1600 Penn chronicles the life of The Gilchrists, an average family that is just like everyone else, with one exception – they live at the most famous address in the world, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. As President Gilchrist (Bill Pullman) balances his responsibilities as Head of State and head of the family, first lady (Jenna Elfman) does everything in her power to win over her stepchildren. The NBC sitcom is the brainchild of Emmy-winning executive producer/director Jason Winer of Modern Family fame, Book of Mormon star Josh Gad who also stars in the sitcom and former White House speechwriter Jon Lovett.
Bill Pullman For President - Again
Bill Pullman stars as Commander in Chief Dale Gilchrist – a former United States Marine and Governor of Nevada. Although President Gilchrist is the leader of our country, he's also first and foremost a husband and father with the same problems as the rest of us. Of course the average person doesn’t have an entire country at his/her disposal when it comes to solving family problems. Bill Pullman isn’t a stranger to the role of President of the United States of America, he also played one in the 1996 film Independence Day.
From Dharma to First Lady
Jenna Elfman, best known for her role as Dharma Finkelstein Montgomery on the late ’90s sitcom Dharma & Greg, stars as the President's second wife and former campaign manager Emily Nash-Gilchrist. Seen as nothing more than a trophy wife to the world, the first lady was actually a lawyer and former political consultant before marrying her husband. Now she has taken on four stepchildren who more or less want nothing to do with her. Now she must struggle to find her place as a stepmother, a task that is already quite difficult without being in the public eye.
From what we've seen in the first few episodes, 1600 Penn's main focus appears to be on President Gilchrist's children, most notably the outrageously quirky Skip played by Josh Gad (Book of Mormon), who recently moved home after goofing off in college for seven years. Skip is the ultimate screw up who wants nothing more than his father to accept him. His clumsy attempts to earn his father's respect always seem to land him in trouble - think John Belushi meets Chris Farley.
Skip is joined by his perfectionist sister Becca played by Martha MacIsaac (Superbad), who can do know wrong in her father's eyes. Becca's first and only screw-up in life happens when she has too much to drink at a party and has a one night stand resulting in pregnancy. The older Gilchrist siblings are joined by younger siblings Marigold played by Amara Miller (The Descendants) and Xander played by Benjamin Stockham (Sons of Tucson). Marigold and Xander are smarter than your average children and it's revealed in the pilot that they have a crush on the same classmate.
No Such Thing as Bad Publicity
President Gilchrist's right hand man is his press secretary Marshall Malloy played by Andre Holland (Friends With Benefits). Malloy is savvy, loyal and extremely patient - which he has to be when constantly having to answer to the press each and every time Skip gets into trouble. Many of the show's hilarious moments are the result of the press secretary's reactions to the situations Skip regularly finds himself in.