The season 5 premiere of CBS's Madam Secretary will have three special guests — Hillary Clinton, General Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright.
All three former secretaries of state will reportedly play themselves in the episode, as fictional Secretary Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni) turns to them for advice. All four of them were photographed smiling together on set.
"It was great to be back on the set of @MadamSecretary with @tealeoni," tweeted Albright. "It is always nice to consult with my successors. The episode will air on #CBS on October 7."
Albright was the 64th Secretary of State and the first woman to hold the position. She was in office from 1997 to 2001 alongside President Bill Clinton. General Colin Powell picked up after that, serving as Secretary of State to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. Finally, Hilary Clinton held the office from 2009 to 2013 under President Barack Obama.
Series creator and executive producer Barbara Hall expressed her excitement at having her character's real life counterparts on set all at once.
“We’re delighted to have these three former secretaries of state be part of our season premiere,” she told CBS. “It was a privilege to experience their perspectives and discourse both in and behind the scenes.”
Albright has appeared on Madam Secretary once before, during the second season. In that case, she again played herself, counseling Secretary McCord on matters of diplomacy. At the time, Leoni told USA Today that she also offered her some advice as an actress representing a politician as well.
“She sat down and had a cup of coffee with me in Washington,” Leoni said. “She was very candid, not only in sharing some of her experiences but also in sharing some of her expectations. She had read the scripts and she said, ‘I’m very happy about the potential of this (show). … This is as close to how it is as I’ve certainly ever read.’ ”
Still, the upcoming triple cameo exceeds all expectations for the political drama. Lori McCreary, another EP, said the experience was nothing short of "a miracle."
“Having three powerhouses of diplomacy agree to come on our show is awe-inspiring and humbling. And that we were able to find a time in their busy schedules when they were all available is a miracle,” she said. “We welcome Secretary Albright, Secretary Clinton and General Powell to the MADAM SECRETARY family!”
Madam Secretary is also executive produced by Morgan Freeman and Eric Stoltz for CBS Television studios and Revelations Entertainment.. Alongside Leoni, the show stars Tim Daly, Sara Ramirez, Željko Ivanek, Keith Carradine, Sebastian Arcelus, Patina Miller, Geoffrey Arend, Erich Bergen, Kathrine Herzer, Wallis Currie-Wood and Evan Roe.
The massive Madam Secretary season premiere airs on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. ET.