A near meltdown at the nuclear plant becomes the focus of an October surprise for Republican nominee Senator Arnold Vinick during the 2006 presidential election, due to Vinick's strong pro-nuclear stance and revelations of his active lobbying for the construction of the plant. After leaving the first daughter's room. Lord John Marbury is probably the most overtly buffoonish character in the series (and that's saying something), yet he is an extremely insightful international diplomat whose advice is invaluable to the Bartlet administration. In the sixth and seventh seasons, The West Wing explores a leak of top-secret information by a senior staffer at the White House. Much more tragically, there are several callbacks involving Josh and the people he cares about dying. The West Wing employed a broad ensemble cast to portray the many positions involved in the daily work of the Executive Branch of the federal government. The characters spend the entirety of every episode having lengthy, pointed arguments about real concerns such as public education, foreign aid and gun control, in a style of patter which carefully balances sober and didactic with nutty and didactic. At one point, Democratic leadership requests that Bartlet say "the era of big government is over" in his State of the Union speech. At the very end of "Impact Winter" as the China Summit is wrapping up, CJ congratulates the President on pulling off such an outstanding diplomatic job when they all thought the whole thing was going to go down in flames: In season 7, only Jimmy Smits appears in every episode, with Bradley Whitford appearing the most out of the original cast (missing two episodes). In both 1999 and 2000, The West Wing was awarded the Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting.[63][64]. Oops. Not so much. One of the appellant's, Josh is interviewed before a group of college students at Georgetown about a supposedly typical day at the White House. I'm a terrible actor! This storyline has similarities to the real-world U.S. invasion of Afghanistan as well as U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia, as it brings the Middle East to the forefront of U.S. foreign relations and elevates terrorism as a serious threat. Danny and C.J. [24], Thomas Del Ruth received a nomination from the American Society of Cinematographers for the pilot episode. The passage of time on the show relative to that of the real world is somewhat ambiguous when marked by events of shorter duration (such as votes and campaigns). President Bartlet connects with his new physician, Captain Morris Tolliver, MC, USN, whose first child was born ten days prior. It initially appears the husband-to-be is a bumbling, nerve-ridden geek who is marrying his daughter because he accidentally got her pregnant and they need to get married, The episode "18th and Potomac"; Mrs. Landingham spends the entire episode excited about buying her first new car, being hassled by Charlie and President Bartlet about paying the full sticker price, only to, The nuclear power plant catastrophe that occurs out of nowhere and completely derails Senator Vinick's presidential campaign halfway through season seven occurs solely to provide a credible way for the election race to suddenly become more or less even after an entire half-season of Vinick being the clear frontrunner and Santos lagging way behind. Josh receives a card from the, The senior staff and the President take part in a late-night poker game inside the West Wing. [47], Despite its commercial and critical success, The West Wing has also received criticism from the right. demanding more money for his appearances and refusing to come back when he didn't get it. After NBC moved the show up against the inexplicable ratings juggernaut Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ratings declined to the point where, in 2006, it was cancelled. Fictional Presidents who are shown to have served between Nixon and Bartlet include one-term Democrat D. Wire Newman (James Cromwell) and two-term Republican Owen Lassiter. Rather than trying to emulate Sorkin's style, Wells decided to emphasize the personal lives of the characters over the politics, and the show moved more to the middle of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism and dealing with many current events issues. Bartlet is stated to have won the election with 48% of the popular vote, 48 million votes, and a 303–235 margin in the Electoral College. In reality, the West Wing is incredibly cramped with narrow hallways and low ceilings and most staff needing to share what little office space there is. President Bartlet is the inspiration, the visionary who charts the course of an entire nation. In addition, according to Sorkin, the storylines began to focus less on Sam and more on Josh Lyman, the Deputy Chief of Staff. Created by Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing won nine Emmy Awards in its first season alone, and is acclaimed for its writing, portrayals, and an intelligent, authentic depiction of White House life. A. The campaign for the Democratic nomination is extensively addressed. Regular character Sam Seaborn was written out in an odd way. Vinick tells his staff repeatedly that he will not allow his campaign to demand a recount of the votes if Santos is declared the winner. Now he's really on his own. Less than a year old at the time. They left at the end of the fourth season, to be replaced by John Wells (of ER fame). After Sorkin left the series, Wells assumed the role of head writer, with later executive producers being directors Alex Graves and Christopher Misiano (seasons 6–7), and writers Lawrence O'Donnell Jr. and Peter Noah (season 7). C.J. The President makes a deal seeking reform on, Iraqi ground forces, using a surface-to-air missile, shoot down an, Nicole Robinson as Margaret Hooper, Assistant to Chief of Staff McGarry (18 episodes), This page was last edited on 12 August 2021, at 20:59. The staff being rounded up in the Oval Office because the building isn't secure? ", Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, David W. Rintels for "A Continual Roar of Musketry" (1970), Herb Bermann & Thomas Y. Drake & Jerrold Freedman & Bo May for "Par for the Course" (1971), Jim Byrnes for "Thirty a Month and Found" (1974), Georgia Jeffries for "An Unusual Occurrence" /, Georgia Jeffries for "Turn, Turn, Turn" / Debra Frank &, Racelle Rosett Schaefer for "Photo Opportunity" (1991), List of awards and nominations received by The West Wing, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, "Television Programs Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Receive 20 Sound-Related Emmy Nominations", "The West Wing – The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME", "TV Guide Magazine's 60 Best Series of All Time", "From 'Mad Men' to 'Breaking Bad,' the Top 10 dramas of all time". Several recurring characters, such as Ainsley Hayes and Ron Butterfield. Leo, back in Washington, asks the Vice President to break the tie in the Senate in favor of the bill, but the Vice President prefers not to do so because of personal, political, and ideological reasons; however, Sam and Leo arrange for three reluctant senators to vote "nay", thus letting the Vice President off the hook. Josh arranges ten minutes for Marcus and the President alone, and the party proceeds. Daily U.S. military news updates including military gear and equipment, breaking news, international news and more. "[40], One of the stranger effects of the show occurred on January 31, 2006, when The West Wing was said to have played a hand in defeating a proposal backed by Tony Blair's government in the British House of Commons, during the so-called "West Wing Plot". "[53], On the other hand, some Republicans have admired the show since its inception, even before the departure of Sorkin and the show's resulting shift toward the center. which is key to a criminal investigation of fraud in Bartlet's MS scandal. General Alexander, Fitwallace's successor as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, disappears two episodes into Season Six without explanation. [22] Thomas Schlamme also left the show after the fourth season. The phrase "What's next?" The season ends with a cliffhanger assassination attempt with an ominous call over a Secret Service radio: "Who's been hit?! You ran great guns in the campaign. Donna goes back into surgery after Fitzwallace is killed. They're proud of what they grow. A further line of dialog from the same character states that Sam is unequivocally going to lose the election. Sam Seaborn and Pres. Special elections are held to replace departed representatives. Get up to the minute entertainment news, celebrity interviews, celeb videos, photos, movies, TV, music news and pop culture on ABCNews.com. The series uses the joke in numerous instances to point out how short their various successes fall short of actually fixing massive social injustices. Kristin Harms and Llewellyn Wells were producers for the pilot. The fourth episode saw the departure of original crew member Llewellyn Wells. ), Even Bartlet's Republican opponents are portrayed as having America's best interests in mind, and are at worst portrayed as, A recurring device was Republican characters taking exception to the at-times self-righteous attitudes of the Democratic characters and either explaining at-length how it actually. Far more than C.J., by the way; he's shown to have fangirls and and a fan website devoted to him where members report "sightings," on top of the multiple love interests he gets across the series. [26] This was corroborated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the following year. Following the President's inaction, the shuttle story is leaked to a White House reporter, Greg Brock (analogous to Judith Miller), who prints the story in The New York Times. "We already have enough trouble as it is with the First Lady and her Ouija Board. Leo leaks his tape using someone else's email; the password was her cat's name. The "unputdownable courtroom drama" (Stephen King) and riveting sequel to the landmark bestseller Presumed Innocent, in which Tommy Molto and Rusty Sabich come head-to-head in a second murder trial. David did not reside in his newly constructed motel. ", "Commencement": "Did you put ecstasy in my drink?". Santos is pronounced the winner of the election, having won Nevada by 30,000 votes, with an electoral vote margin of 272–266. "[32], In its first season, The West Wing attracted critical attention in the television community with a record nine Emmy wins. Beavers also noted that characters with opposing viewpoints were often set up to be "bad people" in the viewer's eyes. While the September 11 attacks are not referred to in The West Wing continuity, the country enters into a variation of the War on Terrorism. [117][118], In August 2020, it was announced that cast members Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Janel Moloney would reprise their roles for a stage version of the episode "Hartsfield's Landing". The season four episode "Debate Camp" features a flashback to the days just before Bartlet's inauguration, as Donna Moss meets with her Republican predecessor, Jeff Johnson. In an interview, John Wells stated that the series began one and a half years into Bartlet's first term and that the election to replace Bartlet was being held at the correct time. In addition to these long-running narratives, each episode contains smaller storylines that usually begin and end within a single episode. "[37], Despite acclaim for the veracity of the series, Sorkin said, "our responsibility is to captivate you for however long we've asked for your attention. This callback is actually inverted, as Josh's actual PTSD symptom has him interpreting music as sirens, rather than the sound of an emergency (gunfire) being interpreted as music. Of course the 2001 World Trade Centre attacks did not happen in the West Wing world, although Al-Qaeda itself is mentioned a couple of times during the 2006 election. This shift was one of the reasons for Lowe's eventual departure from the show in the fourth season. Bartlet. Mandy does this after she learns that a negotiator in a hostage situation, that she pushed for to avoid the bad press a raid would bring, has been shot and is in critical condition. Former Senate aide Lawrence O'Donnell and former White House aide and presidential campaign speechwriter Eli Attie were both longtime writers on the show (O'Donnell for seasons 1–2 and 5–7, Attie for seasons 3–7). At the end of the episode, Tori Amos' cover of the song is played over the aftermath of the news of a bombing at a university. In 2010 the series was released in high-definition for the first time on streaming platforms Amazon Video and iTunes, with the first two seasons remastered in 16:9 to match the aspect ratio and resolution change in the third season. "Jed" Bartlet. He is no wimp when it comes to foreign policy—no quid pro quo for him. His staff realizes it was intentional when they note how strange it was for him to use a gun metaphor. After it is clear that Ritchie will be the Republican nominee, Bartlet dismisses the idea, declaring that he wants Hoynes in the number two spot because of "four words," which he writes down and hands to Hoynes and McGarry to read: "Because I could die.". It's explicitly stated to be. Here is a Character Sheet, as well as a Best Episode crowner and an episode recap page that needs love. In early Season One, staff meetings with the president in The Oval Office usually had a handful of extras standing around in the background (presumably these were the rest of the president's senior staff). On the evening of the election, Leo McGarry suffers a massive heart attack and is pronounced dead at the hospital, with the polls still open on the West Coast. Also Charlie wanting to marry Zoey at the end of season 6. Josh is the attack dog, relating a multitude of agendas with each other and kicking uncooperative elements in the teeth until they fit in. The first four seasons were written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme. With the thirteenth episode of the third season director Alex Graves became an additional supervising producer and Attie became a story editor. Absentee Actor: Rob Lowe during the middle of Season 4, right before he left.During seasons 6 and 7 large sections of the cast were left out as the focus shifted between the campaign and the West Wing. Redford and Junge left the production team and Dylan K. Massin became a co-producer. . . . We have so much to learn from these stories.” —Joe Biden When we elect a president, we elect with them an entire team that will join them in the West Wing to help run the country. I'm on hold. and "How did you cut your hand? [25], Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, "National Nielsen Viewership (Sep. 20–26)", "National Nielsen Viewership (Sep. 27–Oct. Leo has more than the normal amount of Oh Crap moments, simply because he is the senior staffer most likely to be the first person to be given really bad news (and probably the most able to appreciate how bad the news is.) This is a really fun Easter Egg, which also shows West Wing actor Richard Schiff having fun with "Manny" while riding around aimlessly on the studio lot in a golf cart-like vehicle. Michael Hissrich acted as a co-producer.[17]. Toby is an encyclopaedia, loaded with facts and statistics that are translated into eloquent communication. A minor one, from "Take This Sabbath Day," but still effective: Bartlet, in a moral quandary over the death penalty, asks Charlie if he'd want to see the man who killed his mother be executed: The chief counsel of the White House. C.J. Cregg during a White House press briefing. to lip-sync to ", When the weather suddenly changes just before a speech by President Bartlet, Sam forgets to change the introductory remarks, thus creating a humorous and embarrassing moment. Sorkin had already done a lot of the work to round up the “West Wing” cast, including Martin Sheen (as President Josiah Bartlet), Allison Janney (as C.J Cregg), Bradley Whitford (as Josh Lyman), Richard Schiff (as Toby Ziegler) Janel Moloney (Donna Moss), Dulé Hill (as Charlie Young), and Rob Lowe (as Sam Seaborn). You want to be the guy the guy counts on. [111], On March 25, 2019, screenwriters Josh Olson (Oscar-nominated for A History of Violence) and Dave Anthony launched The West Wing Thing, in which the hosts "watch and then discuss" an episode of the series, analyzing and critiquing the show itself as well as its relationship to real-life American politics, both at the time it originally aired and in the present day. Leo and a young lady (Liza Weil) agree to give each other a second chance. Tim Matheson's accent is from Southern California. A stage version of the season three episode "Hartsfield's Landing", "A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote" premiered on HBO Max in October 2020, featuring the entire surviving original main cast along with key recurring cast in their original roles. It was likely created to avoid having the show depict the planned assassination of a real Middle Eastern country's government minister and prince by the US government. He and Zoey's relationship continues regardless, roam the White House endlessly discussing the pressing political issues of the moment, No, the Enchanted Rose isn't located here. Fictional locations inside the United States are created to loosely represent certain places: San Andreo is a fictional California city. One of these characters generally breaks off and the remaining character is then joined by another character, who initiates another conversation as they continue walking. Played with in the third season. Josh - he's introduced in the pilot sleeping at his desk as the cleaning staff vacuums around him and he doesn't take a vacation until the last season of the series. Misiano and Graves became co-executive producers alongside Falls. she's said to have completed two full terms as press secretary. 's office. International migration, the movement of people across international boundaries, has enormous economic, social and cultural implications in both origin and destination countries. [57], The West Wing is noted for developing the "walk-and-talk"—long Steadicam tracking shots showing characters walking down hallways while involved in long conversations. The fourth season marked the temporary departure of Hissrich. [113], Many venues, including Funny or Die, Mad TV, and the Late Night with Seth Meyers have parodied the walk-and-talk cliche of the show, including the "ping-pong" dialogue, in which one character would speak barely a word before the other said another, and then repeated back and forth. continue to discuss the pros and cons of a first date. Found inside"What does everyone in the modern world need to know? [The author's] answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. ... Thankfully, it was never repeated. Yo-Yo Ma performs at the Congressional Christmas Party. (Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and Game of Thrones also hold that record). Teachers, Teaching, and Media: Original Essays about Educators in Popular Culture is notable for its scope of previously underexamined genres and for the range of topical perspectives written in an accessible style but anchored in serious ... This gives the show more ease in fitting the 2006 presidential primaries into season 6 and the election into season 7. The name came from the fact that President Andrew Jackson had a large wheel of cheese placed in the White House from which the public were invited to eat during a reception,[42] while discussing issues of the day with politicians. Speed-the-Plow is an exhilaratingly sharp, comical, disturbing play about the power of money and sex in Hollywood, and how they corrupt two movie producers. The rest of the cast includes Stockard Channing as the President's wife Abbey, John Spencer as Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, Allison Janney as White House Press Secretary C.J. The confirmation of Mendoza to the Supreme Court was set up to be a major plotline, with several character remarking about what an uphill fight his confirmation would be in the Senate. The show's ratings waned in later years following the departure of series creator Sorkin after the fourth season (Sorkin wrote or co-wrote 85 of the first 88 episodes), yet it remained popular among high-income viewers, a key demographic for the show and its advertisers,[10] with around 16 million viewers. [81] In the storyline, the International Space Station is damaged and can no longer produce oxygen for the astronauts to breathe. [110], In March 2016, The West Wing Weekly podcast hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway and Joshua Malina began. The Santos campaign releases the information immediately, while Arnold Vinick refuses to use Leo's death as a "stepstool" to the presidency. The cast of the show state during the opening of the episode that it is not part of The West Wing continuity. Dear lord, Lionel Tribbey... for one, he's the page quote for the trope. Averted in the last couple episodes of the series, when Josh re-recruits him back to the White House for the new administration, and we learn that Sam, having apparently indeed lost the election, for some reason returned to working for a law firm rather than the White House. Sam Seaborn, three. In "Posse Comitatus": as Bartlet is informed that. Cregg, Toby Ziegler admits to leaking the information, and the President is forced to dismiss him. It's also notable for the fact that the presidential race, written and aired in 2005/06, has a more-than-passing resemblance to the 2008 presidential campaign, with a charismatic young non-white Congressman (Santos/Obama) facing off against a moderate "straight talking" Republican from the American Southwest (Vinick/McCain). However, by exploring many of the same issues facing the Bush administration from a Democratic point of view, the show continued to appeal to a broad audience of both Democrats and Republicans. There is a moment when Josh admits to Amy that, in spite of his numerous academic and even political accomplishments, his I.Q. This leak has been compared to events surrounding the Valerie Plame affair. "[33] Some West Wing veterans have said it exaggerates the formality and volume of chatter in the West Wing, under-represents the number of people involved in a decision, and over-idealizes its occupants.[29][30]. [19], According to the DVD commentary, Sorkin intended to center the show on Sam Seaborn and the other senior staff with the President in an unseen or a secondary role. A dinky little bar napkin that has "Bartlet For America" in Leo's handwriting on it, highlighting who Leo felt should run for President. believes the numbers will go up; however, when the President asks Leo what the senior staff thinks the results will be, Leo omits C.J. [85] However, the season 1 episode "He Shall from Time to Time" shows the preparations for Bartlet's first regular State of the Union address, which would occur one year into his presidency. The third and fourth seasons take an in-depth look at the campaign trail and the specter of both foreign and domestic terrorism. "*appears from behind the door* What, Leo?". Sam has to give "Leo's daughter's fourth-grade class" a tour of the White House. 20–26)", "National Nielsen Viewership (Apr. The video was paid for by Bridget Mary McCormack's campaign. In the episodes "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen, Part I", "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen, Part II" and "Bartlet for America", flashbacks are used to show Bartlet defeating Texas Senator John Hoynes (Tim Matheson) and Washington Senator William Wiley for the Democratic nomination and later choosing Hoynes as his running mate. A key publication on the British Museum's approach to the ethical issues surrounding the inclusion of human remains in museum collections and possible solutions to the dilemmas relating to their curation, storage, access management and ... In an interview on the first season DVD, Bradley Whitford said that he was originally cast as Sam, even though Aaron Sorkin had created the Josh character specifically for him. [86] Other statements from John Wells, however, have contradicted O'Donnell's claims about a previously planned Vinick victory. At the time of the President's second inaugural, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court begins writing opinions... in verse. Of course, in the pilot, a major plot point is the president having ridden his bicycle into a tree. Martin Sheen was the only cast member to win a Golden Globe Award, and he and Allison Janney were the only cast members to win SAG Awards. And Leo wouldn't be Leo without "MAR-GARET!" Doesn't seem like anything but a slight against the small-government Republicans. ", Santos's little scheme to outvote Haffley uses. Found insideThis new guide examines television series from the past and present, domestic and foreign, that are devoted to the law. A social studies teacher from Ohio finishes the term of his late wife in the, The President and his senior staff deal with major problems – a hostage standoff between the FBI and a group of, In an after-midnight session, the President teaches Josh about national parks. Marshaling the main cast. Check out full episodes and video clips of most popular shows online. He registered at David Wolkowsky’s new Pier House Motel. In "Five Votes Down", Leo rushing around to arrange a romantic dinner and gift to make up for forgetting his wife's anniversary is treated with the typical humor. During contract negotiations in 2001, the four were threatened with breach of contract suits by Warner Bros. C.J. "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen" shows us how everyone came onboard with the Bartlet campaign. The whole cast, but Toby especially, rants against that phrase, saying government should be big, and it should be a place where smart people come together to solve problems. Numerous episodes use this device, starting off with a dramatic scene before the opening titles and coming in with ". In the middle of the night, with his shirt unbuttoned. [56] The series has also been praised for Sorkin's rapid-fire and witty scripts. President Bartlet – His father was an abusive prick jealous of his own son's intellect. He is investigated by an opposition Congress for defrauding the public and eventually accepts Congressional censure. He later goes against Leo's orders and presents her a gift outside her friend's apartment that night, but someone takes a photograph of the encounter, which was a set-up organized by Laurie's friend, and it reaches the attention of President Bartlet. which require an act of Congress, and are thus more difficult to create and more resilient to later political changes, yells at the President in the Oval Office, after exhibiting odd and concerning behavior for several weeks. Lehmann, Chris. ", Code to get someone to immediately stop whatever they're doing, come quickly, and don't ask questions, a character would make a casual reference to an "old friend from home. But you pick that? Found inside – Page 245Richard Schiff, on The West Wing Weekly podcast for the “Talking Points” (5/19) episode, stated: “Butt boy, that's what the Clinton White House called [the ... It's particularly interesting that Josh is generally portrayed as the most attractive male member of the crew, in a group that includes Sam, played by heart-throb Rob Lowe. His real name is Josiah Edward Bartlet. During Admiral Fitzwallace's memorable speech about "not knowing if it's peacetime or wartime anymore", he calls himself a "soldier". Except members of the House of Representatives don't get appointed replacements when they have to leave office early - only Senators do. A documentary special in the third season compared the show's depiction of the West Wing to the real thing. John Wells, the remaining executive producer, took the helm after their departure. Cahn became story editor and Josh Singer replaced her as staff writer. This powerlessness ends in "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet" when Leo and the president finally agree to fight any battle they believe to be important, even if they are not sure they can win. Being unfaithful to his wife would never cross his mind. and he answers "Philly and New York both strong teams, should be a great game." The implication at the end of the episode is that the White House will be tangling with her throughout the next couple years. At one point The administration deals with a military pilot who stole an $18 million plane, it's mentioned by Josh that this pilot had received a Purple Heart previously after he ejected from his shot plane in Bosnia. Josh and Toby tell Sam that his relationship with Laurie has become known to one of his political enemies. Bartlet has to have the phrase "wetwork" explained to him. The first season proper saw the return of all of the pilot production team along with the addition of Ron Osborn and Jeff Reno as consulting producers and Rick Cleveland as a second co-producer with Robert W. Glass as an associate producer. He suggests that it's "just like riding a bike, only more horsepower." 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