Boss: Season 1 (2011)


Season 1

Critics Consensus

A mature drama, Boss constructs political devolution with ease and packs a powerful punch with steamy tales of corruption and sex.



Critic Ratings: 36


Audience Score

User Ratings: 79

Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    


Air date: Oct 21, 2011
Air date: Oct 28, 2011
Air date: Nov 4, 2011
Air date: Nov 11, 2011
Air date: Nov 18, 2011
Air date: Nov 25, 2011
Air date: Dec 2, 2011
Air date: Dec 9, 2011

Boss: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

A fictitious study of the personal and professional life of ruthless and powerful Chicago mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) kicks off with him being diagnosed with a neurological disease. Despite this earth-shattering news, he must remain focused on his role in an upcoming gubernatorial primary while dealing with relationship woes involving his distant wife, Meredith (Connie Nielsen), and their estranged daughter Emma (Hannah Ware). Both at home and at work, Kane's life appears to be spiraling out of control, and supporters begin to lose confidence in him, but he musters courage and support and is able to get back on track. In the Season 1 finale, the race proves to be a tight one on Election Day as Kane and his trusted senior adviser, Ezra Stone (Martin Donovan), try to work their political magic. Meanwhile, Emma's world is rocked, and Meredith takes great measures to prove her loyalty to her husband.


Kelsey Grammer
as Tom Kane
Connie Nielsen
as Meredith Kane
Jeff Hephner
as Ben Zajac
Hannah Ware
as Emma Kane
Kathleen Robertson
as Kitty O'Neil
Martin Donovan
as Ezra Stone
Francis Guinan
as Gov. McCall Cullen
Rotimi Akinosho
as Darius Morrison
Troy Garity
as Sam Miller
Sanaa Lathan
as Mona Fredricks
Nicole Forester
as Maggie Zajac
as Trey Rogers
Karen Aldridge
as Ella Harris
Daniel J. Travanti
as Gerald McGantry
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Boss Season 1

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (23)

Plays out at on an operatic level that would satisfy all but the most bloodthirsty fans of The Sopranos.

Feb 8, 2019 | Full Review…

Excessively lurid. Kane's family life begins with cliche. His marriage has deteriorated to the point where his wife (Connie Nielsen) is just political window dressing... Like Kane, Boss is dangerously close to losing control.

Feb 8, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Boss rarely takes its foot off the accelerator and the filming style, with frequent lingering closeups of eyes or lips, magnifies the intensity.

Oct 21, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Boss is electric with self-importance, and that is in itself is a hoot, given its particular combination of thematic pomp and expressionistic pulp.

Oct 21, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The script is tight and ambitious, as it attempts to anatomize corruption in the big city.

Oct 21, 2011 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Boss can be a little over-cooked or even half-baked at times in its depiction of time-honored Windy City corruption. But it's got a great big bite to it, with never a dull moment or badly shot scene.

Oct 21, 2011 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Perhaps the best show on television right now... Mortality, corruption and politics have come packaged together for ages, however the way Boss uses conventional ideas of gender as a vessel for these negative traits is compelling.

Feb 8, 2019 | Full Review…

Boss isn't pretty, but it's certainly powerful, the kind of drama that's so grim, even the weather seems to play along.

Feb 8, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

In a gross miscalculation of how much cynicism can be tolerated, and ultimately believed, Boss oversteps its boundaries and sometimes finds itself wallowing in its own preposterousness.

Feb 8, 2019 | Full Review…

An exceptionally well-crafted show. But it's grim. And it's dour. And it's about as depressing to watch as a show can get. If only the characters smiled now and then.

Feb 8, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Boss: Season 1

News & Features