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It's not the first TV series about a woman in the White House - recently we've had Commander in Chief, Veep and State of Affairs - but this new CBS series has so far garnered complimentary descriptions like "The West Wing crossed with The Good Wife".

It stars Tea Leoni in her first TV role since the 90s. She plays Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst drawn out of her semi-retirement to become the Secretary of State, when the current Secretary dies in a plane crash, and the President calls her up. Though she's initially reluctant, McCord is convinced by the President's explanation that she's perfect for the job, because she doesn't have a political agenda. Of course the reality involves wading through a lot of office politics, but nonetheless she develops a reputation as tough, smart, and fair, with a knack for international diplomacy.

And surprisingly (for television land), she seems just as strong in her role as wife (Tim Daly from Private Practice plays her husband) and mother.

Leoni was immediately drawn to the script, she told the Washington Post recently.


"It was delicious and perfect. I've made a great career out of being number two to some very interesting, strong, hilarious men, so this is a change."

Though they admit there are parallels, the creators have been keen to point out that the show is not based on the life of Hilary Clinton.

"The underlying themes are ultimately about people and psychology" says executive producer Lori McCreary.

"If you look beyond the gritty details of foreign affairs, diplomacy is simply asking, 'How do you bridge a gap between our way of thinking, and someone else's way of thinking?'"

McCord faces challenges like brokering a deal to rescue two American teens imprisoned in Syria, and plotting strategy for a visit from a leader of an African country, but she also faces challenges as a mother, and in trying to maintain her idealism around what the government can achieve.

Where: Prime
When: Thursday, 9.35pm
What: White House Woman

- TimeOut