ABC is sidelining Commander in Chief and premiering back-to-back episodes of midseason comedy Sons & Daughters in its Tuesday 9 p.m. time slot beginning March 7.
The network says Commander will return in the spring and would have been running repeats for most of its hiatus, anyhow. ABC has 12 episodes of Sons & Daughters, so if it runs two every Tuesday. Commander would be off the air for at least six weeks.
But the move comes on the heels of ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson addressing the show's ratings challenges, despite star Geena Davis’ recent Golden Globe win for her role as a female president of the United States.
"Obviously we’re disappointed in Commander ticking down the last few weeks," he said on January 21 at the Television Critics Association press tour. "I think being off for so long, not being able to hit it with aggressive marketing given our midseason launch has hurt it. You know, we feel like we’ve got to get the viewers back in there and get the demo back in there."
ABC used a similar strategy last year, when it sidelined Boston Legal and replaced it with Grey’s Anatomy. Boston Legal did not return for the remainder of the season.