×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Penny Johnson Jerald

Featured player

For Penny Johnson Jerald, one of the side effects of playing venomous first lady Sherry Palmer on the Fox series “24” is having fans stare her down to see if she really can smile.

“She’s a mouthful,” says Jerald of her character. “Every time I bite into Sherry, it’s like savoring a really good meal.”

The actress says she didn’t comprehend the significance of what she was getting herself into while they were working on the pilot. When the episode arrived on her doorstep, it opened a Pandora’s box of surprises.

“I had no idea that Kiefer (Sutherland) was in it,” Jerald says. “I thought ‘Oh my gosh, how innovative.’ The biggest surprise was when (my character) went to the point of pimping out her husband.” That would be David Palmer, the president of the United States, played by Dennis Haysbert.

Jerald’s list of credits includes regular gigs on “ER” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” She says she was always cast as an “easy-going, down-to-earth kind of brassy person,” though Sherry Palmer is apparently changing all that.

Jerald will next appear as national security adviser Condoleeza Rice in the Showtime telepic “DC 9/11,” now in pre-production. The rest of her time is spent at the L.A.-based Outreach Christian Theater Co. that she runs with her husband, Gralin Jerald; proceeds support the Arise Christian Center. It’s not the kind of thing one would expect of Sherry Palmer, unless there was a devilish twist.

And as for the role that Jerald says she’d really like to play, it’s that of the woman Sherry Palmer was patterned after: Lady Macbeth. “You want to see evil? That woman has no conscience whatsoever.”

More TV

  • 'Brexit' Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Stars in

    TV Review: HBO's 'Brexit'

    The announcement of the film “Brexit” — which aired in the U.K. on Channel 4 before its HBO bow on Jan. 19 — engendered serious criticism from the British, and understandably so. The film, which looks at recent history in the manner HBO productions like “Game Change” and “Recount” had done, takes on a story whose very [...]

  • 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre' Reviews: Behind

    TV Review: 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre'

    It seems in retrospect unavoidable that the week of release for a highly-anticipated documentary about a scammer began with an attention-grabbing stunt. On Monday, in advance of the planned Friday drop of Netflix’s “Fyre,” Hulu executed a surprise release of its own “Fyre Fraud”; both films assay the failed 2017 gathering Fyre Festival, a would-be [...]

  • Deadly Class Review

    TV Review: 'Deadly Class' on SyFy

    High school, according to TV and movies, is either the best or worst thing that can happen to a person. It’s almost always depicted as the most fun a kid can have, or a horrifying hellhole from which there’s no escape. “Deadly Class” is decidedly in the latter camp — and despite its edgy attempts [...]

  • Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn amazon series

    Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn Start Casting for New Amazon Series

    We’re getting a few more hints about Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn’s top-secret fashion project for Amazon Studios. Casting calls have gone out for designers interested in being a part of the unscripted series, which is set to shoot in Los Angeles in June and July. The casting notice mentions the “potential for additional travel [...]

  • TRIAL & ERROR: LADY, KILLER --

    'Trial and Error' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “Trial & Error” is officially done. The true crime spoof had effectively been canceled last year when NBC did not exercise its option to renew the show for a third season. Studio Warner Bros. TV had been trying to find it a new network home, but that search has come up short. The series took [...]

  • ELLEN'S GAME OF GAMES -- "Say

    'Ellen's Game of Games' Renewed for Season 3 at NBC

    NBC has renewed the competition series “Ellen’s Game of Games” for a third season. Season 2 of the show officially launched on Jan. 8, though a preview aired on Dec. 12. Ellen DeGeneres serves as host and executive producer of the one-hour show, which includes supersized versions of some of the most popular games from her [...]

  • Paul DeBenedittis Named Nickelodeon Programming, Content

    Paul DeBenedittis Named Nickelodeon Exec VP of Programming and Content Strategy

    Paul DeBenedittis has been named executive vice president of programming and content strategy at Nickelodeon. There, he will lead content and programming strategies, partnerships, acquisitions and media planning for the flagship network as well as Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick across linear television, digital, branded apps and video-on-demand channels, among other platforms. DeBenedittis will report to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content