Among its new shows this fall, NBC is premiering a political-thriller/drama called State of Affairs. The show has an impressive cast that includes Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, and Adam Kaufman. Heigl will undoubtedly be the show’s big draw. She stars as a CIA analyst named Charleston Tucker who has the weighty responsibility of putting together the President’s Daily Briefing. The briefing is a record of the top conflicts and issues the United States is grappling with. It’s up to Tucker and her team of CIA analysts to decide which issues make the list. The team holds a remarkable degree of power. Their decisions have tremendous consequences—both politically and ideologically—and they work under incredible pressure.
Charleston, who goes by the nickname Charlie, is close to President Constance Payton. In one of State of Affairs’ many interesting twists, the president is played by Woodard, a black woman. Her relationship with Charlie provides a fascinating counterpoint to the big power politics that drive the show. Charlie was engaged to President Woodard’s son, who died in a terrorist attack. Charlie, who lived through the attack, has made it her goal to find those responsible for it and make them pay. Struggling to keep her emotional life separate from her working life, Charlie finds herself acting in ways that—to put it delicately—aren’t quite the status quo when it comes to government. However, her job is her life, and her loyalty to President Woodard and her country unwavering. Whether or not she’s able to nab the folks responsible for the death of her fiance’ is one of many reasons viewers will be drawn into this sophisticated, suspense-fueled series.
Watchers will recognize Alfre Woodard from the long-running TV show Desperate Housewives and from her appearance in the acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave. And, of course, the show’s star, Katherine Heigl will be familiar to fans of Grey’s Anatomy, the ABC drama in which she starred as Dr. Isobel Stevens. The new show marks a return to network TV for the Emmy Award-winning actress, who left Grey’s Anatomy in 2010 and has since starred in a number of films.
State of Affairs is directed by Joe Carnahan of NBC’s popular series The Blacklist. The show is set to air on Monday, November 17 at 10:00 EST, right after the hit reality music show The Voice.