History shows that politics can be prime time poison. For every “West Wing” there are a half-dozen shows on the order of “D.C.,” the ill-fated 2000 attempt to overlay “Dawson’s Creek” to the District of Columbia.
But that hasn’t stopped the networks from considering a handful of politically-oriented series for their fall schedules, to be announced next week in New York.
Most represented, as is the case most years, are congressional staffers. Three pilots are set on Capitol Hill: ABC’s “The Thick of It,” stars Oliver Platt and Michael McKean in a coemdy set in the office of an obscure congressman; ABC’s “The Hill,” a comedic soap about a senator’s aide (Eric Christian Olsen) who falls for the daughter (Michelle Trachtenberg) of his boss’ rival, with Wendie Malick also starring; and the CW’s “Paige Armstrong,” about a twentysomething congressional aide who is so frustrated with her boss that she runs against him. It comes from Rod Lurie, the creator of “Commander in Chief.”
There’s also “Mayor of New York,” which stars Bobby Cannavale as the very un-Bloombergian hizzoner, a public advocate who rises to the post when the real mayor slips into a coma. Tom Fontana, Barry Levinson and Spike Lee are behind the project. There’s also Fox’s “Supreme Courtships,” right, an irreverent drama about the lives of six Supreme Court clerks. And there’s Fox’s “Company Man,” from the creative team behind “24,” is about a man forced to spy for the National Security Agency and sworn to not even tell his family what he is doing.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the show most likely to feature an Al Gore or Arnold Schwarzenegger cameo — ABC’s “Carpoolers,” about a group of men who commute together. That is, if it goes to series.
And that is a big “if.”