Morgan Freeman, who serves as a sort of universal narrator to the world, is trying his hand at network television. Through his Revelations Entertainment production company, Freeman has cast actress Tea Leoni to play the lead role in the new CBS pilot Madam Secretary.
Freeman will helm the drama along with executive producer Barbara Hall and several associates from Revelations. Hall has been involved in many successful network television and cable ventures, including Joan of Arcadia and Judging Amy. Her most recent work has been as co-executive producer on the popular Showtime drama Homeland.
Madam Secretary will star Leoni as Elizabeth Faulkner McGill, a teacher who is appointed to the role of Secretary of State. The tagline for the show states the drama is “about 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.”
Leoni was last seen on the big screen in the film Tower Heist, and has not had a network series since the 1990’s, when she starred in The Naked Truth as a photographer forced to work at a sleazy tabloid. Additional credits for Leoni include Spanglish, The Family Man, and Deep Impact, in which she co-starred with Freeman.
Madam Secretary is yet another attempt at capitalizing on the recent trend of political dramas featuring females in positions of power in American government. Julia Louis-Dreyfus currently stars as the vice president on the HBO series Veep, while Sharon Stone was recently cast as second in command on the new TNT drama Agent X.
Revelations Entertainment, founded by Freeman and partner Lori McCreary in 1996, has produced a variety of projects for both film and television. Credits for the company include the 2009 film Invictus, which starred Freeman himself in the role of Nelson Mandela. The film chronicled the immediate aftermath of Mandela’s election and his struggle to bring the apartheid torn country together through the South African rugby team. Freeman earned an Academy Award nomination for his work in the film.
The veteran actor has been confused with the late South African leader on more than one occasion, including when Mandela passed away in December. Many Twitter users were convinced that it was Freeman who had died, resulting in much confusion.
Freeman can currently be heard lending his vocal talents to the popular animated film The Lego Movie, which is playing at a theater near you.