Skip to comments.U.S. TV makes way for two White House dramas
Posted on 09/24/2005 4:08:26 PM PDT by Libloather
U.S. TV makes way for two White House dramas
September 23, 2005 17:50:40
Actress Geena Davis poses at a premiere screening in Beverly HillsBy Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A new TV show starring Oscar-winner Geena Davis as America's first female president, juggling career and family while holding Republican enemies at bay, is drawing Internet fire from conservatives and feminists alike.
But the big question among network executives is whether there is room enough in prime time for two White House dramas. "Commander In Chief" premieres on Tuesday on ABC following the return on Sunday of NBC's Emmy-winning White House drama "The West Wing."
Producers of "Commander In Chief" acknowledge their success depends on distinguishing the show from "West Wing," which is headed into its seventh season with a storyline pitting Alan Alda against Jimmy Smits in an election battle to replace current star Martin Sheen as president.
"If I was just throwing on the air another middle-aged white man as the president ... then, no, there would be no reason to do it," the new show's creator Rod Lurie, who also wrote and directed big-screen political drama "The Contender," told a recent gathering of TV critics.
Much also will hinge on how well Davis, whose two previous network TV series flopped, can carry off her latest role as a leader of the free world who remains very much a mom.
Aside from the obvious gender differences of its stars, "Commander" and "West Wing" differ sharply in politics and tone. "Commander" dwells on the private life of the first family, while "West Wing" focuses as much on the president's close aides as on the top guy.
Sheen's character, President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet, is a veteran Democrat in the twilight of his second term. The commander in chief Davis plays, Mackenzie Allen, is a political independent and relative newcomer to the halls of power.
FROM THELMA TO MADAME PRESIDENT
"It's certainly the role with the most gravitas that I've had to play," said Davis, who won an Oscar for her supporting role in "The Accidental Tourist," but is better known for her star turns in "Thelma & Louise" and "Stuart Little" movies.
As vice president in the series premiere, she assumes the nation's highest office when the Republican incumbent dies of a stroke, putting her at odds with the wishes of her late boss and Republican leaders. They want a member of their own party, Speaker of the House Nathan Templeton, played by Donald Sutherland, to succeed to the presidency.
Although Sutherland and Alda share the distinction of having both played Army doctor "Hawkeye" Pierce in their respective film and TV "M*A*S*H" performances, the Republican politicians they portray could hardly be more different.
While Alda's "West Wing" character, Sen. Arnold Vinick, is moderate, thoughtful and likable, Sutherland's Templeton on "Commander" is a politically ruthless ideologue and sexist.
Demonizing that show's leading Republican is almost sure to turn off conservative viewers, some of whom already see the show as the work of "liberal Hollywood preparing the nation for a Hillary Clinton presidency in 2008," according to Stacey Lynn Koerner, director for ad-buying agency Initiative.
Negative advance Internet buzz about the show was revealed in a recent survey of online chat rooms and discussion boards conducted by ad-buying agency Initiative Media. But conservatives are not the only ones upset over the series.
Although some have cheered the arrival of a TV show that imagines a woman in the White House, feminists have complained that the show's protagonist only assumed power through the death of a male president, rather than winning election in her own right, Koerner said.
Others have suggested the power of a Geena Davis presidency seems belittled by depicting her as having to juggle motherhood and politics, while Sheen's character is largely unfettered by such family-workplace conflicts.
Those critics apparently missed the "West Wing" episodes in which Sheen's President Bartlet temporarily ceded power to a Republican when Bartlet's daughter was kidnapped by terrorists.
She may have more gravy toss than Altoast2000/2008 ever had.
This will just further confuse RATS when Martin Sheen shows up at some moonbat meeting and announces that the 'real president' is in da house...
Jeena Davis and Hitlery are EQUALLY QUALIFIED to be C-in-C.
That should say it all...
The hollywood media machine getting america ready for female president...this should be great...they will show her taking a tough stance with bully congressman....taking decisive actions with the military....reaching deals with north korea...saving victims of an earthquake ravaged time with tough game time decisions....(not a hurricane because they are trying to be subtle about this whole thing)...i can't wait. maybe she will win office when some election fraud is discovered
time = town
A primer for Hillary Rotten's run at the WH. Never watched the West Wing and have no desire to watch this crap either.
No, of course her character's an independent. It's just that as the VP to a Republican as the Republican dies (moonbat fantasy #1) all the other evil Republicans want to bypass the Constitutional succession (moonbat #2) because they can't stand the idea of a woman President (moonbat #3).
Of course it's impossible that a female could actually BE conservative (moonbat #4) but only that some of them act like conservatives while they're under the thumb of evil white men (moonbat #5) until they get a chance to assert womyn power and rule as just 'independents' who just happen to be in conflict with the evil Republicans on everything.
More Must Miss TV.
Her career highlight is "Earth Girls Are Easy."
Instead of these two pathetic Dem-fests, watch "E-Ring" on NBC:
I have to laugh out loud, two network shows each with dem presidents battling "extremist" Republican majorities in the Congress, while back in the real world a Repub has occupied the White House for almost 5 years. Heaven forbid the networks ever produce a show with a Repub President, no way. I guess if the liberal scumbags can't have the real thing they can still pretend. Pathetic.
[But the big question among network executives is whether there is room enough in prime time for two White House dramas.]
The answer is YES.
If the three big networks can find room for each of them to have their own nearly identical evening news show, reality show, game show, nostalgia show, family sitcom, sitcom about nothing, crime drama, law drama, etc.. then they can certainly EACH have their own "Lets pretend that Hollywood runs the White House" show.
sounds like she should be playing monica lewinsky instead of hillary
Well said and brilliantly succinct. Bravo.
These shows are all for reality-challenged Democrats who never got over the failure of Gore to steal the 2000 election, and the failure of the Florida Supreme Court's astonishing attempt to give it to him anyway.