Just like the real US President, TV's Commander In Chief is suffering from term-low approval ratings.
But unlike George W. Bush, fictional female president Mackenzie Allen--played by Geena Davis--is out of a job, as ABC said today it is pulling the drama from the schedule. The network will replace the show with the tabloid news show Primetime for the all-important sweeps period.
ABC had hoped star power--Davis and Donald Sutherland top-line the cast--would help Chief become a hit on the recently resurgent network's roster, alongside Lost and Desperate Housewives.
Trouble began when show creator Rod Lurie missed script deadlines and caused production delays. The network took the show off the air to retool it, replacing Lurie with veteran show-runner Stephen Bochco of Hill Street Blues fame. When the show was taken off the air a second time for retooling, Bochco left, and the reins were handed over to Dee Johnson, one of the original executive producers.
Since Chief returned to the schedule it has been suffering at the hands of ER and Without a Trace. Last week's episode drew the series' smallest audience yet, 6.5 million viewers.
ABC's decision to take the show off during sweeps bodes poorly for its chances of reelection next season.