Commander in Chief
Just like their real-life counterparts, TV politicians will say and do anything to get your support.
The difference? Instead of a ballot, they want you to vote with your remote. And on TV, a politico's constituents are nothing more than ratings boosters. OK, so maybe there's not a huge difference.
From the obvious (three 'West Wing' pols make the list) to the more obscure (did you even know there was an elected official on 'The Wire'?), we count down the top 20 TV politicians of all time. Read through our list and let us know if you think we need a recount or if our list is full of winners.
In fact, at least one Hollywood writer recognized in Sarah Palin's being plucked from virtual obscurity was like one of his creations. Rod Lurie, the writer/producer of Commander in Chief, joked that he and Gena Davis should be asking for royalties if Palin emerges as McCain's VEEP, especially if she becomes president like Davis's character did on that ABC drama series.
Here are the main TV characters that come to mind when you think about Palin:
Then with Commander in Chief on ABC, he made Geena Davis the President and actually showed her in action -- until the show was canceled.
Lurie's working on another female-driven drama now for Showtime, but this time it's not about politics. Hillary Jones is the name of the show and the character, a police detective working vice in Los Angeles during the week, but moonlighting as a hooker in Nevada during the weekend.
She's not breaking the law, though, because prostitution -- as you and I know from the movies -- is legal there.
President's Weekend is upon us, and besides looking forward to all those nifty sales being offered at your local car dealership, how else should you best commemorate this day?
Sure, our real president may be less than desirable to revere at the moment, but at least we have our TV presidents to look up to!
How well you know your TV presidents? Wonder no more and check out this quiz. I personally do not know my TV presidents because I got a 4/10 on the quiz, but maybe you'll do better. Maybe.
It's that time of year again, folks! Yep, some of your favorite shows are on the cancellation bubble and you can vote on which ones you'd like to see next fall and ones that should go far, far away. It's an annual tradition that sometimes predicts what shows will be renewed and which shows won't. So far you want your Scrubs.
In fact, according to the ninth annual USA Today 'Save Our Shows' survey (say that five times fast) a whopping 61 percent of you would like to see the NBC comedy renewed for a sixth season. Only fourteen percent of you want to see the show die a quick death. Scrubs is a good bet to be renewed for the fall, as long as the network is willing to pony up the increased dough to the show's production company, Touchstone Television. If NBC doesn't renew the program there is an equally good chance that Touchstone's sibling ABC (both are owned by Disney) would pick up the show.
Six more shows on the USA Today survey have more supporters than detractors: Veronica Mars (UPN), Commander in Chief (ABC), Everwood (WB), Invasion (ABC), Reba (WB) and The King of Queens (CBS). After ABC shelved Commander in Chief this week, there is a good chance that it will not be renewed; Kevin James, the star of The King of Queens, wants a bigger paycheck for the new season; and Veronica Mars and Reba are vying for spots on the new CW network, which will be a combination of the WB and UPN.
What shows have the least amount of supporters? FOX's one-camera comedies The Loop and Free Ride and UPN's Half and Half and One on One.
- ABC has two new episodes of American Inventor starting at 8, followed by a new Commander-In-Chief.
- CBS has a new Survivor, a new CSI, and a new Without A Trace.
- On NBC, all repeats: Will and Grace, Earl, Earl, The Office, and ER.
- FOX is all new: That 70's Show, The Loop, and The O.C.
- The WB has a new Smallville at 8, followed by a new Supernatural.
- UPN has new eps of Everybody Hates Chris, Love, Inc, Eve, and Cuts.
- At 9, HGTV has a new ep of Divine Design.
- Spike has a new UFC Unleashed at 9, followed by a new Ultimate Fighter.
- Also at 9: Lifetime has Eric Roberts in Fatal Desire.
- STARZ has Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator at 9.
- At 10, Disney has a new ep of The Emperor's New School.
- At 10:30, Comedy Central has a new The Showbiz Show With David Spade.
- At 11:30, HGTV has a new Small Space, Big Style.
Here are the shows (on all networks) that media buyers think are in danger of cancellation:
This week, watching Commander in Chief, I felt as if I was in the middle of a lovable Steve Martin movie, one where the children were full of hi-jinks, the sexual escapades were many, the adults were in charge of Very Important Things and, at the end, everyone met over the breakfast table to giggle and eat homemade pancakes. In other words: schmaltz. In other words: saccharine. Gah! And just when we thought Nathan Templeton was going to be evil again.
Speaking of Donald Sutherland's evilness, I was happy to see just a glimpse of it, but it was prefaced by such a terrifically (I almost wrote, monumentally) obvious and overplayed line from Jim. I'll get to that in a minute. But first:
Isn't this show supposed to be award-winning? Oh, right, it was Geena Davis. Well, congratulations sweetie, I think you deserve it. But with dialogue like this, you may not keep the honor for long.
ABC pulled John Stamos' Jake in Progress from its schedule at the same time it pulled Emily, leaving fans to wonder whether that show was over as well. Rest assured, Jake fans, according to the LA Times, it will return to television. The president of ABC prime time entertainment says he really likes Jake in Progress and the show will eventually return.
And, despite poor ratings for Commander in Chief and Invasion, ABC says it still believes in those series.
While I'm enjoying this show still, after this episode I had to wonder if I could have just cut-and-pasted my review from the last episode before Christmas and changed a few words. The title: over the top cute (but still far better than "First Act of War" or something). The outfits: better, especially the yummy chocolate silk jammies. The angry teenaged daughter: still angry, still whiny, still want to slap her. Nathan Templeton: no longer evil. Just... not. What's with that?
What did I like? Well, those jammies. The nicely-built cliffhanger. The way Mac answers her phone while wearing aforementioned chocolate-colored jammies. It's soooo Presidential. The developing relationship between Jim Gardner and Rob Calloway - the dynamic works pretty well, sparring but with growing respect for one another. And Gardner with the loyalty? Boy that was a nice (if canned) little speech. I could almost hear the orchestra in the background soaring as he delivered the "I love the Pres" address to the gathered generals and admirals and such. Finally, I am going on record as saying that Ever Carradine's hair was nice this time. It still needs to be shorter but, at long last, it looks like it belongs on an adult. With a job.
Hail to the Chief! Geena Davis (that's Ms. President to you) is coming to an iPod near you. ABC added hit series Commander in Chief to the lineup of shows - including The Office, Desperate Housewives, and Lost, available through Apple's iTunes Music store for a buck-ninety-nine per ad-free episode. Of course, you could DVR or TIVO them for free if you have that capability at your house, and skip the ads that way, but hey - this way you can pop them on your iPod and watch them on the subway -- once that pesky transit strike is over.