TV Academy’s “Penning Pennsylvania Avenue” Panel: Producers, Actors Talk Impeachment In A Fictitious White House


Tapping into every Democrat’s dream, Michelle King, creator of The Good Fight, said her show is currently working on an episode about the impeachment of the president. Sadly for Dems, the president in the show is fictional.


“We’re doing an impeachment episode right now,” she said during the “Penning Pennsylvania Avenue” panel discussion at the TV Academy about how Television Recreates the White House. She said the fictional law firm at the center of her show has been hired by the Democrats to explore how to proceed with impeachment if they take control of the House and the Senate in the upcoming mid-terms.

And like the old “How a Bill Is Made” cartoon shown many years ago in civics classes, this episode, she said, will have an animated song in the middle. CBS, she said, has given the show “great freedom.”

Moderated by Kal Penn, a former real-life West Wing staffer who plays a press secretary on Designated Survivor, panelist Thomas Schlamme, DGA president and executive producer of The West Wing, reminisced about the good old days on his show when the President was portrayed as “aspirational” — someone the viewers and future presidents could be inspired by.


When Penn mentioned the dark and sinister tone of House of Cards, panelist Bradley Whitford quipped that “now it’s aspirational” given the current occupant of the White House.

Barbara Hall, creator of Madam Secretary, talked about the episode that aired last month that explored the 25th Amendment — which allows the Vice President and a majority of the cabinet to remove a deranged President from office. Judging from the panelists’ comments and the audience’s response, it was the dream of everyone on stage, if not everyone in the audience at the Wolf Theater at the Saban Media Center.

The Trump presidency, of course, was the dark undercurrent that informed the entire evening.

“We don’t do Trump,” said VEEP showrunner David Mandel, who noted that his show is “about getting power and trying to hold on to it” — which could describe Trump’s ascent to power more accurately than any of the other shows but House of Cards.

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