|Created by||Barbara Hall|
|Opening theme||Theme to Madam Secretary|
|Ending theme||Theme to Madam Secretary|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||120 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||42–46 minutes|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||September 21, 2014 –|
December 8, 2019
Madam Secretary (subtitled Madam President for its sixth and final season) is an American political drama television series created by Barbara Hall with Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary as executive producers. It stars Téa Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst and political science professor who becomes the United States Secretary of State. It ran on CBS from September 21, 2014 to December 8, 2019, for a total of 120 episodes aired. The series was renewed for a final 10-episode sixth season in May 2019, which premiered October 6, 2019.
The first five seasons of Madam Secretary explore Elizabeth McCord's life as the determined United States Secretary of State. She drives international diplomacy, battles office politics, and circumvents protocol if needed as she negotiates worldwide issues. The show also focuses on the characters' personal lives. At the end of the fifth season, McCord announces that she will run for president. As the sixth season begins, the audience learns that she has won the election, and the remainder of the series follows her as America's first female president.
Main article: List of Madam Secretary characters
|The Dalton Cabinet|
|President||Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine)||2013–2021|
|Vice President||Mark Delgado (Alex Fernandez)||2013–2017|
|Teresa Hurst (Jan Maxwell/Jayne Atkinson)||2017–2021|
|Secretary of State||Vincent Marsh (Brian Stokes Mitchell)||2013–2014|
|Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni)||2014–2019|
|Susan Thompson (Tonya Pinkins)||2019–2021|
|Secretary of the Treasury||Max Quinn (Michael Cumpsty)||2013–2014|
|Secretary of Defense||Gordon Becker (Mike Pniewski)||2013–2021|
|Attorney General||Mary Campbell (Anna Deavere Smith)||2013–2015|
|Louise Cronenberg (Leslie Hendrix)||2015–2016|
|Unknown (shown in "French Revolution")||2016–2017|
|Hank Nolan (John Bolton)||2017–2021|
|Director of National Intelligence||Ephraim Ware (Clifton Davis)||2013–2021|
|Director of the|
Central Intelligence Agency
|Andrew Munsey (Patrick Breen)||2013–2015|
|Sean Williams (Larry Pine)||2015–2015|
|Dennis Ellerman (John Doman)||2015–2016|
|Hugh Haymond (Michael Gaston)||2016–2021|
|National Security Advisor||Darren Kahn (Cotter Smith)||2013–2015|
|Craig Sterling (Julian Acosta)||2015–2015|
|ADM (Ret.) Ellen Hill (Johanna Day)||2016–2021|
|Chief of Staff||Russell Jackson (Željko Ivanek)||2013–2021|
|The McCord Cabinet|
|President||Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni)||2021–present|
|Vice President||Carlos Morejon (José Zúñiga)||2021–present|
|Secretary of State||Susan Thompson (Tonya Pinkins)||2021–present|
|Director of National Intelligence||Ephraim Ware (Clifton Davis)||2021–present|
|National Security Advisor||ADM (Ret.) Ellen Hill (Johanna Day)||2021–present|
|Chief of Staff||Mike Barnow (Kevin Rahm)||2021–2021|
|Russell Jackson (Željko Ivanek)||2021–2021|
|Jay Whitman (Sebastian Arcelus)||2021–present|
|Chief Justice of the United States||Frawley (Morgan Freeman)||2013–present|
|Deputy Secretary of State||Steven Cushing (William Allen Young)||2013–present|
|Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs||Susan Thompson (Tonya Pinkins)||2014–2019|
|United States Ambassador to Yemen||Paul Wellington (Tim Guinee)||2013–present|
|United States Ambassador to Myanmar||Arlen Maxwell (David Rasche)||2013–2016|
|United States Ambassador to Algeria||Roy Curtis (Dakin Matthews)||2013–2016|
|Deputy Director of the FBI||Marguerite Sanchez (Roslyn Ruff)||2013–present|
|Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration||Glenn (John Pankow)||2013–present|
|Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board||Humphrey Nelson (Alfredo Narciso)||2013–present|
Main article: List of Madam Secretary episodes
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||22||September 21, 2014||May 3, 2015|
|2||23||October 4, 2015||May 8, 2016|
|3||23||October 2, 2016||May 21, 2017|
|4||22||October 8, 2017||May 20, 2018|
|5||20||October 7, 2018||April 21, 2019|
|6||10||October 6, 2019||December 8, 2019|
In August 2013, it was announced Madam Secretary was in development at CBS, co-written by Barbara Hall. Madam Secretary is about "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."
The pilot was directed by David Semel. On May 9, 2014, Madam Secretary received a series order at CBS. A preview trailer was released on May 14, 2014. Madam Secretary premiered on CBS on September 21, 2014, and on October 27, 2014, CBS picked up the series for a full season of 22 episodes. Madam Secretary was renewed for a sixth season on May 9, 2019. On May 15, 2019, it was announced the sixth season would be the series' final season and would comprise 10 episodes. It premiered on October 6, 2019. Filming for the series was completed on November 13, 2019.
In January 2014, the pilot was cast with Téa Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, Tim Daly as Henry McCord, Geoffrey Arend as Matt Mahoney, Patina Miller as press coordinator Daisy Grant, Bebe Neuwirth as Elizabeth's chief of staff Nadine Tolliver, Erich Bergen as Blake Moran, Evan Roe as Elizabeth's son, Jason McCord, Katherine Herzer as Elizabeth and Henry's daughter Alison McCord, Željko Ivanek as Russell Jackson, and Wallis Currie-Wood as Elizabeth and Henry's older daughter Stephanie "Stevie" McCord.
Bebe Neuwirth left the series after the third episode of the fourth season. Sara Ramirez joined the cast as Kat Sandoval, replacing Bebe Neuwirth as a series regular. Hall said, "She brings a fresh perspective and a fun, energetic quality to the State Department staff."
On August 6, 2019, it was revealed that Ramirez would not return as a regular for the sixth and final season. Nearly a month later on September 3, it was revealed that original regulars Arend, Roe, and Herzer, and later additions Keith Carradine and Sebastian Arcelus would also be dropped from the main cast; however, Carradine was expected to make at least one guest appearance, and the others would likely appear according to their work schedules. Additionally, Kevin Rahm, who had recurred as McCord's advisor Michael "Mike B." Barnow since the second half of the first season, would be upgraded to regular status.
As of May 15, 2020, all six seasons of Madam Secretary are available on Netflix (US). In Finland, Madam Secretary premiered on MTV3 on January 1, 2015. The series has been popular in Finland: 9% of Finnish people watched the first episode.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||First aired||Last aired||TV season||Viewership
|1||Sunday 8:00 p.m.||22||September 21, 2014||14.75||May 3, 2015||9.67||2014–15||10||14.16|
|2||23||October 4, 2015||11.79||May 8, 2016||9.99||2015–16||14||12.39|
|3||Sunday 9:00 p.m.||23||October 2, 2016||9.20||May 21, 2017||7.44||2016–17||18||10.92|
|4||Sunday 10:00 p.m.||22||October 8, 2017||7.21||May 20, 2018||6.22||2017–18||37||8.84|
|5||20||October 7, 2018||6.13||April 21, 2019||4.79||2018–19||42||8.12|
|6||10||October 6, 2019||4.77||December 8, 2019||4.53||2019–20||52||6.74|
Madam Secretary has been met with generally positive reviews from TV critics. On Metacritic, the show has a score of 66 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". On Rotten Tomatoes, the show holds a rating of 67% based on reviews from 52 critics. The site's consensus for the first season reads, "Bolstered by Tea Leoni's strong central performance, Madam Secretary is a solid but unspectacular political drama."
Three women have served as Secretary of State to date: Madeleine Albright from 1997 to 2001 under Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice from 2005 to 2009 under George W. Bush, and Hillary Clinton from 2009 to 2013 under Barack Obama. Shortly after the series' debut, Fox News asked if the show served as a campaign ad supporting Hillary Clinton, but quoted the Los Angeles Times saying the lead character was "no Hillary knock-off" and a New York publicist calling the casting of a woman "simple business and smart on CBS' behalf." Conservative activist organization Culture and Media Institute said "The connections in the show between Elizabeth and Hillary are clear, from the blond hair to the pantsuits."
When the trailer of the fifteenth episode of the third season titled "Break in Diplomacy" was released showing McCord responding to unwanted sexual advances by fictional Philippine president Datu Andrada by punching Andrada in the face, it became controversial in the Philippines. Viewers thought there were parallels between Andrada and real-life Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who was known for making inappropriate and sexist remarks. The Philippine Embassy in Washington published a statement protesting the negative depiction of the presidential character on its Facebook page.
The fourth-season premiere, "News Cycle", led to a protest from East Timor's Minister of State José Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He said, "It is a slander against a country that only shows ignorance and racism." The TV show used the border dispute between Australia and East Timor in the Timor Sea as background story. (The dispute is transferred in the TV show to the South China Sea, although neither Australia nor East Timor borders it.) East Timor is shown as a country controlled by a Mexican drug cartel and used for drug transfer. US Secretary of State McCord is asking China to take measures to prevent the leader of the drug cartel from making a narco-state out of East Timor.
|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|
|2015||Humanitas Prize||60 Minute Network or Syndicated Television||Madam Secretary||Nominated|
|2016||CBS MVP Awards||Best Motivational Speech||Téa Leoni||Nominated|
|2016||Humanitas Prize||60 Minute Network or Syndicated Television||Madam Secretary||Nominated|
Emmy-winning character actor Željko Ivanek (Damages) joined the cast of CBS' new drama series Madam Secretary as a regular after guest-starring in the pilot.