Even in the so-called golden age of TV, Mr. Trump hasn’t just dominated water-cooler conversation; he’s sucked the water right out, making all other entertainment from N.F.L. games to awards shows pale in comparison. “The Russia probe, Kavanaugh, Avenatti, Rosenstein, Cohen, Flynn, Papadopoulos — we’re a wildly creative community, but this is peak TV,” said Warren Littlefield, who oversaw NBC Entertainment in the era of “Friends” and “The West Wing.” (He says “The Apprentice,” a ratings juggernaut, killed quality scripted TV in 2004, when it got the coveted 9 p.m. slot on Thursdays, a move made by his successor, Jeff Zucker, now president of CNN.)
Some TV executives say the only way for the Trump show to get canceled is for ratings to fall off — forcing the president to fade into obscurity or an awkward fox trot in a “Dancing With the Stars” spray tan. But TV history shows that the most successful series — “American Idol,” “Lost,” “The West Wing” and, yes, “The Apprentice” — don’t see sharp declines in viewership or talk of cancellation until around Season 6.
By that logic, Mr. Trump would win re-election in 2020 unless, as many liberal viewers are probably hoping, impeachment and scandal end his presidency prematurely. (In what would no doubt be “The most dramatic finale of a presidency ever!”)