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Madame Secretary In The Media

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On 8/18/2017 at 3:04 PM, CheshireCat said:

I can only speak for myself but I wasn't aware of that (I'm from Germany, English is my second language). I only know the general meaning of token.

In the US, token can mean (especially with people of color), that someone is added in just to make it seem diverse. So a TV show could have a cast of white people and then a token black guy, or token asian guy. It's a way to make something seem diverse when it isn't.

The better way to describe it would be a cameo by Morgan Freeman.

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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.

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“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?”

 

How ‘Madam Secretary’ Is Giving Us A Break From Trump

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7 hours ago, CooperTV said:

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.”

No wonder MF can play a believeable version of Gød. Thanks for posting this, @CooperTV

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10 hours ago, CooperTV said:

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. 

I'm assuming that they mean State Department staff rather than WH staff but one way or another, if that turns out to be the case, I certainly am looking forward to that. Glad they moved the family show to 10 p.m., we wouldn't want all the shooting of NCIS LA be shown too late, would we?! ;-) (And yes, I am sarcastic. I'm jst still annoyed that they moved MSect to 10 with as harmless a show as it is. It's an 8 p.m. show)

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12 hours ago, CooperTV said:

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...

Who is screwing who, who is pregnant, whose marriage is falling apart... Wanna guess who doesn't GAF about any of this?

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1 hour ago, CheshireCat said:

Glad they moved the family show to 10 p.m., we wouldn't want all the shooting of NCIS LA be shown too late, would we?! ;-) (And yes, I am sarcastic. I'm just still annoyed that they moved MSect to 10 with as harmless a show as it is. It's an 8 p.m. show)

I feel your pain about the 10PM late start, but those NCIS LA shootout scenes with Kensi and Deeks on location are the best as well as following their ongoing romance in the workplace.  CBS needed the 8PM slot for new programming.

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4 minutes ago, VinceW said:

I feel your pain about the 10PM late start, but those NCIS LA shootout scenes with Kensi and Deeks on location are the best as well as following their ongoing romance in the workplace.  CBS needed the 8PM slot for new programming.

They can be and would be just as good at 10 p.m. :-)

MSec also seems a better fit for 60 Minutes and then it could provide a lead-in to the new show at 9 and then NCIS LA could be at 10. Problem solved :-) But I guess, we all just have to hope for the best and that MSec isn't doing too badly. I guess that Hall has that contract with CBS to develop other shows (I think, two more, so now that the CIA drama is in the works, one more?) could give a little hope.

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22 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

They can be and would be just as good at 10 p.m. :-)

MSec also seems a better fit for 60 Minutes and then it could provide a lead-in to the new show at 9 and then NCIS LA could be at 10. Problem solved :-) But I guess, we all just have to hope for the best and that MSec isn't doing too badly. I guess that Hall has that contract with CBS to develop other shows (I think, two more, so now that the CIA drama is in the works, one more?) could give a little hope.

MS was perfect at 8PM when the series started. I wonder how many MS episodes will actually start at 10PM. The overruns from football always effect the DVR schedule which then causes the last program recording to overflow into the news. It becomes a pain to watch split recordings later that night or next day.  MS will need DVR viewers to keep it going. IMO.

Edited by VinceW
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Here in CT it's 9pm, but I still rarely stay awake through an entire episode of anything at that time. I may have to record it or watch it online later. Even 3am is better than 9pm for me. Plus, I really don't like soap operas. Sigh. What have they done to my show?

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21 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Here in CT it's 9pm, but I still rarely stay awake through an entire episode of anything at that time. I may have to record it or watch it online later. Even the  3am is better than 9pm for me. Plus, I really don't like soap operas. Sigh. What have they done to my show?

Things are headed that way given what happened in the personal lives of Jay, Nadine, Daisy last season. Maybe Henry will have an affair or Stevie gets pregnant. Not what I expected for probably the last season.

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6 hours ago, VinceW said:

Things are headed that way given what happened in the personal lives of Jay, Nadine, Daisy last season. Maybe Henry will have an affair or Stevie gets pregnant. Not what I expected for probably the last season.

I doubt they'll do that. They've been there, done that, in my opinion, in S1. (When Bess suspected he had an affair). And they had ample opportunity to do it in S2. I'm usually rather pessimistic when it comes to that, but I don't think that any of the showrunners or the two leads would be on board with that. (It's probably part of the reason why they buried it at 10: too few drama in that regard ;-))

I really enjoy the more personal stories as long as they concern Bess and Henry. S1 was more or less perfect in that regard. I guess it's too much to hope for that they'll go back to that? I actually think it would be fairly easy, they'd have to take Henry out of his weird job that doesn't have a definition anyway. Yeah, as if that's going to happen. I was actually surprised to read that there will be more "personal life time" for the characters. With the show moving to 10, I thought that they'd be more Henry-action oriented. I have to admit, before that, I'd be more than happy to take more Nadine personal life or Jay personal life. I'd love and hope that the focus will be on Bess and her family. Wouldn't mind more Will and family or if we revisited Henry's family or if we got a little of Bess-Conrad personal life/friendship.

Edited by CheshireCat

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1 hour ago, CheshireCat said:

I doubt they'll do that. They've been there, done that, in my opinion, in S1. (When Bess suspected he had an affair). And they had ample opportunity to do it in S2. I'm usually rather pessimistic when it comes to that, but I don't think that any of the show runners or the two leads would be on board with that. (It's probably part of the reason why they buried it at 10: too few drama in that regard ;-))

The Henry comment was just a little sarcasm on my part. That won't happen. The "Passage" episode about the trip to India and the chemical spill was one of the better early MS episodes.  In fact, it is still listed as the top rated episode of the series outside the pilot. 

Edited by VinceW
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Well with football, it'll start at 10:30 or later. Looks like we'll be DVRing and watching another night. (The curse of CBS Sunday night shows...Good Wife, The Mentalist, et al...)

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8 hours ago, kwnyc said:

Well with football, it'll start at 10:30 or later. Looks like we'll be DVRing and watching another night. (The curse of CBS Sunday night shows...Good Wife, The Mentalist, et al...)

CBS NFL scheduled Doubleheaders for upcoming season which moves MS start to 10:30PM (at least):

Oct 15, Oct 22, Nov 5, Nov 19, Nov 26, Dec 17, Dec 31  

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3 minutes ago, VinceW said:

CBS NFL scheduled Doubleheaders for upcoming season which moves MS start to 10:30PM (at least):

Oct 15, Oct 22, Nov 5, Nov 19, Nov 26, Dec 17, Dec 31  

Probably not on Dec 17 and 31. Judging from past seasons, I would guess that they'd go on break the week before Dec 17?

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6 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

Probably not on Dec 17 and 31. Judging from past seasons, I would guess that they'd go on break the week before Dec 17?

My point was that many episodes will miss the 10PM start during the early fall and during November sweeps. My cable provider has a 'CatchUp' feature which allows customers to view shows from previous three days. The DVR time splits will not be an issue for me, but the SD+LIVE ratings will not be helped by so many late starts. What was CBS thinking?

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1 hour ago, VinceW said:

My point was that many episodes will miss the 10PM start during the early fall and during November sweeps. My cable provider has a 'CatchUp' feature which allows customers to view shows for previous three days. The DVR time splits will not be an issue for me, but the SD+LIVE ratings will not be helped by so many late starts. What was CBS thinking?

Forgot about November sweeps. I hate ratings ;-) Despite what they did to Henry, this is an awesome show and it does not deserve this treatment!

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17 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

Despite what they did to Henry, this is an awesome show and it does not deserve this treatment!

I suspect the show is approaching EOSL, and the show-runners are treating it accordingly.

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1 hour ago, Netfoot said:

I suspect the show is approaching EOSL, and the show-runners are treating it accordingly.

No idea what EOSL is, but what I didn't like regarding Henry started in S2. In my opinion, they're now just continuing what they started. I loved him best and will always love him best as the book-writing religion Professor who's the man beside the woman and Bess' moral compass and rock who keeps her grounded.

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4 hours ago, VinceW said:

What was CBS thinking?

That football keeps eyeballs on screens, which is what the networks want. The advertisers are their audience; we are only the product that they deliver to that audience. [/cynical]

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1 hour ago, Driad said:

That football keeps eyeballs on screens, which is what the networks want. The advertisers are their audience; we are only the product that they deliver to that audience. [/cynical]

"NFL ratings dropped in 2016 (8%), and in an attempt to fix the problem, Fox Sports will reportedly experiment with six-second advertisements alongside their traditional 15- and 30-second spots. According to a report by The New York Times, Fox Sports is attempting to make the six-second advertisement an ´industry standard´."

Edited by VinceW

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I think with all the different viewing possibilities it's high-time the networks rethink their money-making anyway but that's just me and a slightly different subject. But ratings have dropped for the majority of shows and many are using alternative viewing methods. I think networks need to take into account how much money they're making off of a show at their own streaming services (All Access for CBS) and also iTunes etc. It's not just about the commercials and target audience anymore, in my opinion.

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8 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

No idea what EOSL is....

End of Service Life.  Like a refrigerator, when they are ready to bring out the new model, the company stops supporting the old one.

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What was CBS thinking?

They seem to have a love/hate relationship with their Sunday night shows. There are shows that have cult audiences (The Amazing Race), and shows that have good writing and acting (The Good Wife), that they keep around but don't really promote. Though they'll take the odd Emmy here and there. I'm sure the Elementary fans feel the same way (not one of my shows, but I know some people adore it.) 

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5 hours ago, kwnyc said:

They seem to have a love/hate relationship with their Sunday night shows.

That's probably a good description. I also wonder if they think they have a stable/dedicated enough audience to do well on Sunday and then they don't like when live ratings drop due to football delays even though they should expect it to happen by now.

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20 hours ago, Driad said:

The advertisers are their audience; we are only the product that they deliver to that audience.

Excellent point! Did this concept description originate with you, @Driad?

 

11 hours ago, Netfoot said:
20 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

No idea what EOSL is

End of Service Life.  Like a refrigerator, when they are ready to bring out the new model, the company stops supporting the old one.

Ah. My guess was End of Series Life. I think this show will get at least one more season after the one that's about to start.

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

I think this show will get at least one more season after the one that's about to start.

Really?

I suppose that's possible, but if so, it probably won't be a 22/23 episode season.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if this season is reduced to 16 or even 13 episodes.   I think this show is on the slippery slope, and no matter what hi-jinks they have Henry get up to, I can't see it saving the day.

Unless they fire Téa Leoni completely, and make it entirely about Henry, in which case... who knows?   Maybe they could sell the show to Marvel, and Henry could openly admit to having super-powers.....

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6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Ah. My guess was End of Series Life. I think this show will get at least one more season after the one that's about to start.

Seems very unlikely. IMO. As @Netfoot posted, a shortened season 4 seems more realistic. The winter hiatus might be the end of the series. Look for Bess and Henry to start talking about life after SoS very soon into the season for a clue about end timing.

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The advertisers are their audience; we are only the product that they deliver to that audience.

Excellent point! Did this concept description originate with you, @DRIAD?

No, I read it somewhere. Probably on the interwebs. So it must be true. :-)

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18 hours ago, Netfoot said:

Really?

I suppose that's possible, but if so, it probably won't be a 22/23 episode season.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if this season is reduced to 16 or even 13 episodes.   I think this show is on the slippery slope, and no matter what hi-jinks they have Henry get up to, I can't see it saving the day.

Unless they fire Téa Leoni completely, and make it entirely about Henry, in which case... who knows?   Maybe they could sell the show to Marvel, and Henry could openly admit to having super-powers.....

Considering the comments I've read, what makes you think that?

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3 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

...what makes you think that?

I'm just saying that if they radically re-work the show -- like fire Téa and make it all about Henry, for instance -- then who knows if it would be a huuge success or die?  A radical redesign and all bets are off!

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3 hours ago, Netfoot said:

I'm just saying that if they radically re-work the show -- like fire Téa and make it all about Henry, for instance -- then who knows if it would be a huuge success or die?  A radical redesign and all bets are off!

In other words: Even though there's a slim-to-none chance of TPTB firing Leoni and/or selling the show to Marvel with Henry as a superhero, those speculations are just as likely as anything TPTB might really do.
Or something like that. </I'm-not-a-writer>
Right, @Netfoot?

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Yes.  I'm saying that if the show progresses as it has been, I think it probable that this (or certainly the next) series will be the last.  However, if aliens attack the Whitehouse and Iron Man zooms in, flirts with Téa, and saves the day...  all bets are off.  Who knows?  You never know what the viewers will like, so it might run for another 10 years!   But I somehow doubt there will be any such radical re-engineering taking place, so I think the show has one foot on a banana peel!

Which I regret.  I like the show, I like Elizabeth, I like Henry (when he's not in ridiculous, superhero mode)... Hell!  I even like Stevie!  (And those are words I never thought I would utter.) So, I'd be sorry to see the conclusion of the show, but I think the end is nigh.  

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On 9/2/2017 at 7:19 PM, Netfoot said:

I'm just saying that if they radically re-work the show -- like fire Téa and make it all about Henry, for instance -- then who knows if it would be a huge success or die?  A radical redesign and all bets are off!

From CP Entertainment: “Henry will take on more dangerous missions with the Special Activities Division in the new season. Elizabeth, who has yet to adjust to her husband's new position, had a brief breakdown last season, especially when she was the last to learn of Henry's assignments. He specifically kept her in the dark, knowing how she would react……It looks like viewers will be seeing Henry become a risk-taker, something that his wife will definitely not like. Elizabeth may even use her position to keep her husband in check, going as far as to asking Dalton to stop Henry from accepting dangerous missions. The president will not take kindly to Elizabeth's controlling nature since she is allowing her emotions cloud her judgment as a patriot.”

Edited by VinceW

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14 minutes ago, Driad said:

Sounds as if they regret making Elizabeth the main character. She is, unless they change the title.

 

On 9/1/2017 at 10:28 PM, VinceW said:

Look for Bess and Henry to start talking about life after SoS very soon into the season for a clue about end timing.

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Not that I'm surprised (it's what I expected considering the late hour, though I wonder how much is coming down from the CBS brass.) But I thought there was supposed to be more personal life? Sounds like we'll just have to wait and see. Last year, someone (Hall?) said that Bess would largely deal with the fallout from China in the second half of the season. There was one China-focused episode. Granted, it could have been a set-up for a new arc and it's possible that they planned something different but there was very little China in the second half of the season.

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Madam Secretary Season 4 Episodes (22):

4x1  - Oct 8,2017    -  "News Cycle" - When the assistant vice minister of Timor-Leste suddenly dies during a meeting with Elizabeth on the first day of the U.N General Assembly, she becomes suspicious after the president of Timor-Leste ships the body back without a proper investigation. Also, a "fake news" story surfaces claiming Elizabeth is responsible for the minister’s death, and Dmitri returns to work with Henry.

4x2  - Oct 15,2017  -  "Off the Road"

4x3  - Oct 22,2017  -  "The Essentials"

4x4  - Nov 5,2017   -  "Shutdown"

4x5  - Nov 19,2017 -  "Persona Non Grata"

Edited by VinceW
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On 9/4/2017 at 2:45 AM, VinceW said:

Madam Secretary Season 4 Episodes (22):

4x1  - Oct 8,2017    -  "News Cycle" - When the assistant vice minister of Timor-Leste suddenly dies during a meeting with Elizabeth on the first day of the U.N General Assembly, she becomes suspicious after the president of Timor-Leste ships the body back without a proper investigation. Also, a "fake news" story surfaces claiming Elizabeth is responsible for the minister’s death, and Dmitri returns to work with Henry.

4x2  - Oct 15,2017  -  "Off the Road"  -  While Elizabeth is in Libya to help negotiate an end to their civil war, a tragic accident with her chauffeured car embroils her in an urgent situation to secure medical care for a gravely wounded local girl.

4x4  - Nov 5,2017   -  "Shutdown"

4x5  - Nov 19,2017 -  "Persona Non Grata"

    Both Jareth and Dmitri in same episode. 

On 9/4/2017 at 2:45 AM, VinceW said:

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29 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

Good news on the syndication front. Seems MSec had a much easier time landing a syndication deal than Chicago PD had (for example) http://deadline.com/2017/09/madam-secretary-syndication-netflix-we-tv-cbs-stations-1202178764/

Not a surprise. CBS has been operating their 'CBS All Access' service (launched in Oct 2014) at a loss ($5.99/month) as a standalone channel in order to use it for future leverage in making platform deals with service providers such as Netflix,etc.

Edited by VinceW

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3 hours ago, VinceW said:

Not a surprise. CBS has been operating their 'CBS All Access' service (launched in Oct 2014) at a loss ($5.99/month) as a standalone channel in order to use it for future leverage in making platform deals with service providers such as Netflix,etc.

I wouldn't know about that but last year, there was a Deadline article that shows were having a hard time finding syndication homes. MSec was mentioned (which was only in its third season and as far as I know, they need 88 episodes to be sold into syndication) and so was Chicago PD which already was in its fourth season and, I think, Chicago Fire was the third show mentioned and that was already in its fifth season. So, I'm thinking that they've found a TV home in addition to Netflix even before they started airing the S4 pilot is good news. The more money the show makes, the better for a potential fifth season. (I really want that fifth season, I'm not ready for it to end after S4 ;-))

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Just now, shapeshifter said:

Any info on the date of the next (4.13?) episode?

I was wondering the same thing and checked Futon Critic and they list likely repeats for the month of February due to the Olympics, so it looks like there won't be a new episode before March. Either the first or the second Sunday in March.

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7 minutes ago, CheshireCat said:

I was wondering the same thing and checked Futon Critic and they list likely repeats for the month of February due to the Olympics, so it looks like there won't be a new episode before March. Either the first or the second Sunday in March.

Per the 'Next Episode' web site: 4x13 will air Mar 11, 2018; Enjoy the Winter Olympics.

Edited by VinceW
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