|First Couple Ted Bessell and Patty Duke.|
The show was created by Susan Harris, the mastermind behind the popular comedy Soap. Like that show, Hail to the Chief utilized a serial format, with stories that continued week to week. Unfortunately, as Duke noted in her autobiography, though she thought Harris' pilot script "was the best thing I'd ever read for half-hour television," subsequent episodes fell short, and ABC canceled the show after only seven weeks.
Now, more than 30 years later, life may catch up with art, if voters elect our first Madam President this fall. As for Patty Duke, aside from her continuing popularity as an actress, she went on to serve as president of the Screen Actors' Guild, and become a respected advocate for mental health awareness. Not bad for a lady whose TV term was over almost before it began.