Last year, before the presidential election, Newsday was visited by a former madam secretary. On Tuesday, the Melville headquarters became the backdrop for the political drama of the same name starring Téa Leoni and Tim Daly.
A handful of scenes for the season finale of CBS’ “Madam Secretary” were taped on Long Island Tuesday, including one in an executive conference room at Newsday. The space was painted Monday and redecorated with CIA-labeled binders to appear as a conference room for the foreign intelligence team. A French flag was displayed in the circular garden in Newsday’s entranceway, replacing the company cloth typically hung on the flagpole.
The decision to film at Newsday — which will not be identified in any of the scenes — was influenced by its closeness to Long Island National Cemetery, according to the show’s location manager, Steven Weisberg. Several scenes were shot at the cemetery, which will serve as a stand-in for Arlington National Cemetery in the episode, Weisberg said. The majority of the series regulars were on hand for the cemetery scene including Leoni, who portrays Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, and Daly, who co-stars as her husband who heads a central intelligence unit. Leoni was not a part of the conference room taping, Weisberg said.
This wasn’t the first time the newspaper’s headquarters has had its close up. The movies “Crocodile Dundee,” “Fletch” and “The Insider” filmed at Newsday, but this is believed to be the first time a television series has taped there, according to Newsday communications manager Kim Como.
“We couldn’t be happier to have the ‘Madam Secretary’ crew shooting here,” Como said. “This is a cool opportunity for Newsday employees to get a peek behind the scenes at this fascinating show.”
Weisberg said the show, which is now in its third season, has filmed on Long Island on a number of occasions.
“Long Island offers a lot of different looks, whether it’s large estates like the Vanderbilt mansion or beaches or parks,” Weisberg said. “We do a lot on Long Island.”
Before filming at Newsday, the show taped scenes at Farmingdale Diner and at a private home near the Bethpage golf course, Weisberg said.
Weisberg couldn’t say how much of the Newsday footage will appear in the finale, but he estimated it should make up at least a few minutes of the show.
The season finale will air sometime in May, Weisberg said.