Meet the Power Players of Political Animals — Plus, How USA Network Landed the Sexy Series

When prolific TV producer Greg Berlanti started developing a series about Political Animals — first and foremost a former First Lady-turned-Secretary of State (played by Sigourney Weaver) who is trying to get out from under her philandering husband’s shadow — he frankly had no idea where it would ultimately call home.

“It was about politics, it had a lead of a woman who’s over 30, there’s [salty] language, there’s sex…. There were a lot of reasons people were like, ‘Who’s going to make that?’” the man who previously gave us Everwood and Eli Stone recalls. “There were only a few premium cable channels we thought would take it. But I knew, I hoped, that if we wrote something that we liked and wanted to see, someone would want to make it.”

VIDEO | Political Animals Exclusive: Carla Gugino Clashes With Sigourney Weaver, Ellen Burstyn

That someone would be USA Network, which is premiering the highly entertaining, compelling and more-than-occasionally juicy six-episode “limited series” this Sunday at 10/9c. As executive producer Laurence Mark (Dreamgirls) recalls, “We got lucky because when [USA co-president] Jeff Wachtel read the script, he embraced it and bought it right then.”

The network brass of course fancy themselves the lucky ones, having landed this summer’s must-see TV event. “We’ve been wanting to work with Berlanti for a while,” says NBCU Cable chairman Bonnie Hammer. “He is unbelievably talented, so when we read this it was an instant, ‘We’ve got to have this.’ This is so perfect for USA’s next step.”

VIDEO | Get a First Look at USA Network’s Summer Event Series Political Animals

Reflecting on USA Network’s long and diverse string of at-times surprising successes, Wachtel says, “Monk was extraordinary, The Starter Wife was a lot of fun, Suits has been this wonderful, wonderful show that almost came out of nowhere…. But in terms of the scope of [Animals], it’s really something special.” Adds co-president Chris McCumber: “As far as the things we’ve done… this ranks up there. And as far as the cast goes, our [other] casts are wonderful, but this collection is one of the best in television.”

And what a cast it is. Here, meet the major Political Animals and get scoop on any secrets the characters may be hiding.


Comments (21)

  • Wasn’t this show already brought to us courtesy of the Clintons?

    Comment by Just Wondering – July 12, 2012 10:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I literally cannot wait!

    Comment by Sarah – July 12, 2012 10:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I love this series and can’t wait until season 2

      Comment by Sara Sgarlat – August 21, 2012 06:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What does “limited series” mean? Is there a chance for renewal or not? I NEED SEBASTIAN STAN ON MY TV REGULARLY AGAIN.

    Comment by Sam – July 12, 2012 10:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think it just means that the seasons will be six episodes long instead of the longer series USA usually does. If it were only a season long it would be a mini-series instead.

      Comment by Lauren – July 12, 2012 01:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • AFAIK, it’s meant to be a mini-series. As Ted Linhart said, if it’s successful, anything is possible, but so far, a mini-series is all there is and will be.

        Comment by Kati (@timotey) – July 15, 2012 06:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Matt,

    I can’t find any information on whether this has the potential to be an ongoing series or if this “limited” run is all there will ever be. Is there a potential for another six episodes next summer? I’m very excited! it looks great!

    Comment by Smigglesby – July 12, 2012 10:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, I have been wondering what that means exactly. Mini-series, or something else?

      Comment by CJ – July 12, 2012 01:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I had no idea that both Sebastian Stan and James Wolk were part of this cast… and theat they’re playing twin brothers. I was already in on the cast of Carla Gugino, Adrian Pasdar and Sigourney Weaver. Knowing that those two are prime players as well means I’m most definitely gonna watch this series!

    Comment by Nicotine – July 12, 2012 11:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They aren’t doing it any favors putting it up against the season premiere of Breaking Bad

    Comment by Tony Reed – July 12, 2012 11:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My friend and I have been joking that USA should do a massive tongue-in-cheek miniseries crossover event that pulls together its series. Obviously to work it would prob need to be non-canon. Sigourney Weaver as the Secretary of State is just the one to recruit the USA characters into an Avengers-like organization. It’s time to bring Adrian Monk back into the fold anyway

    Comment by Doc755 – July 12, 2012 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just checked USA’s site, and they will air the pilot on the hour from 10 PM Sunday night to 4 AM Monday morning.

    Yay for Sebastian Stan! Loved him in KINGS.

    Comment by Andrea – July 12, 2012 12:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I still miss Kings. Awesome, awesome show. Now all I need is to see Chris Egan and Ian McShane back on my TV.

      Comment by Lili – July 12, 2012 01:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not interested.

    Comment by V – July 12, 2012 12:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can’t wait!!

    Comment by Lorie – July 12, 2012 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What episode of Supernatural was Ishibashi on? Can’t recall….

    Comment by Dee – July 12, 2012 01:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I can’t remember the episode’s title, but it’s the Ghostfacers. I think she’s one of the two main boy’s sister?

      Comment by Tiffany – July 17, 2012 07:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Same old stuff, tho a bit more interesting. What I cannot understand is the escalation of the use of profanities this season. These are offensive to many people and serves no purpose but to show the crassness of the screen writers, and a certain group of people who care nothing for those who offer them an audience.

    Comment by Kathryne Smitb – July 26, 2012 09:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great series! Can’t wait for season 2!

    Comment by Judi – August 21, 2012 07:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please continue Political Animals. The best show I’ve seen in a long time!

    Comment by Pattij Zarlengo – August 21, 2012 07:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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