The Powers That Be was a Norman Lear's NBC sitcom with John Forsythe as a bumbling U.S. senator, that made its debut on March 1992. The show aired at 8:30 p.m. Saturdays.
John Forsythe plays a slow-witted but handsome
government official with a domineering wife who manipulates his career. Sound familiar?
Think again. "This woman is not based on Nancy Reagan," said Holland Taylor, who plays the wife. Lear had an even bigger surprise for those who thought he was out to bash Nancy Reagan's husband, the former leader of the free world. "It will become apparent," Lear said, "that he is a Democratic senator. The Republicans do not have a lock on empty suits."
This senator also had an anorexic daughter, a suicidal son-in-law, and an illegitimate adult daughter whom he met when reporters were waiting for his re-election campaign announcement.