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‘Commander in Chief’ going on hiatus

The freshman show started off strong in ratings but has faltered recently
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Commander in Chief” is going on a six-week hiatus, making way for a new comedy from “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels as part of ABC’s midseason schedule makeover.

The White House drama, which brought Geena Davis a Golden Globe last month for her portrayal of the president, will air through Feb. 28. It will be replaced in its 9-10 p.m. EST Tuesday slot March 7 by the sitcom “Sons & Daughters.”

ABC will air back-to-back episodes of the half-hour show during its run. The comedy’s ensemble cast includes Fred Goss, who’s also an executive producer, Max Gail and Dee Wallace.

“Commander in Chief” will return April 18th for its final four new episodes of the season, the network said Wednesday. In all, the drama will air 19 episodes, shy of the usual 22, reflecting earlier production delays.

Last October, ABC turned the “Commander” reins over to veteran producer Steven Bochco (“NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law”) after filming fell behind under series creator Rod Lurie, although Lurie remained with the show.

The freshman show has had an uneven ratings history. It premiered in the top 10 with more than 16 million viewers but saw its audience erode, dipping to as low as 10.4 million viewers in its last airing.

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Also Wednesday, ABC announced debut dates for four new series, including two reality programs.

“Miracle Workers,” a reality show about people overcoming medical challenges, will air for four weeks at 10 p.m. Monday ET starting March 6. “American Inventor,” an invention search from “American Idol” producers and judge Simon Cowell, starts 8 p.m. EST Thursday, March 16, then moves into a 9 p.m. ET time slot starting March 23.

Two new dramas are joining the ABC schedule. “The Evidence” bows 10 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 22, and stars Orlando Jones and Rob Estes as members of the San Francisco Police Department.

The series takes over the time slot for “Invasion,” which is on hiatus until April, ABC said.

“What About Brian,” an ensemble drama about friendship and romance, previews at 10 p.m. Sunday, April 2, and then moves to its regular time period at 10 p.m. ET Monday, April 3 — the time slot now held by “The Bachelor: Paris,” which will have concluded its run.