In his column for the Newark Star Ledger, Alan Sepinwall illustrates his 10 point plan for the surefire ruin of a TV Show, using "Commander in Chief" as his example:
" 1. After only two episodes of your brand-new hit have aired, get rid of its creator, Rod Lurie, allegedly because the show was running hopelessly behind schedule. Don't bring in a producer who can get production back on track while Lurie focuses solely on the scripts, the way David E. Kelley has a nonwriting sidekick on all his shows; just outright dump the man responsible for your only big success of the season.
2. Don't replace Lurie with one of his lieutenants who may have some understanding of the show's tone, or even try to hire a "West Wing" alum who knows how to combine politics and drama. Instead, hire Steven Bochco, a set-in-his-ways industry veteran who has worked only on shows he created for the last quarter-century.
3. Let Bochco immediately move Kyle Secor's character out of the First Gentleman's office and into an administration job, robbing the show of one of its more unique wish-fulfillment elements."
And in Newsday, Verne Gray also revisits and tries to explain "Commander in Chiefs" disasterous loss in popularity, ending with:
"Translation: Steve thought it was boring and Steve was right. Prime-time culture circa 2006 is effectively defined by "CSI," "24" and, to a lesser extent, "Lost." And "The West Wing" long ago established the standard of excellence that any political drama of the future would have to match or exceed. These are among the best commercial TV has to offer, and viewers - particularly trigger-happy younger ones - won't waste time with something that doesn't belong on the same playing field.
Can "Commander" survive? In tonight's, "State of the Unions," President Mackenzie Allen (Davis) is prepping for her State of the Union address while evildoer/Oval Office challenger Nathan Templeton (Donald Sutherland) is attempting to torpedo her much-cherished homeless bill. "First Gentleman" Rod Calloway (Kyle Secor) is snapped by newspaper photogs as he stumbles against a female Democratic operative, and if this isn't bad enough, a shipment of Stinger missile launchers is (presumably) stolen by terrorists.
Scandal! Intrigue! Terrorists! The future of the free world at stake! And yet ... "Commander In Chief" still feels slow, sappy, languid and forever trapped inside a Disney World version of Washington that is neither urgent nor believable.
Can this presidency be saved? Sure - fans are a forgiving lot, but not forever."
"With NBC's "The West Wing" soon to end, "Commander In Chief" could inherit more of that kind of attention if it's renewed. For now, Davis doesn't think "each of us is stealing the other's thunder. That's such an incredible show; it's sad that it's going off.""
West Wing News Blog's April Fool's Joke:
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West Wing Writer on "Commander in Chief"
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IMDB Poll Results
USA Today Comparison
October Review Collection 2
October Review Collection 1
Commander in Chief Follow Up