The Powers That Be (TV series)
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At the center of the series is U.S. Senator William Powers, a parody of the political establishment in Washington, D.C. Margaret, the senator's status-hungry wife, treats Charlotte, their maid, with comedic disdain. Caitlyn, the senator's daughter, has an eating disorder and is married to Representative Theodore Van Horne, who is suicidal; their son, Pierce, is mature beyond his years from having to care for his unbalanced parents. Sophie Lipkin, the senator's illegitimate daughter, is a loud, crass New Jerseyan who surprises the family when she moves to Washington and begins to bond with her father. The senator's staff includes an intelligent and beautiful aide, Jordan Miller — who is also Powers' mistress — and the feckless aide Bradley Grist.
Step to fame
Although the program was short lived, several of the principals subsequently became involved in long-running and popular NBC sitcoms created after the show's demise. Series creators Crane and Kauffman went on to develop Friends, which lasted 10 years. Among the actors, Joseph Gordon-Levitt took a role in Third Rock from the Sun, Robin Bartlett played a recurring part on Mad About You, and David Hyde Pierce was chosen for his role as Niles Crane in the series Frasier partly on the basis of his work in this program. Holland Taylor also went on to greater sitcom stardom in the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men.
- Episodes: 19 (17 half-hour episodes, 2 hourlong episodes)
- US air dates: 7 March 1992 - 16 January 1993
- Marta Kauffman - Creator
- David Crane - Creator
- Norman Lear - Executive Producer
- Charlotte Brown - Executive Producer
- Mark E Pollack - Executive Producer
- Patricia Fass Palmer - Producer
- John Forsythe - Sen. William Powers
- Holland Taylor - Margaret Powers
- Eve Gordon - Jordan Miller
- Peter MacNicol - Bradley Grist
- Valerie Mahaffey - Caitlyn Van Horne
- David Hyde Pierce - Theodore Van Horne
- Elizabeth Berridge - Charlotte
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Pierce Van Horne
- Robin Bartlett - Sophie Lipkin
This set was also used for the American television comedy The Nanny.