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Bochco to Produce 'Commander in Chief'

Geena Davis (search) is still president, but there's a new commander behind the scenes of "Commander in Chief," (search) ABC's hit freshman series.

Steven Bochco (search), of "NYPD Blue" and "Hill Street Blues" fame, is taking over production of the White House drama from its creator, Rod Lurie, Touchstone Television said over the weekend.

Lurie will remain as executive producer of the series and has signed a two-year deal with Touchstone, a division of ABC's parent company Disney, to develop and produce new series.

TV veteran Bochco was hired to help "Commander in Chief" run more smoothly and get episodes done on time, a television executive close to the series said Sunday.

Production had to stop at one point because scripts were unfinished, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to maintain working relationships.

"I've been a huge fan of Steven Bochco's for over two decades," Lurie said in a statement. "I'm blown away, excited to see how much more he will electrify 'Commander in Chief.'"

The series stars Davis as Mackenzie Allen, who moves to the Oval Office from the vice presidency after the president's death and must fight to establish her credibility amid political scheming.

The unexpected production shift comes as "Commander in Chief" has registered strongly with both critics and viewers. The premiere of the Tuesday night series drew 16 million people, while the second episode was watched by close to 17 million.

Reports that Lurie and ABC had creative differences over upcoming story lines were inaccurate, network spokesman Kevin Brockman said.

Lurie has been known primarily for his film work, including "The Contender" and "The Last Castle." His TV credits include the 2003 series "Line of Fire."

Bochco signed a production deal last month with Touchstone.