The Powers That Be

NBC (ended 1993)


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The Powers That Be

Show Summary

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