January 27, 2014 5:45pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Female Secretary of State Drama From Morgan Freeman Lands Pilot Order at CBS
CBS threw its hat into the pilot ring Monday, picking up a drama from executive producer Morgan Freeman.
With Vince Gilligan's Battle Creek already ordered to series for the 2014-15 season, CBS picked up its second drama pilot of the season with an order for Madam Secretary.
The drama, from Homeland's Barbara Hall, centers on 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.
Hall will pen the script and executive produce the CBS Television Studios entry alongside Revelations Entertainment's Freeman, Lori McCreary and Tracy Mercer.
Hall spent the past season working as a co-executive producer on Showtime's Homeland, inking a two-year pact with studio Fox 21 to join the drama. Madam Secretary is in first position to Hall's duties on the Claire Danes starrer. Should Madam Secretary move to series, Hall would exit Homeland. Hall's credits include Joan of Arcadia, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Army Wives and Judging Amy.
Madam Secretary marks the latest pilot featuring a female politician. Last week, Sharon Stone signed on to play the vice president in TNT's Agent X. Julia Louis-Dreyfus also plays the VP on HBO's Veep and Kate Burton holds the same office on ABC's Scandal.
The order for Madam Secretary comes after CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler told reporters at TCA that while pilot season "isn't perfect," it "does work" for the network. The pilot pickup comes four months after NBC scrapped plans to create a miniseries starring Diane Lane as Hillary Clinton after the proposed four-hour mini drew ire of the Republican National Committee, among others.
Madam Secretary marks CBS' second drama pilot order of the season, joining NCIS back-door spinoff NCIS: New Orleans; the network has four comedies in the works so far this year.