UnNews:TV Networks To Cancel "President Bush's Speeches" After This Season

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16 May 2006

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(Washington, DC) The four major broadcast networks, along with cable news channels CNN and MSNBC, have all announced plans to likely cancel the show "President Bush's Speeches" at the end of this season. The 5 year long series was #1 in the Nielsen ratings towards the end of its first year in 2001, but has since severely declined. Less than 30% of viewers now approve of the show.

The networks were hopeful a plotline involving the invasion of Iraq would boost ratings, which it briefly did in 2003, but in the long run it has proved to bore viewers. Housewife Janet Brighton comments, "I liked the episode in which President Bush announced the capture of Saddam Hussein, but since then, nothing exciting has really happened." Executive producer Karl Rove admitted that "We should have focused the plot more around Osama Bin Laden. He was a big part of the show in late 2001 and early 2002, but then was sort of pushed to the background. That was a bad move on our part."

Stations experimented with tweaking the show's timeslot, but it hasn't helped much. They have now moved it to Monday nights at 8pm, which is a prime time slot, but competes against the hugely popular "Grizzly Adams" on PBS. Preliminary data from tonight's airing shows that even reruns of the other famous presidential show, the "West Wing", got higher ratings.

The latest episode took place in the Oval Office, and featured a departure from the usual foreign-oriented storyline. The main character, President George W. Bush, discussed the country's immigration problem. He proposed sending National Guard troops to the border with Mexico. But critics called the episode "uninspired", with Roger Ebert explaining that "they've already used this 'lets use the National Guard troops for something they're not meant for' idea before - when Bush sent them to Iraq in a late 2003 episode."

Even the show's mid-day soap-opera style spin-off is faring poorly. Entitled "The Daily White House Press Briefing," the spin-off has been on hiatus for a few weeks while producers discussed how to salvage it. They finally took the drastic step of replacing the main character, Scott McClellan, with spunky newcomer Tony Snow. The first episode with the new cast member will air on Tuesday, but expectations remain low. Producer Josh Bolten says it might not survive till the end of the season, which coincidentally culminates on Election Day in November.

Only Fox News has declared it will continue airing "President Bush's Speeches" despite the low ratings. It has ordered new episodes all the way through January, 2009. As part of the deal though, it got one of its main hosts, Tony Snow, as the main character for the "Daily White House Press Briefing" spin-off. "The marketing potential will more than pay for itself," claims Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch.

Critics recommend the show should replace its crew of writers. "Maybe they should get some of Nixon's old stuff," muses a Hollywood insider who requested anonymity for fear of NSA wiretaps, "that so-called 'Checkers' speech he gave in the last episode of his show was a great one." Richard Nixon was a big TV star of the 70s era, most famous for starring in the "Watergate" crime drama.

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