Keri Russell (The Americans, Cocaine Bear) leads the cast of Netflix’s new high-stakes political drama series The Diplomat, which is released in April 2023.

Russell plays Kate Wyler, a career diplomat who had been expecting to be posted to Afghanistan but who has ended up being appointed to the Court of St James's as the US ambassador to the UK.

Kate must deal with multiple looming international crises, while also managing her marriage to fellow diplomat and political star Hal (Rufus Sewell).

The Diplomat is created and written by Debora Cahn (Homeland, The West Wing) and will feature an impressive British guest cast including Celia Imrie (Calendar Girls) and T’Nia Miller (Years and Years).

Here is everything you need to know about Netflix series The Diplomat…

New on Netflix this month

The Diplomat reviews - Is it the new West Wing?

Keri Russell in The Diplomat as Kate Wyler Netflix

The Diplomat has already reached number 2 in the UK Netflix chart and with positive reviews from critics and viewers, the show could be pushing to the top spot very soon.

The Guardian openly compared the show to the classic American political epic The West Wing, describing it as a "hugely enjoyable ride". Talking about Russell's lead performance, the critic adds: "Like Martin Sheen in The West Wing, you only wish she could be playing the role in real life too."

The New York Times also compared the show to the work of Aaron Sorkin, praising the "political thriller laced with romance" for its "high-comic, high-velocity style".

Russell comes in for particular praise from critics, including Vanity Fair who said: "Russell is clearly stoked by the material, the way it meanders and whizzes at once. She’s having a good time, and thus so do we."

The Diplomat - Ratings and reviews

Keri Russell in The Diplomat as Kate Wyler Netflix

IMDB Score: 7.8

Rotten Tomatoes score: 91%

Similar shows: The West Wing, Madam Secretary, Homeland, The Americans

The critics said: "A soapy, meaty drama worth sinking your teeth into." (USA Today)

Cast: Keri Russell, Rufus Sewell, David Gyasi, Rory Kinnear, Michael McKean

The Dipomat season 2 confirmed

The Diplomat's incredible launch means that the show has already been given a second season.

Netflix confirmed the show would return after the series debuted at number 1 in the weekly global chart.

Ocer 57.48 million hours were viewed around the world in the opening weekend.

"I am thrilled to be headed back for another round of this smart screwball show. Dare I say it’s fun? Thank you Netflix for giving us another shot," said Keri Russell.

The show's creator Debora Cahn added: "We had such a great time making The Diplomat. And it's a thrill to see how much people are enjoying it. We're so glad we get to do it again!"

The Diplomat trailer - first look

The Diplomat release date

Every episode of The Diplomat is available now on Netflix.

Season 1 has eight episodes.

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What is The Diplomat plot?

The Netflix series follows Kate Wyler (Keri Russell), who is appointed the new US Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Kate is great in a crisis, but managing the special relationship between the US and UK is a new challenge for her.

She will have to diffuse various international crises, including wars boiling over and “forge strategic alliances in London” in the process.

She has to adjust to her new place in the spotlight and also survive her marriage to fellow career diplomat and political star Hal Wyler (Rufus Sewell).

Keri Russell in The Diplomat as Kate Wyler with Rufus Sewell as her husband Hal Netflix

Creator Debora Cahn told Netflix's Tudum news website: "The Diplomat is a show about the transcendence and torture of long-term relationships. It’s hard to keep a relationship going, be it a marriage or a military alliance.

"We change, the world changes, and yet we want these relationships to go on forever. It’s a show about a bunch of good people doing their best to keep their global and personal partnerships intact without killing each other.

"In the world of diplomacy, you’re dealing with a lot of rule-bound, protocol-driven behaviour, but underneath all that, these are people who sweat, and spill coffee on their clothes, and forget the name of the person they’re talking to. All of that is always bubbling under the grandeur and majesty of working with heads of state."

Netflix's The Diplomat cast - full list

Keri Russell in The Diplomat as Kate Wyler Netflix
  • Keri Russell – Plays Kate Wyler
  • Rufus Sewell – Plays Hal Wyler
  • David Gyasi - Plays Austin Dennison 
  • Ali Ahn - Plays Eidra Park
  • Rory Kinnear - Plays Nicol Trowbridge 
  • Ato Essandoh - Plays Stuart Hayford
  • Celia Imrie - Plays Margaret Roylin
  • Michael McKean - Plays US President Rayburn
  • Nana Mensha - Plays Billie Appiah 
  • T’Nia Miller - Plays Cecilia
  • Miguel Sandoval- Plays Miguel Ganon


Kate Wyler (Keri Russell) is a seasoned US diplomat who has spent her career doing behind-the-scenes work in hardship posts and war zones.

Keri Russell in The Diplomat as Kate Wyler Netflix
When the President of the United States appoints her as US Ambassador to the UK, she is thrust into a much more formal (and for her, terribly uncomfortable) role.
Hal Wyler (Rufus Sewell) is Kate’s husband. A brilliant and charismatic diplomat, he’s negotiated the end of wars, but made a lot of enemies along the way. He wants to be a supportive husband and let Kate shine, but standing outside the spotlight doesn’t come naturally to him.
Austin Dennison (David Gyasi) is the British Foreign Secretary. He’s Kate’s most important relationship in the UK and becomes an unexpected partner when crisis hits. He is principled, aloof, and extremely good at what he does, but he is stretched to the breaking point trying to rein in his erratic and potentially dangerous head of government.
Stuart Hayford (Ato Essandoh) is Kate’s Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in London – her savvy and loyal right-hand-man. He’s also been asked to figure out if she can handle a role like Vice President. Based on his first impressions, the answer is no.
Nicol Trowbridge (Rory Kinnear) is the British Prime Minister. Foul-mouthed, charismatic, and volatile, he always believes that he is the smartest person in the room, and most of the time, he’s right.
Eidra Park (Ali Ahn) is the Chief of the CIA Station in London, one of the largest CIA hubs in the world. She manages the very close and very important (and very complicated) relationship between the CIA and MI6 – two intelligence powerhouses.
Billie Appiah (Nana Mensah) is the White House Chief of Staff. A no-bullshit quick thinker and brilliant fixer, she has her eyes on Kate’s political future.
US President Rayburn (Michael McKean) is a competent leader trying to restore America’s position on the world stage. His patience with the chronic absurdity all around him is wearing thin.
Miguel Ganon (Miguel Sandoval) is the US Secretary of State. He’s Kate’s boss, and not her biggest fan.

Keri Russell on playing Kate Wyler

Keri Russell in The Diplomat as Kate Wyler Netflix

"Kate is part of a married couple, and they’re both diplomats," explains Russell.

"There are two kinds of diplomats. There are the kind who get stationed in cities like Paris and tend to be appointed by a president for donating a lot of money to a campaign, and then there are the career diplomats, who usually speak other languages and have a specific expertise, and are a bit more rough and tumble.

"Kate and her husband Hal are both that second kind of diplomat, and she has an expertise in the Middle East. They are a known entity as a couple within that world, and this story is basically about Kate being plucked from that world and doing what she deems important work, and then being placed in a position in London, which tends to be a bit fancier and more about dinner parties and the pageantry of the job.

"So we see what happens to a person who is much more interested in doing the crisis stuff when she gets placed in that world."

Rufus Sewell on playing Ambassador Hal Wyler

Rufus Sewell as Hal Wyler Netflix

"At some point last year I got this script, just the first episode, and it was one of the best scripts I’d read in a very long time," said Sewell.

"And this part was exactly, exactly what I wanted to do. This show has been described as various genres, but what struck me about it was the humor, the banter between the two central characters - my character, Hal, and Keri Russell’s character, Kate - was really funny and smart, and not something I’d really seen in a thriller before.

"There’s also a truthfulness to it; this isn’t a classic TV relationship. It has a reality about it, but also the speed and vim of a screwball drama, like the kind of movies that I used to love."

Talking about Hal, Sewell added: "Hal Wyler was a big shot ambassador, but also a liability. He had an incredible reputation for taking huge risks and pulling off daring feats, and being regarded as the homecoming hero.

"But then he also made decisions that went wrong, that were costly for other people, and got a bit of a reputation as being someone you either love or hate.

"Now, Hal’s star is kind of on the decline in some ways; he’s, in some circles, considered to be kind of toxic, but still valued. And Kate’s star is on the rise."

David Gyasi on playing Dennison

David Gyasi as Dennison in The Diplomat Netflix

"Austin Dennison is the British Foreign Secretary in a Tory government, and I think it’s fair to say that some of his personal politics and the politics of the party don’t always see eye-to-eye," said David Gyasi.

"There’s some of it that runs parallel, and I think he’s probably slightly more centrist than the Prime Minister in our show is, than the majority of his party is, and so that produces interesting conflict.

"One of the things he has to decide very early on in his career is whether to object to some of this publicly and risk being ousted and cast out of the party, and then become someone who’s holding a placard on the outside going, 'I think this might be wrong', or stay in and try to affect change and help steer this ship for what he believes is the good of the country?"

Who is Keri Russell?

Keri Russell in The Diplomat as Kate Wyler Netflix

Keri Russell is an American actress, Golden Globe winner and multiple-time Emmy nominee.

Russell got her first screen break in The Mickey Mouse Club in the 90s, before going on to star in family comedy movie Honey, I Blew Up the Kid in 1992.

Her breakout role came as the title character in the 1998 series Felicity, which won her a Golden Globe.

She’s also starred in films and TV series include Mission Impossible III, Waitress, Extraorindary Measures, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Antlers and Cocaine Bear.

Russell is best known for starring as Elizabeth Jennings in the critically acclaimed spy thriller The Americans, which earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

She is married to her Americans co-star Matthew Rhys.

How to watch Netflix's The Diplomat?

Watch The Diplomat season 1 now on Netflix.

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