The characters of the President and Vice President were named after the two actors who played those roles in director Rod Lurie 's previous political thriller The Contender (2000). Teddy Bridges, named for 'Jeff Bridges' who played President Jackson Evans, and MacKenzie Allen, named for Joan Allen who played Laine Hanson, his vice-presidential nominee.
When a show begins, the main cast usually signs for five years. According to creator Rod Lurie, Donald Sutherland didn't want to commit for that long, so he and Lurie made a deal. Ironically, the show got canceled after just one season.