'State of Affairs': Katherine Heigl returns to TV with Alfre Woodard and the CIA

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One of NBC's upcoming new dramas, "State of Affairs," marks star Katherine Heigl's big return to television. Heigl will play Charleston Tucker, a head CIA analyst who works closely with the president, Constance Payton (Alfre Woodard).

But they're a little more connected than that -- at some point in the past, Charlie was also engaged to President Payton's son. His death in a terrorist attack still haunts both women, despite their powerful positions.

At the NBC Upfronts on Monday (May 12), Zap2it caught up to the two stars to find out what fans can expect when the show premieres in November 2014.

"It's a drama, and it involves high-level, high-intensity, very powerful people," Heigl says when asked to describe her show. "It has all those things that people find exciting."

Despite Charlie's high-level and responsible position, however, this is not a super-woman. "I think she's a very honorable and obviously very patriotic woman -- but she's also very messy," Heigl explains.

What about this relationship between Charlie and Constance? "It is complicated," the star admits. "It's complicated but it's very connected, and they have a lot of respect for one another. It's a great relationship, and it has to be, in a way, very close. Because she puts so much faith in me to provide her with the information she needs to make huge decisions."

Watch the "State of Affairs" promo here

Woodard agrees with that assessment. "We will give and take and lean on each other, the same way that the President and the Chief of Staff and the CIA and everybody leans on each other anyway," she says. "When people recognize that their job is interconnected, I think people do a better job. And I think that's one of the things that I think people will see when it comes to it. So it's not that I won't be presidential -- there's protocol and I'll be following that. But I'll just be Constance Payton doing that."

Both stars were quick to praise the casting of "State of Affairs" as one of the big draws. "It's because of the cast -- it's an amazing cast!" Woodard points out. "And everybody, besides being solid actors, we're all good at playing with everybody, we all understand that -- that it is a team effort. We immediately, when we were shooting the pilot, you really thought we had been in a repertory company together."

"State of Affairs" will take the place of "The Blacklist" on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT starting on Nov. 17.
Photo/Video credit: NBC