Home Television Comedy Powers That Be, The

Powers That Be, The

1 9 9 2 – 1 9 9 3 (USA)
21 x 30 minute episodes

Washington DC is the setting for a comical look at the Powers, a dysfunctional political family: Senator William (“Bill”) Franklin Powers (John Forsythe); his wife, Margaret (Holland Taylor); their married daughter, Caitlin Van Horne (Valerie Mahaffey); and Sophie Lipkin (Robin Bartlett) – Bill’s illegitimate daughter from a wartime romance who now works for her father as a political aide.

Liberal Democrat Bill is 65 years old and has been a senator for 26 years. He and Margaret live at 2292 Applewood Drive.

Margaret is yearning to become the First Lady and is grooming Bill for the Oval Office.

She is younger than Bill and is actively involved in the political arena – she becomes devastated if she is not invited to an important political function and dreads the thought of Bill performing his awful ventriloquist act at political functions.

Margaret is famous for her chicken salad sandwiches and will join any charity to further Bill’s political career.

Caitlin is very pretty, but also petty, self-serving and vain. She is married to the wimpy congressman Theodore Van Horne (David Hyde Pierce), who is unable to stand up to her dominance over him – he simply says “Yes, dear” to everything she asks.

Caitlin and Theodore are the parents of young Pierce (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Caitlin loves to wear pink and calls Margaret “Mummy”.

Jordan Miller (Eve Gordon) is Bill’s legislative assistant (press agent in some episodes) and also Bill’s mistress – they have a secret rendezvous every Sunday morning when Margaret thinks Bill is at church.

Bradley Grist (Peter MacNicol) is Bill’s P.R. man, and Charlotte (Elizabeth Berridge) is the Powers’ maid. She is famous for her crab cakes but is constantly belittled by Margaret and seems to live in fear of her.

Charlotte and Theodore have a secret crush on each other – which is possibly the only thing that keeping Theodore from killing himself.

Senator William Franklin Powers
John Forsythe
Margaret Powers
Holland Taylor
Caitlin Van Horne
Valerie Mahaffey
Sophie Lipkin
Robin Bartlett
Jordan Miller
Eve Gordon
Bradley Grist
Peter MacNicol
Theodore Van Horne
David Hyde Pierce
Charlotte
Elizabeth Berridge
Pierce Van Horne
Joseph Gordon-Levitt