Comedy Central impeaches Bush
Parker and Stone's controversial sitcom loses the popular vote
By John M. Higgins -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/5/2001 8:00:00 PM
Unable to translate the election controversy into ratings, Comedy Central is canceling White House comedy That's My Bush!
But creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who also conjured up Comedy Central's South Park, want to keep the idea alive by pitching an extended version as a movie. Stone said they envision President Bush fighting off a Chinese invasion.
The twisted Comedy Central half-hour parody portrayed Bush and First Lady Laura Bush as if they were characters in a 1970s sitcom. The show drew criticism both for portraying a sitting U.S. president in a sitcom and for considering portraying the Bush daughters as lesbians.
The show debuted at a huge 3.0 household rating but drifted down to a 1.5 average over its Wednesday night runs before moving to Thursdays.
That's still not too bad a rating for Comedy Central, which averages a 0.7 in prime time. Martin Short's Primetime Glick! just got renewed, and its ratings have been as low as a 1.1. But that's a much cheaper show. Bush! cost $900,000 per episode, which is huge by Comedy Central standards.
"We knew it was a risk when we started it," said Stone. "It would have to get South Park numbers, and it didn't." South Park regularly scored north of 5.0 in its earliest days, and new episodes still regularly approach a 3.0.
The network would not comment on the cancellation. However, it did say that Glick star Martin Short will produce 10 new episodes of the faux-talk show. The new show will start airing early next year.
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