday 10 PM slot. This marks Redgrave’s first series gig since her arc on Nip/Tuck.

Related: TV Teaser: USA’s ‘Political Animals’

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TV Teaser: USA’s ‘Political Animals’

By | Thursday May 17, 2012 @ 2:40pm PDT

USA Network showed during its upfront today a first look at its Sigourney Weaver-starring drama Political Animals. The six-episode series from Greg Berlanti, Laurence Mark and Warner Horizon is slated to debut July 15 and air in the Sunday 10 PM slot.

Related: ‘WWE Monday Raw’ Expands To Three Hours, USA Puts Talent Upfront At Upfront Event

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Dylan Baker Joins USA’s ‘Political Animals’

By | Monday May 7, 2012 @ 2:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Dylan Baker Political AnimalsDylan Baker (The Good Wife) has been added to the upcoming USA Network drama series Political Animals. He will play the recurring role of Vice President Fred Collier in the administration of President Paul Garcetti (Adrian Pasdar). A seemingly sweet man, Collier is a fierce combatant of Secretary of State Elaine Barrish Hammond (Sigourney Weaver) … with secrets that will ultimately be revealed.

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USA Series ‘Political Animals’ Sets July Premiere Date, Adds Adrian Pasdar To Cast

By | Wednesday May 2, 2012 @ 11:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark’s USA series Political Animals has rounded out its cast with the addition of Adrian Pasdar as a recurring to appear in every episode. The six-episode series, from Warner Horizon, is slated to debut on July 15 and air in the Sunday 10 PM slot. Political Animals stars Sigourney Weaver as Elaine, a former First Lady and presidential candidate who tries to keep her family together while simultaneously dealing with crises of the State Department and a hungry DC journalist (Carla Gugino) who is bent on destroying her. Pasdar will play President Paul Garcetti, who defeated Elaine in the presidential primary and then appointed her as his Secretary of State. Read More »

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Ellen Burstyn Joins USA’s ‘Political Animals’

By | Friday April 13, 2012 @ 2:53pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Ellen Burstyn Political AnimalsEllen Burstyn is the latest addition to the cast of Political Animals, USA Network’s 6-episode drama series from Greg Berlanti, Laurence Mark and Warner Horizon, which premieres this summer. Written by Berlanti, the Washington DC-based series is a fictional look at an ex-first family and centers on Elaine Barrish (Sigourney Weaver), the divorced former First Lady and newly appointed Secretary of State who throws herself into the job after recovering from the dissolution of her marriage to Bud Hammond (Ciaran Hinds) and losing the presidential nomination. She attempts to keep her family together, while simultaneously dealing with crises of the State Department and a hungry DC journalist (Carla Gugino) bent on destroying her career. Burstyn will play Elaine’s mother Margaret Barrish, a tough Chicago broad and one-time Vegas showgirl whose biting tongue and sharp wit haven’t softened despite her daughter’s position and she’s the first one to whip open a bottle of booze to help her through a political evening. Also previously cast in the series are James Wolk, Sebastian Stan and Brittany Ishibashi.

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Sebastian Stan Cast In ‘Political Animals’

By | Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 10:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Sebastian Stan (Captain America, Gossip Girl) is set to co-star in Political Animals, USA Network’s 6-episode drama series from Greg Berlanti, Laurence Mark and Warner Horizon, which premieres this summer. Written by Berlanti, the Washington DC-based series is a fictional look at a former first family that exposes a dynasty weakened by political ambition, lust and greed. It centers on Elaine Barrish (Sigourney Weaver), the divorced former First Lady and newly appointed Secretary of State who throws herself into the job after recovering from the dissolution of her marriage and losing the presidential nomination. She attempts to keep her family together, while simultaneously dealing with crises of the State Department and a hungry DC journalist (Carla Gugino) bent on destroying her career. Romanian-born Stan, repped by WME and Brookside Artist Management, will play Barrish’s son Thomas “T.J.” Hammond, a lost soul who struggles with addiction and the polar opposite of his brother, Douglas (James Wolk), who serves as their mother’s chief of staff.

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Sigourney Weaver To Star In Greg Berlanti’s USA Network Series ‘Political Animals’

By | Tuesday March 6, 2012 @ 4:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Sigourney Weaver Political AnimalsIn her primetime TV series debut, Sigourney Weaver is set to star in Political Animals, USA Network’s 6-episode drama series from Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark, which premieres this summer. Written by Berlanti, the Washington DC-based series is a fictional look at a former first family that exposes a dynasty weakened by political ambition, lust and greed. It centers on Elaine Barrish (Weaver), the divorced former First Lady and newly appointed Secretary of State who throws herself into the job after recovering from the dissolution of her marriage and losing the presidential nomination. Barrish relies heavily on her son Doug (James Wolk), an ambitious politico who serves as her chief of staff, but is tormented by his twin brother’s struggles with addiction.  With a philandering ex-husband who is still as much in love with her as the office he once held, she attempts to keep her family together, while simultaneously dealing with crises of the State Department and a hungry DC journalist bent on destroying her career. In addition to Wolk, Weaver joins previously cast Brittany Ishibashi as Doug’s fiancée. While launching with a short six-episode order, the Warner Horizon-produced Political Animals is envisioned as a regular series that USA brass hope will run for a number of years. Political Animals reunites Weaver and Berlanti. Avatar star’s only previous TV series appearance was in an episode of Berlanti’s ABC drama Eli Stone, which he co-created … Read More »

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Jimmy Wolk To Co-Star In Greg Berlanti’s USA Network Series ‘Political Animals’

By | Friday February 10, 2012 @ 8:14pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Jimmy Wolk is the first actor cast in Political Animals, USA Network’s 6-episode drama series from Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark, which premieres this summer. Written by Berlanti, his first solo spec script since Everwood, the Washington DC-based series explores a fictional former first family that is on the verge of falling apart. The show, produced by Warner Horizon, centers on Elaine Barrish, a divorced former First Lady and current Secretary of State who struggles to keep her family together while dealing with the crises of the State Department. Wolk will play one of her sons, Doug, who has the makings of a formidable future politician and serves as his mom’s chief of staff. This marks the second DC series project for Wolk – he starred in the ABC pilot Georgetown last year, which was produced by Warner Horizon’s sibling Warner Bros. TV. The former Lone Star leading man, who also was pursued for broadcast pilots this season, recently did arcs on Shameless and Happy Endings. The actor, repped by WME, Greenlight Management and attorney Amy Nickin, co-stars in Focus Features’ For A Good Time, Call…, which premiered at Sundance.

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USA Orders Ex-First Family Drama Series From Greg Berlanti And Laurence Mark

By | Monday January 30, 2012 @ 9:14am PST
Nellie Andreeva

In USA Network’s biggest production commitment to date, the top-rated basic cable network has given a straight-to-series six-episode order to Political Animals, a drama from Greg Berlanti and feature producer Laurence Mark. In his first cable project, Berlanti wrote Political Animals on spec — his first solo spec script since Everwood – in a midst of a busy first development season for his Berlanti Prods at Warner Bros TV, which has resulted in 4 broadcast pilot orders so far. The Washington DC-based series, from Warner Horizon, explores a fictional former first family that is on the verge of falling apart. It centers on Elaine Barrish, a divorced former First Lady and current Secretary of State who struggles to keep her family together while dealing with the crises of the State Department. She finds an unlikely ally in Susan Berg, a famous DC journalist who has spent her career tearing Elaine down. USA will air Political Animals at the height of the presidential campaign this summer. ”The timing couldn’t be more perfect,” USA co-president Chris McCumber said. “The soap opera of politics will be at top of mind for everyone.”

Berlanti’s series credits also include the WB drama Jack & Bobby, about two brothers in high school, one of whom becomes U.S. president in 2041, and the long-running ABC family drama Brothers & Sisters, which he ran for the first several seasons. “I’m a political junkie and I obviously love smart, rich family dramas — and a drama about a former First Family seemed to me to be the ultimate political family show,” Berlanti said. “Also the fact the family doesn’t currently reside in the White House gave us a lot of room for fun with the characters.” Like on Jack & Bobby, where the names and the story of the title characters evoked John and Robert Kennedy, “many of the characters in (Political Animals) are an amalgamation of former Presidents and their clans — and other famous political figures as well in the tradition of something like Primary Colors, I guess,” Berlanti said. He wouldn’t elaborate on its inspirations, but people who have read the script say that there are noticeable hints of both the Clintons and the second Bush presidential couple in the fictional first family on the show. Read More »

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