Madam Secretary is an American political drama television series created by Barbara Hall and executive produced by Lori McCreary & Morgan Freeman that stars Téa Leoni.

The series premiered on September 21, 2014 and as of 2017, it has aired for three seasons and 68 episodes.

On October 27, 2014, CBS placed a full season order consisting of 22 episodes for the first season.

On March 25, 2016, "Madam Secretary" was renewed for a third season which is set to premiere on October 2, 2016.


"Madam Secretary" is about the life of Dr. Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni), a 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.

Dr. 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 acknowledge there is a box.

The show also focuses on the personal lives of the characters.

The series mostly tells about the fight of Dr. McCord in balancing her work and family. The second season dealt with the advance of social media and the effects of it on her family and work.


  • Téa Leoni as Dr. Elizabeth "Bess" Adams McCord, the United States Secretary of State. She spent twenty years as a CIA analyst before becoming a professor of political science at the University of Virginia. She was selected by her old boss, Conrad Dalton, who is now the President of the United States, to replace Secretary of State Vincent Marsh, who died in a plane crash.
  • Tim Daly as Dr. Henry McCord, Elizabeth's husband of 25 years. His father is Patrick McCord (Tom Skerritt), and his mother died three years prior to the series. He has a large family in Pittsburgh, including his sister Maureen (Kate Burton), and numerous nieces and nephews. He attended the University of Virginia as a 17-year-old scholarship student, where he first met his future wife, and was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps via the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. He spent five years on active duty, during which time he served as a F/A-18 Hornet aviator during Operation Desert Storm, and retired with the rank of Captain. He is a theology professor with eight published books under his belt; after his wife was appointed Secretary of State, Henry transferred from the University of Virginia to Georgetown University and was recently reactivated operative for the National Security Agency. In "Spartan Figures", Henry is headhunted by the National War College and is hired as a professor of military ethics, with the understanding that he would also consult for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
  • Bebe Neuwirth as Nadine Tolliver, Elizabeth's Chief of Staff who had a six-year affair with the deceased Secretary of State, Vincent Marsh, beginning when he was a senator. Originally extremely resentful of the new Secretary of State, Nadine and Elizabeth have since cultivated a strong working relationship. In Season 1, Nadine slowly began to date again, romancing the Administrator of NASA, Glenn.
  • Željko Ivanek as Russell Jackson, White House Chief of Staff He and the newly appointed Secretary McCord frequently clash due to her not being a natural politician.
  • Erich Bergen as Blake Moran, Elizabeth's personal assistant, and the only member of her staff that she hired rather than inherited.
  • Patina Miller as Daisy Grant, Elizabeth's press coordinator
  • Geoffrey Arend as Matt Mahoney, Elizabeth's speechwriter
  • Wallis Currie-Wood as Stephanie "Stevie" McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's older daughter.
  • Kathrine Herzer as Alison McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's younger daughter.
  • Evan Roe as Jason McCord, Elizabeth and Henry's 13-year-old son, a self-proclaimed anarchist.
  • Keith Carradine as President Conrad Dalton (recurring season 1, main cast season 2). Before going into politics, Conrad was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency during Elizabeth's time at the CIA. In "Unity Node", he reveals that he served in the United States Army as a 2nd lieutenant during the Vietnam War.

Recurring CharactersEdit

  • Sebastian Arcelus as Jay Whitman, Elizabeth's policy advisor (Season 1 – present).
  • Johanna Day as National Security Advisor Admiral Ellen Hill. She was the first female Chairwoman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff prior to being appointed National Security Advisor (Season 1 – present).
  • Francis Jue as Chinese Foreign Minister Chen, Elizabeth's Chinese counterpart (Season 1 – present).
  • Mike Pniewski as United States Secretary of Defense Gordon Becker (Season 1 – present).
  • Kevin Rahm as Michael "Mike B." Barnow, a political official who is said to drift between the United States Cabinet departments. It is mentioned that he's a Rhodes Scholar who turned his brilliant legal career into a promising political career that was cut short by a scandalous divorce six years prior to his first appearance before settling into his current job. He is often seen assisting Secretary McCord (Season 1 – present).
  • Jason Ralph as Harrison Dalton, son of President Dalton and long time friend of Stevie McCord. In season 1, it is revealed that Harrison has a drug addiction and is color blind (Season 1 – present).
  • Cotter Smith as National Security Advisor Darren Hahn (Seasons 1–2).
  • Patrick Breen as CIA Director Andrew Munsey, a protégé of President Dalton whilst he was in the CIA (Season 1).
  • Nilaja Sun as Juliet Humphrey, a former CIA analyst, friend and colleague of Elizabeth and Isabelle (Season 1).
  • Usman Ally as Iran's Foreign Minister Zahed Javani, Elizabeth's Iranian counterpart (Season 1).
  • Dion Graham as Bureau of Diplomatic Security Head Agent Fred Cole, who served as Elizabeth's principal bodyguard (Season 1).
  • Josh Hamilton as Arthur Gilroy, Stevie's 39-year-old microloan employer and ex-boyfriend (Season 1).
  • Anna Deavere Smith as United States Attorney General Mary Campbell (Season 1).
  • Marin Hinkle as Isabelle Barnes, a CIA analyst and Elizabeth's close friend, who assists the McCords with the investigation of the death of Secretary of State Vincent Marsh (Season 1).
  • Yorgo Constantine as Russian Foreign Minister Anton Gorev, a friend of both Secretary and Dr. McCord (Season 2)
  • Julian Acosta as National Security Advisor Craig Sterling, a former US Department of Defense official and rival of Elizabeth's (Season 2).
  • Alex Fernandez as Vice President of the United States Mark Delgado (Season 2).
  • Angela Gots as President of Russia Maria Ostrova, the widow of the late Russian President Pavel Ostrov (Season 2).
  • Leslie Hendrix as United States Attorney General Louise Cronenberg (Season 2).
  • Jill Hennessy as Jane Fellows, Henry's DIA superior (Season 2).
  • Kobi Libii as Cyber-security Coordinator Oliver Shaw. Shaw looked into the attack against Air Force One and is the love interest of Daisy Grant (Season 2).
  • Chris Petrovski as Captain Dmitri Petrov, a 24-year-old Russian Army officer that studied at the National War College. He was recruited by Professor Henry McCord (on behalf of the DIA) to become an American spy in exchange for getting his sick sister medical care in Stockholm, Sweden (Season 2).

Guest StarsEdit

  • Louis Gossett, Jr. appears as Father Laurent Vasseur, an old friend of Henry's (season 1, episode 6).
  • 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 Supreme Court (season 2, 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 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 2014–15 No. 10 14.17
2 23 October 4, 2015 May 8, 2016 2015–16 No. 14 12.39
3 23 Sunday 9:00 pm October 2, 2016 May 21, 2017 2016–17 No. 18 10.92
4 Sunday 9:00 pm October 8, 2017 2017–18


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

External links Edit

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