Monday, February 18, 2013

Blast from the Past: Presidential TV Shows!

It's President's Day, and I have a surprise day off from work. So, woohoo, right? But what am I going to do for Blast from the Past this week? And even though I'm off from my regular job, I had quite a bit of weekend part-time work, so I'm brain fried. But how about this? How many TV Shows were there about the President of the United States, and/or the White House? Surprisingly, quite a few. . .

1. The West Wing (1999-2006) - Obviously, this is (so far) the most successful of the bunch. It was supposed to be just about the President's staff, but Martin Sheen was so good at being Josiah "Jed" Bartlett, he became an integral part of the show.

2. Hail to the Chief  (1985) - An attempt to do a sitcom about the first female president (Patty Duke) failed, but maybe Hillary Clinton can pull it off for real in 2016?

3. Mr. President (1987-1988) - Even with the gravitas of George C. Scott as the president, a comedy about the White House just didn't seem to take. It featured Madeline Kahn though, and for that it's worth remembering.

4. The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer (1998) - A comedy about the Lincoln White House? Yes, that happened, with Chi McBride as the president's valet, and Dann Florek as Abraham Lincoln.

5. Commander in Chief (2005-2006) - Another series, this time a drama, about the first woman president, with Geena Davis. A good show, with a West Wing vibe about it, but it didn't work.

6. That's My Bush! (2001) - A comedy about George W. Bush sounds like a match made in heaven, particularly with South Park's Trey Parker & Matt Stone at the helm. But, it was very early in Bush's run (there would be much more fodder later), and if it had taken off, they would have had to deal with September 11 and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. A little heavy, don't you think? Featured Timothy Bottoms as Dubya.

It's worth pointing out that there are currently three shows about the executive branch on television at the moment, 1600 Penn with Bill Pullman as prez, The First Family with Christopher B. Duncan, and Veep with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President. But those shows are not a Blast from the Past, and frankly, this week's edition was laborious and time consuming. So, though there may be more examples of White House-centric television, we're going to have to leave at at six for now!

Happy Monday and happy President's Day!


  1. Bet Dann Florek is really glad LAW & ORDER SVU came along right when it did...

  2. Definitely. I knew of this show before, but didn't realize how relatively recent it was (yes, when you get to your mid-40s, 16 years ago is recent). It seemed more like an 80s high-concept idea. I wonder how many short-lived shows Chi McBride has been part of. Might make a good spin-off post.


Have something to say to us? Post it here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...