The Powers That Be

NBC (ended 1993)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 2 : Ep 13

    Grandma's Big Decision

    Aired 6/19/93

  • S 2 : Ep 12

    Grammargate (2)

    Aired 6/12/93

  • S 2 : Ep 11

    Grammargate (1)

    Aired 6/5/93

  • S 2 : Ep 10

    Bradley Gets Fired

    Aired 1/19/93

  • S 2 : Ep 9

    Having a Ball

    Aired 1/19/93

  • Cast & Crew
  • Holland Taylor

    Margaret Powers

  • John Forsythe

    Senator William Powers

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt

    Pierce Van Horne

  • Peter MacNicol

    Bradley Grist

  • Valerie Mahaffey

    Caitlyn Van Horne

  • show Description
  • Situation Comedy 21 episodes This series, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, revolves around the life of Democratic Senator William Powers (John Forsythe, who starred in Dynasty), an ally of Bill Clinton. Senator Powers is a good guy, but, even after twenty-six years in Washington, D.C., lacks the political smarts to survive in national politics. Fortunately, Senator Powers is backed up by his family and staff, who, mostly, do have the political qualities necessary for political life in Washington, D.C. Family: Senator Powers's wife, Margaret (Holland Taylor, Evelyn Harper on Two and a Half Men), sees herself as the woman behind the man, and believes that her top priority is to maintain her status in Washington. Margaret and William Power's ditzy daughter Caitlyn Van Horne (Valerie Mahaffey; Eve on Northern Exposure) is married to US Representative Theodore Van Horne (David Hyde Pierce, Dr. Niles Crane on Frasier). Theodore registers a rather low almost zero on the political and marital power scale, and is constantly looking for a way out of his life, but is a little too submissive to follow through on exiting. Theodore and Caitlyn's son is Pierce (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Solomon on 3rd Rock From the Sun). Pierce might rather run and play with kids his own age, but must always be ready to reflect well on the family (he is always dressed smartly for anyone that wants to take a photograph). Rounding out the family is Sophie Lipkin (Robin Bartlett, Debbie Buchman on Mad About You), the Senator's illegitimate daughter, the product of a wartime romance. Sophie appears to exhibit a stable personality. Staff: Margaret must fight with Jordan Miller (Eve Gordon) for Senator Powers affections. Miller is Senator Powers Administrative Assistant, and mistress. Further assisting the senator is Press Secretary Bradley Grist (Peter MacNicol, Alan Birch on Chicago Hope, John Cage on Ally McBeal, and who is currently in a 2005 CBS midseason show Numbers), who sees himself as a man of power and influence, but in reality, might be less powerful and competent than he thinks. Rounding out the staff is the overworked, underappreciated maid, Charlotte (Elizabeth Berridge, Officer Eggers on The John Larroquette Show). After Clinton's presidential victory, The Powers That Be was abruptly canceled. The two events might not in fact be connected, and might just be coincidence. Creators other Creations David Crane & Marta Kauffman (creators of The Powers that Be) together also created Dream On (1990, Wendie Malick), Family Album (1993, Giovanni Ribisi), Friends (1994), and Veronica's Closet (1997, Kirstie Alley). Executive Producers Other Shows Executive Producer Norman Lear created The Deputy (1959), All in the Family (1971),Sanford and Son (1972), Maude (1972), The Dumplings (1976), All That Glitters (1977), Fernwood 2Night (1977), Apple Pie (1978), and Sunday Dinner (1991). Lear also executive produced All in the Family, Maude, Good Times (1974), One Day at a Time (1975), Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976), The Nancy Walker Show(1976), A Year at the Top (1977), Forever Fernwood (1977), Hanging In (1979), AKA Pablo (1984), Sunday Dinner, 704 Hauser (1994), and Channel Umptee3 (1997). Lear is credited for developing Good Times, The Jeffersons (1975), Hot L Baltimore (1975), One Day at a Time, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and In the Beginning (1978). Executive Producer Rod Parker is credited for being executive producer for Maude, All's Fair (1976), The Nancy Walker Show, Phyl & Mikhy (1980), Love, Sidney (1981), Gimme a Break! (1981), Dear John (1988) and Empty Nest (1988). Awards Joseph Gordon-Levitt was nominated for the Young Artist Award for the category Best Young Actor in a New Television Series in 1993 (in the same year, Toby Maguire was also nominated for this award (for the show: Great Scott!); Christopher Babers won this category for his work in Rhythm & Blues). Aired March-April . . .1992 ................Saturday 08:30 pm-09:00 pm August-September.1992 ................Saturday 08:30 pm-09:00 pm November.........1992 to January 1993 Saturday 08:30 pm-09:00 pm June.............................1993 Saturday 10:30 pm-11:00 pm Competition March-April 1992 Saturday 08:30 pm-09:00 pm ABC: Growing Pains CBS: CBS Saturday Night Movie FOX: Cops August-September 1992 Saturday 08:30 pm-09:00 pm ABC: Covington Cross CBS: Brooklyn Bridge FOX: Copsmoreless

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (13)

    • Theodore: Why do we have to be here? Caitlyn: It's our anniversary. Where would you rather be? Theodore: Hurdling through a windshield.

    • Bradley: My doctor gave me these wonderful pains for the pills.

    • Margaret: Oh, for Heavens sakes, look at these windows! They're filthy, Charlotte. They must be cleaned upstairs and down. Charlotte: Um, no, it's supposed to snow, Ma'am. Margaret: Well, how will we know if we can't see out the windows?

    • Sen William Powers:Boy, what a wonderful morning! Best morning in the world! I tell you that nothing makes a man sleep so well as to know that after 12 long years there's going to be a Democrat in the White House! Charlotte:Congratulations, sir. Sen William Powers:Well we owe it all to people like you. Without people like you we'd be nowhere. Charlotte:Sorry sir. I..uh...I voted for the guy with the big ears.

    • Theodore: I have a dilemma. A big dilemma. A "tri-lemma"

    • Caitlyn: Maybe there's a better way of life for me, one that isn't wrapped up in pride and vanity. Margaret: What kind of life might that be, dear?

    • Caitlyn: I was flipping through the channels the other day when all of the sudden the most beautiful hair caught my eye. It was Jesus in "The Greatest Story Ever Told." And, oh, Mummy, that movie made me realize how empty and shallow my life is. Margaret: How, dear? Caitlyn: Jesus had a good hair day every day.

    • Margaret: What's this? Why this is the family bible. I've never actually seen this open. Caitlyn: Yes, Mummy, I've been reading it. And, you know, it's true what they say. The book is better than the movie!

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (26)

    • According to Craig Bierko's personal page on this website, he was cast as the original Chandler on "Friends". Bierko and Matthew Perry starred together on a short-lived (13 episode) 1990 show called "Sydney." After turning down the Chandler role, Bierko went on to 1994's "Madman of the People" 16 episode show (which also starred Dabney Coleman), and the 2002 three episode "The Court" (which also starred Sally Field).

    • Faith Daniels, who plays herself in this episode, is a member of the news media. She was co-anchor of the news program "CBS Morning News" from 1986-1987 (at age 27 or 28), then she was co-anchor of "The CBS Morning Show", and then Daniels moved to NBC and was News Anchor of the NBC "Today" show and Anchor of "News at Sunrise" from 1990-1991. In 1991 Daniels hosted her own talk show "A Closer Look." In 1993 or '94, Daniels joined "Dateline." Daniels has also played herself on the show "Murphy Brown" ("A Chance of Showers" episode).

    • Most recently, Michele Harrell appeared on "Without a Trace" episode "Moving On" (12/11/03).

    • Jill Andre starred as "Dr. Sara MacIntyre Gantry Warner Blackford Thorpe #2" on "Guiding Light, The" (1967-1968), as "Sandra "Sandy" Wilson McGuire Hughes Garrison Thompson #2" on "As the World Turns" (1968), and as "Mrs. Cordell" on "Santa Barbara" (1985).

    • Mary Jo Catlett starred as "Pearl Gallagher" in "Diff'rent Strokes" (1982-1986) and as "Mary Finnegan" on "General Hospital" (1989-1990).

    • From this point on, at least for the remainder of the first season, the show became serialized and soap opera-ish, with each week's episode continuing from where the last left off. The show's creators, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, used this technique again two years later when they created "Friends."

    • David Hyde Pierce shows off his piano talents in this episode and duets with Elizabeth Berridge on the song "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes."

    • Some reference sources list the title of this episode as "A Chicken in Every Plot".

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (1)

    • Robin Bartlett (Sophie Lipkin) does not appear in this episode.

    Allusions (4)

    • Title: Kiss Me Caitlyn This is a reference to the Broadway musical Kiss Me Kate.

    • Bill and Margaret's Excellent Adventure: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
      Bill and Margaret's Excellent Adventure is a take off on the 1989 movie "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure ."

    • Charlerella: Cinderella
      Title and plot are a take off on the movie "Cinderella."

    • The title is in the form of a catch phrase made famous by Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell, in which he would make a false statement and then shout "Not!"

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • I love The Powers That Be wish I could get a copy of all the shows. If anyone has one please contact me .

    By mb072829, Jan 26, 2008

  • The main reason I think The Powers that Be failed : Democrats can't seem to laugh at themselves.

    By GarrisonSkunk, Dec 25, 2005