The trailer of NBC's State of Affairs is one of those Upfront previews that seems to give away a little too much of the series' first episode. But at the same time, it does its job in not only previewing a potentially suspenseful and thrilling new series, but also some intriguing characters, Katherine Heigl's Charleston Tucker and Alfre Woodard's President Constance Payton in particular.
While it doesn't look as gritty as Showtime's Homeland, State of Affairs looks a bit more network-TV friendly, complete with Heigl playing the haunted CIA analyst who's battling her demons by day and working hard to catch terrorists and serve the President by night. That includes bringing the terrorists responsible for her fiancé -- and POTUS's son -- to justice.
Each day the President is faced with dozens of life and death decisions, and to prioritize the biggest international crises facing the country, one top CIA analyst — Charleston Tucker (Katherine Heigl, “Grey’s Anatomy”) — assembles the President’s Daily Briefing (PDB). This list of the most vital security issues facing the nation brings with it moral and political judgment calls for Charleston and her trusted group of brilliant analysts at the agency. Aside from the political minefields she has to walk, Charlie has a close personal relationship with the President (Alfre Woodard, “Desperate Housewives”) because she was once engaged to her son before a tragic terrorist attack took his life.
Charlie survived that attack and is now determined to bring the perpetrators to justice. Navigating a complex personal life and a pressure-cooker profession is, of course, a challenge, and Charlie sometimes engages in boundary-pushing behavior to avoid facing her grief. But when the clock strikes 2 a.m., she is all about her job — protecting her nation, serving her President and still trying to get to the bottom of her fiancé’s murder that will reveal itself as a shocking mystery.
Here's a clip that shows a bit more of the scene where Charleston has to admit she had the opportunity to go after the terrorist who killed her fiancé but didn't.
From what the big trailer shows us, it seems like the series is set up to show how Heigl's characters' personal and professional life are all mixed up, due in large part to the grief she's experiencing over losing her fiancé. And yet, when faced with what might be a very emotional decision, she seems to choose to keep it all business, making sure they have the shot before they take it. There's the added twist near the end of the trailer that suggests her fiancé's death might have actually been an assassination. And it's evident that the relationship she has with the President will also be crucial to this story.
In addition to Katherine Heigl and the great Alfre Woodard, the cast also includes Adam Kaufman, Sheila Vand, Cliff Chamberlain, Tommy Savas and Leslie Odom, Jr.
NBC has State of Affairs lined up to air on Monday nights, starting in November. It'll take over for The Blacklist, which is presumably going on hiatus at that point, and will return in 2015 in its new Thursday night timeslot. See NBC's full 2014-2015 lineup here.