Apparently USA is no longer satisfied to flood their airwaves with successful shows that viewers love and critics rarely praise. This summer the home of “Psych” and “Royal Pains” appears to be moving into FX/AMC territory with the classy, racy and ambitious new six hour “event series” “Political Animals.”
Now, there’s still a chance the show won’t be very good. But do you want to root against Sigourney Weaver’s first series TV gig? I didn’t think so.
Weaver stars as Elaine Barrish Hammond, a powerful and influential Secretary of State married to a former President (Ciaran Hinds) known for his Southern charm and cheating heart. Hmm, sound like any real political figures you know?
The series comes from Greg Berlanti (“Brothers and Sisters,” The CW’s upcoming “Arrow”) and feature film producer Laurence Mark (“Dreamgirls,” “Jerry Maguire”), and also stars Carla Gugino as a determined reporter, James Wolk (“Lone Star”) and Sebastian Stan (“Gossip Girl”) as the Hammonds’ sons and Brittany Ishibashi as Wolk’s fiancée. Ellen Burstyn also appears as Weaver’s mother (you’ll see her in the clip), while Dylan Baker, Adrian Pasdar, Roger Bart and Dan Futterman are slated for guest/recurring roles.
There’s a whiff of another Berlanti series here: the inside the world of the wealthy soap “Dirty Sexy Money,” which never quite lived up to its high caliber cast and promising premise. That show was compromised, in part, by its network TV home and longer form storytelling. Let’s hope Berlanti applies the lessons learned there to make this six episode cable series as good as it can be.
Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think. And fair warning: There’s an ever so brief flash of bare skin in a sex scene. (Another sign this isn’t the USA we’re used to?)
“Political Animals” premieres Sunday, July 15 at 10 p.m. on USA