Geena Davis, former Commander in Chief
I had a few minutes to speak to a former president the other day: President Mackenzie Allen from ABC's short-lived "Commander in Chief," aka Geena Davis. The actress says she also misses the show, canceled a year ago by ABC. Like NBC's "Studio 60" last fall, it started out hot but then consistently lost viewers.
"Pretty much every day somebody asks, Why did they take that show off the air? It's interesting to me how much of a presence it still has," says Davis, who comes to town Wednesday for the Smart Talk Women's Lecture Series at the Aronoff Center.
"I really miss doing that show. It was so much fun. It was the best character, and she was potentially inspiring to women."
So what went wrong? "It was the product of a few factors. The most important one was that we changed show-runners (executive producers) three times, not through any decision of the actors. We had the creator, then Steven Bochco, which caused some delays for his team to move in, and then it happened again when Steven Bochco was replaced. It's really tough to keep your audience when you're not on the screen."
I told her I thought part of the problem was that the show-runner could never figure out the Capitol Hill part of the show, and gave too much power to the House Speaker (Donald Sutherland). She disagreed, but conceded that the focus changed with each new boss.
Davis says she took the last year off to be with her kids (daughter 5, twin sons 3), but she's close to signing to shoot a movie this fall. "I'm incredibly picky. I've been able to play really great parts, like the president and "Thelma & Louise." So it's really tough. I want to pick something really, really good. Also, there are fewer opportunities for a 50-year-old actor."
Here's a link to ticket info, and to my story with her other comments about gender stereotypes in children's movies, sports and other stuff:
Where you a "Commander in Chief" fan? What's your favorite Geena Davis movie?