Fall TV preview: Will Morgan Freeman-produced ‘Madam Secretary’ succeed?

Madam Secretary -Welcome to the start of our CarterMatt Fall TV Preview series! We’re going to spend time over the next few months getting you acquainted with the new series coming on the major networks this fall, and this includes sharing trailers, early reviews, and other good stuff to help you figure out whether or not you should check this out live or set your DVR.

We’re going to begin this week with the CBS lineup, and with a Tea Leoni drama in “Madam Secretary” that has a ceiling as high as “The West Wing,” but a basement as low as “1600 Penn.” This could be either very good, very forgettable, or an utter disaster.

Logline – “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.”

Cast – Tea Leoni, Tim Daly, Bebe Neuwirth, Erich Bergen, Geoffrey Arend, Patina Miller, Evan Roe, and Katherine Herzer.

Producers – Barbara Hall (writer / executive producer), Morgan Freeman (EP), Lori McCreary (EP), Tracy Mercer (EP), David Semel (director).

Timeslot – Sundays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. It is taking the spot of “The Amazing Race” as CBS is clearly looking to pair to intelligent, adult dramas together in this and “The Good Wife.” Unfortunately, this is a very hard spot to shine thanks to NFL overruns constantly messing up the schedule. For a new series, it’s hard to be that patient to watch it.

Our take – Leoni is a fine leading lady, and it’s clear in watching this “first look” below that CBS really wants to make this into the even-more-political version of “The Good Wife.” Shows set around Washington are hot right now, and the risk this series runs into is possible overkill. While it may be a strong series, our hopes for its long-term success are not high. It’s airing after football, and we cannot see many of the NFL demographic sticking around for it. Having Freeman as a producer is nice for prestige, but unless he appears, we don’t feel it matters much.

Stay tuned, since we’ll have more of these editions of our Fall TV Preview series soon! Also, be sure to sign up to get further TV updates via our CarterMatt Newsletter.

Photo: CBS

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