Variety reports that the new CBS sitcom, which premiered June 15, "bowed to historic-low timeslot ratings" with a 0.9 rating and a 3 share in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 year-old demographic. Overall, the show had a 3.5 rating, which translates to roughly 3-1/2 million viewers. Though the numbers are small for television, a year in The Producers — the St. James has a seating capacity of 1,700 — translates to just 707,200 theatregoers.
Lane portrays an openly-gay freshman congressman in the series, which is scheduled to air Sundays at 8:30 PM ET for the next several weeks. The comedy also features "Roseanne" actress Laurie Metcalf, veteran TV actor Ted McGinley as well as Stephanie Faracy, T. R. Knight, Steve Stapenhorst, Misha Henson, Shannon Cochran and Anni Long.
Lane's newest character is a former actor who achieved fame through a fictitious television program called "Do Unto Others," similar in style to CBS' "Touched by an Angel." When the television series ended, Charlie Lawrence — then an alcoholic — had a stay at a Nevada rehabilitation center. Now a congressman for New Mexico, Lawrence is based in Washington, D.C., where he is a fish out of water. In the premiere episode, Charlie was sworn in as an elected official.
Despite mostly favorable reviews, the future of "Charlie Lawrence" remains in doubt. The series was not on the recently announced CBS fall schedule, and it appears that the show's actors have moved on to other projects.