A TV show about a Secretary of State with a philandering husband? Wonder who they mean...

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Adam Sherwin on a new drama that the Clinton family may wish to avoid

It's the new political drama which has Washington buzzing, with a storyline that is set to make uncomfortable viewing within the Clinton household: Sigourney Weaver in the role of a former first lady to a philandering President who accepts the post of Secretary of State when her own leadership ambitions are foiled.

Indeed, comparisons between the scenario of Political Animals, a series which will launch on the USA Network in July, and the real-life dramas which provided the backdrop to Bill and Hillary Clinton's tempestuous marriage appear unavoidable.

To be fair to the writers, they have made some attempt to fictionalise their story. In Political Animals, the first lady, Elaine Barrish, is newly divorced from former President Bud Hammond (Ciaran Hinds), who still pines for his ex-wife, and the power he once wielded.

Appointed Secretary of State by President Paul Garcetti (Adrian Pasdar), who defeated Barrish in a fiercely contested presidential primary race, she struggles to balance her relationship with her twin sons and former husband, while dealing with crises in the State Department. She also has to deal with a scheming Vice-President and "a hungry DC journalist bent on destroying her career".

Political Animals was created by Greg Berlanti, producer of the family drama series Brothers & Sisters and Laurence Mark, whose credits include the Tom Cruise film Jerry Maguire. Linda Powell, the daughter of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, will appear in the first episode of the new show as the national security adviser to the President.

This year's presidential election has prompted a wave of drama and comedy series with a White House theme. But it is the dysfunctional behaviour of those who seek office, in contrast to the idealistic politicos who populated NBC's long-running hit The West Wing, which is fuelling the current crop of commissions.

HBO has ordered a second series of Veep, the series about a largely powerless and neurotic Vice-President, starring Seinfeld actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a former senator thrust into this political void. Written by Armando Iannucci, creator of The Thick Of It, Veep's cast of machinating spin doctors and consultants shocked some viewers with its cynicism.

Domestic conflict between a First Family living in The White House is the theme of 1600 Penn, NBC's latest attempt at a political ratings winner. Bill Pullman stars as President Dale Gilchrist with the Dharma and Greg actress Jenna Elfman as the First Lady, in the comedy series which will premiere in the autumn.

1600 Penn should have the ring of authenticity as it is produced by Jon Lovett, President Obama's former speech-writer, who worked with Mr Obama for three years.

'Hillary'

Sigourney Weaver makes her TV series debut as Elaine Barrish, a former first lady on the rebound after divorce from former President Bud Hammond.

'Bill'

Northern Irish actor Ciaran Hinds is Bud Hammond, a former President whose popularity has tumbled because of his affairs and divorce from Elaine.

the security adviser

Law & Order actress Linda Powell, daughter of former Secretary of State Colin, plays the President's national security adviser.

The vice-president

Dylan Baker, star of The Good Wife, plays Barrish's opponent Fred Collier, who knows secrets that could destroy her.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) - City, London

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?