With just a few weeks to go until the presidential election, everyone’s eyes and interest are turned toward politics, so this makes a perfect time for EPIX to debut its new dramedy series Graves. Nick Nolte, in all his gravelly voiced glory, stars as ex-U.S. President Richard Graves, who has a sudden epiphany when he looks back at the terrible state in which he left his country. Hoping to change things for the nation (as well as reshape his own legacy) after the fact, Graves embarks on a perhaps quixotic journey of redemption.
Although Graves is a Republican, Nolte says that he “drew on every president since my birth, which was in 1941” in terms of playing the character. Nolte particularly remarks that “the suffering of [Lyndon] Johnson is a lot of Graves.”
Sela Ward plays former first lady Margaret Graves, who remains a supportive wife to Richard even as she is recruited to run a political campaign of her own, which leads to some awkward situations as Richard sometimes makes a public spectacle of himself as he tries to clean up his past.
“Just when [Margaret] thinks it’s time for her to finally be able to have her unlived life,” says Ward, “and have a voice and put herself out there, [Richard] is going to the media, trying to right all the things he believed he did wrong politically. Really a loose cannon. She has her hands full, and then her kids have moved back home. [So] it’s really about family, the show.”
Graves airs Sundays at 10pm ET on EPIX beginning Oct. 16.