The Buzz

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There's been a coup in the White House, or at least at the Touchstone Television Studios. According to reports, Rod Lurie, creator and executive producer of ABC's hit drama "Commander in Chief," is being replaced by famed producer Steven Bochco. Bochco, who created "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue" as well as the less successful "Blind Justice," is being parachuted in to speed up production. Apparently Lurie was overseeing both writing and directing on the show, which was slowing the production schedule so significantly that ABC was concerned it might not have enough episodes in the bag for the crucial sweeps period.

The series is one of the few new shows to have caught the public imagination-it airs Tuesdays from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.-and won a 4.3/10 on its first outing and 4.8/12 on its second in adults aged 18-49.

What Buzz is wondering, however, is whether Bochco might loosen up the humorless Mackenzie Allen, the first female president, played by Oscar winner Geena Davis. So far this series, Mackenzie and her straight-laced husband have offered little about their own relationship. Let's see Mrs. President letting out a few choice expletives as Templeton tries to undermine her. Bring on the interns ... maybe "Desperate Housewives" gardener Jesse Metcalfe could start delivering the pizza.

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