Washington on TV: Political Comedies and Dramas That Flopped

Tonight, Tea Leoni comes back to primetime TV in CBS’ new political drama, Madam Secretary. While shows set in Washington, D.C. are certainly having a moment, Leoni’s fans should take heed that many political series have gotten canned right out of the box. Will Madam Secretary be a hit or join other D.C. scripted shows that didn’t get our votes?

HBO’s K Street, chronicled D.C.’s backroom deals but never connected with wide audiences. Geena Davis won a Golden Globe for her role on ABC’s Commander In Chief, but acclaim couldn’t prevent the series’ cancellation. Browse through our list of Washington-based shows that couldn’t hold their own in a field of fierce contenders.


1600 Penn, NBC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS-vy4phBqs
In 1600 Penn, the dysfunctional Gilchrist family moves into the White House. However, the clan’s prestigious new digs can’t stop unwanted pregnancies, bumbling idiocy, and social mishaps. The series, which starred Josh Gad, Bill Pullman, and Jenna Elfman, premiered in December 2012. It received poor reviews and low ratings, finally getting canceled in May 2013.

Commander In Chief, ABC

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