The West Wing (1999–2006)

TV Series  -   -  Drama
8.8
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Inside the lives of staffers in the west wing of the White House.

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Title: The West Wing (1999–2006)

The West Wing (1999–2006) on IMDb 8.8/10

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Episodes

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7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
2006   2005   2004   2003   … See all »
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 92 wins & 195 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 C.J. Cregg (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Leo McGarry (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Josh Lyman (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet / ... (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Donna Moss (149 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Toby Ziegler (144 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Charlie Young (136 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Margaret / ... (105 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Carol Fitzpatrick / ... (101 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Sam Seaborn (84 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Will Bailey (80 episodes, 2002-2006)
...
 Abbey Bartlet (69 episodes, 1999-2006)
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Storyline

When the erudite Democrat Josiah "Jed" Bartlet is elected U.S. president, he installs his administration. He places confidants from his electoral campaigns in the White House. Each of these people play a significant role in the Washington power game: the Chief of Staff (Leo McGarry), his deputy (Josh Lyman), Communications Director (Toby Ziegler), deputy (Sam Seaborn, and later, Will Bailey), and press secretary (CJ Cregg). Also in key positions are the assistants of each of the power players. We follow these people through many political battles, as well as some personal ones. Also playing roles are the First Lady (Abigail Bartlet), the President's daughters (Elizabeth, Eleanor, and Zoey), and the personal aide to the President (Charlie Young). All make this series, which supposedly follows the political events (often paraphrasing historical reality) almost day by day, more than merely a political soap. The demands of office on each character show the personal sacrifice and the ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jimmy Smits goes to Washington. See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

22 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

West Wing  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Aaron Sorkin and Rick Cleveland won an Emmy for writing the episode "In Excelsis Deo," only Sorkin spoke at the awards ceremony. Cleveland published an article in Writers Guild Magazine expressing his disappointment at not being allowed to speak because the homeless veteran aspect of the episode's plot was based on Cleveland's own father, who was a veteran who died a homeless alcoholic. Sorkin (writing under the user name "Benjamin," his real-life middle name) posted on the TV message board mightybigtv.com (later renamed televisionwithoutpity.com) that he had written most of the episode and had only given Cleveland a co-writing credit as a courtesy because Cleveland had worked on a previous draft that, according to Sorkin, bore no resemblance to the final shooting script. Sorkin also said that this was true of almost all of the _"The West Wing" (1999)_ scripts written up to that point (mid-2001), that he was the true and only writer of nearly all West Wing episodes, and the rest of the writing staff only helped him with research and "kick[ing] ideas around" - so he gave "them each a Story by credit on a rotating basis...by way of a gratuity." This internet posting attracted a great deal of mainstream press attention, which led Sorkin to post again, this time retracting his claim of exclusive writing credit. The "LemonLymon.com" subplot in the season 3 episode "The U.S. Poet Laureate" (in which Josh posts on a website dedicated to his fans and sees it come back to haunt him) is based on this series of events. See more »

Goofs

In a couple of episodes, New Hampshire State Trooper cruisers are shown as brown, and have red and blue lights. In reality, the cruisers are green and have only blue lights on the top. See more »

Quotes

President Josiah Bartlet: [Before the State of the Union, Bartlet is counseling a cabinet member on what to do in the event of a terrorist attack] You got a best friend?
Roger: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Is he smarter than you?
Roger: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Would you trust him with your life?
Roger: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: That's your Chief of Staff.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The special post-9/11 episode was broadcast without the regular opening credits. Instead, the episode began with the cast, out of character, speaking about the episode, followed by credits on a black screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Heroes Unmasked: Tomorrow's World (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Brilliant
27 August 2003 | by (Florida) – See all my reviews

I couldn't get into the West Wing when it began its run. The people spoke too quickly, I didn't get most of the references, and where the heck were they powerwalking to? I just didn't get it. After an episode or two, I just forgot about it.

On a recent weekend, though, I heard the pilot was being broadcast and thought I'd give it a try. Watching this show from the beginning - and being able to see episodes over again - makes all the difference. This time, I realized that I wasn't *supposed* to understand what they were referring to right out of the gate; it would be explained before the episode ended. After watching the pilot, I also realized that unlike most TV shows, The West Wing episodes are visual manifestations of great books. Both force the viewer to ask questions, challenging simple answers, refusing to provide easy, fixed-in-60-minutes situations, and providing sudden, unexpected plot twists.

As excellent as the actor's performances are, it's the writing that makes the show so good. It doesn't shy away from moral ambiguity, it rarely takes the easy way out, and it compels you to believe in your government despite all the reasons it gives you to despair of it.

Some might think that only jingoistic supernationalists enjoy the West Wing, but neither of those words describe me. I feel very comfortable questioning the decisions my government makes, and I appreciate how the West Wing has broadened my understanding of how it operates. For that reason alone, it deserves the accolades it receives. It's one of the best shows in the history of television.


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