They are one of America's most prominent political families. She becomes secretary of state after a hard-fought Democratic primary battle for the presidency. He is a philandering ex-president. And no, we're not talking about the Clintons.
USA Network is debuting a six-episode mini-series on this weekend called "Political Animals," starring Sigourney Weaver as the almost-but-not-quite Hillary Clinton character Elaine Barrish and Ciaran Hands as her ex-spouse former president Bud Hammond.
In the pilot episode, (spoiler alert!) Barrish asks for a divorce the very same night she loses the Democratic primary, and soon after, Hammond takes up with a television actress.
"Certainly her resume is extraordinarily similar to Hillary's, but literally 10 minutes into the first episode, when she asks her husband for a divorce, her character goes in her own way and the story indeed goes in its own way," explained executive producer Laurence Mark. Madeleine Albright also served as inspiration for the main character. "She really was a powerful woman in politics who never shied away from dressing like a woman," Mark said. Lyndon B. Johnson, and not Bill Clinton, was the mold for the ex-president. "LBJ being a quintessential political animal, right?" Mark noted.
Instead of a daughter, the couple has two sons, including T.J., played by "Gossip Girl's" Sebastian Stan, the first openly gay child to live in the White House. "The fact is their parents chose this, but they certainly didn't, and they did not choose to be in a fishbowl, and it effects each of them quite differently," Mark said.
Actress Carla Gugino plays journalist Susan Berg, who won a Pulitzer during the Hammond administration for uncovering the president's affairs, but strikes up an unlikely friendship with the secretary of state. "She's going for the truth and yes, she's going for the story and absolutely wants the scoop, but she also sort of realizes in a way ... there is someone at the other end of that story and that maybe it's not such a bad thing to at least take that into consideration," Mark explained.
"Political Animals" premieres at 10 p.m. on Sunday.