If you’re one of those people who wants to get away from “politics as usual,” you can turn to an unlikely show for an escape.
In “Madam Secretary,” Téa Leoni stars as Elizabeth McCord, a secretary of state who takes on global challenges while also handling difficulties at home. On the surface, it seems like the last show you’d watch to get away from politics, but “Madam Secretary,” now heading into its fourth season, has a track record of deliberately avoiding the drama of Democrats vs. Republicans. It even has its current president, Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine), in office as an independent.
Actor Tim Daly, who plays McCord’s husband Henry, told HuffPost, “We started out as a show where we were concerned about doing things that were unbelievable, that the audience was gonna go, ‘That could never happen,’ and now the news is filled with ‘that could never happen’ every single day. So we’ve become the show that people go to for some calm, some peace of mind.”
Executive producers Lori McCreary and Morgan Freeman echoed that sentiment while chatting with HuffPost. McCreary told us the show was meant to be an “aspirational version of what’s going on in politics” when it began three years ago.
“Now, we’re even more inspired to make an aspirational show,” she added.
Those looking forward to the new season can expect a lot more stories about the White House staff and their daily lives behind the scenes, said McCreary. However, if you’re looking for commentary on what’s going on in the news, such as the tragic events in Charlottesville, you’ll find that’s not really the focus.
“We can’t address those issues as they happen because we will have to come up with a solution to the problem, and that will be pure fantasy,” Freeman told us. “So, here we are, jumping the gun on something that’s really happening. It’s not really conducive to the show to try something like that.”
Freeman, who has also directed episodes and acted on the show, said though the intent of “Madam Secretary” is to entertain and not to “sway the public’s political feelings or thinking or allegiances,” its hopeful nature does seem to have an effect on people.
“Keith Carradine said to me one day he sees people on the street and they say, ‘I wish you were president,’” Freeman said. “That tell you anything?”
“Madam Secretary” Season 4 premieres Sunday, Oct. 8, on CBS.