Actress Tea Leoni will be returning to TV to star in "Madam Secretary."
Leoni, 48, will play Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst and current college professor who gets the once-in-a-lifetime offer from the president to be Secretary of State.
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"There was something — I adored her" Leoni told E! News
. "I adored her by page two, there's no sarcasm to her. Sarcasm is too slow. I want to wake up and be her every day."
Leoni has been in several movies, like “Bad Boys” and “The Family Man,” but hasn't done a TV show since starring in “The Naked Truth,” which ended in 1998.
“Madam Secretary,” which will run after “60 Minutes” and before “The Good Wife” on CBS, will show the character as she tackles "office politics, international protocol, and deals with issues at home and in the White House," E! News says.
Bebe Neuwirth, Geoffrey Arend, Patina Miller, and Erich Bergen will also appear in thw show. Tim Daly will play Leoni's husband.
"I think in a lot of ways it's inspiring to see women that we want to see,” Leoni told E! News. “I think when I sort of set out to do this gal, I thought, ‘Who do I want in office?' That's been guiding my choices.”
Leoni told The Associated Press that her children gave her the “go-ahead”
to get back to television work.
"I turned to my 12-year-old son and I said, 'It's going to be a little tricky. I'm not going to be around as much. Are you cool with that?'" Leoni said Thursday at the summer TV critics' meeting.
"He said, 'Yeah, I was getting kind of sick of you,'" she said. "So I'm back."
Famed actor Morgan Freeman, 77, is the executive producer of “Madam Secretary.” He said at this time he isn’t planning on appearing on any episodes but noted Daly's character is a professor of religion.
"I have a little experience playing God," Freeman joked, referring to his role in the film "Bruce Almighty," starring Jim Carrey. Carrey and Leoni starred together in the 2005 movie “Fun with Dick and Jane.”
Creator and executive producer Barbara Hall, who was a writer-producer for “Judging Amy” and is currently a co-executive producer on Showtime’s “Homeland,” said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright — the first woman to serve in the job — is excited about the show and has met with Leoni and Daly.
"She's very eager to weigh in and help us," Hall told the AP.
Hall said the show was inspired by actual events and will attempt to "pull back the curtain on how the State Department works."
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